Top 5 Ways to Relax and Unwind

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Stress is a universal language and no matter where you are in the world, everyone confronts it. It is inescapable. However, while some of us thrive on stress, others find it detrimental to their wellbeing. Chronic stress can lead to a multitude of illnesses, such as anxiety, depression, headaches, insomnia, back pain, and social isolation.

Relaxing shouldn’t be a treat – it should be a necessary part of your everyday life. Admittedly for some of us, finding the time to relax and unwind after a stressful day or week can be difficult – but it doesn’t have to be impossible.

All you need is just an hour out of your day to try these top 5 affordable ways to relax and unwind:

  1. Meditate: The best thing about meditation is that it can be done anywhere, anytime, and you don’t need any special equipment. Considered a mind-body complementary remedy, meditation involves focusing your attention and eliminating the stream of rushed thoughts that can crowd your mind, causing stress. Simply find a quiet place, get into a comfortable position, and relax your breathing while focusing your attention on a mantra or prayer. Spending just a few minutes a day to meditate will restore your calm and inner peace.
  2. Take a bath: Hot water can literally wash away tension, and trigger brain and body responses that imitate emotional warmth, which can significantly boost your mood. Run your water, drop some lavender, citrus, or other home spa treatments into your bath, and inhale deeply while closing your eyes. These soothing scents will stimulate smell receptors in the nose that connect to the part of the brain that regulates emotions. You’ll instantly feel calmer. Can’t access a bath? Try a foot spa instead. Find a plastic tub and soak your feet up to the ankles in hot water. Add a few drops of your favourite essential oil and after 15 minutes, the swelling in your feet will go down and your circulation will improve.
  3. Do yoga: It is little wonder why celebrities like Madonna, Russell Brand, and Jennifer Aniston swear by yoga. From numerous health benefits such as increased strength and flexibility, treatment of back pain (and even hangover relief!), this 5000+ year old practice is perfect for any age. For as little as $15 at your local gym or health centre, you can check into a yoga class for a full body workout that will have you slowly stretching and breathing the stresses out of your body.
  4. Get a massage: There isn’t much that ages us faster than high stress and one of the best ways to combat fatigue, anxiety, distressed joints, and insomnia all at once is a full-body massage. There are many variations of massage techniques, including Shiatsu, Deep Tissue, Swedish, Sports, Hot Stone, and Thai, and any one of these will leave you feeling better and give you an overall energy boost. You owe it to yourself to indulge in a massage every once in a while, and your body will thank you for it.
  5. Go for a walk: Sure, the last thing you want to do is go for a run around the block after a difficult day at work. However, as everyone knows, exercise helps to release endorphins into the body. Even if you’re not an athlete or particularly fit, a leisurely walk can immediately rejuvenate you and clear your mind. Start by going for a 20 minute walk daily for an instant pick-me-up, and then graduating to 40 minutes a day.

The health benefits of relaxation are endless – from improving concentration to reducing feelings of anger and frustration, as well as the risk of heart attacks, you owe it to your body to put your feet up. You may still encounter those deadlines at work tomorrow, or come face-to-face with a sudden personal crisis, but you’ll be better prepared to take on whatever comes your way.

 

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