Ways to relaxWe hurry here and run there to make time to load our schedules with even more activities. Some days, it is all you can do to get out of bed. Maybe it’s time to relax a little … but who has time for that?

According to Mental Health America, you should make the time to chill out every once in a while for the sake of your health and happiness. The group stresses exercising, relaxing and getting enough rest as key factors to enjoy life more.

 

How much downtime is required?

There are no specific guidelines for how much relaxation an individual requires, but making time to unwind is an important part of maintaining good health. Feeling tense and overly stressed out? This could be a key indicator that you aren’t taking enough time to relax.

Long-term stress can lead to health issues including chest pain, headaches, digestive issues, anxiety, depression and impact your ability to concentrate. So start enjoying life more today and make time to relax.

 

10 Ways to Wind Down

  1. Deep relaxation such as meditation, when practiced regularly, not only relieves stress and anxiety but also is shown to improve mood. Deep relaxation also may offer health benefits including lowering your blood pressure, relieving pain and strengthening your immune and cardiovascular systems.
  2. Find some fun. Making time for fun is an important way to feel more relaxed. Laughing decreases pain, may help your heart and lungs, promotes muscle relaxation and can reduce anxiety.
  3. Pet Fido for 15 minutes. Studies show the petting a dog for 15 minutes releases feel-good hormones—serotonin, prolactin and oxytocin—and lowers the stress hormone, cortisol.
  4. Hug someone. Human touch releases serotonin and reduces blood pressure and heart rate making you more at ease.
  5. Sip green tea. Don’t get hot under the collar; grab an herbal tea. Green tea is a source of L-Theanine, a chemical that helps relieve anger.
  6. Breathe in peace. Slow, deep breaths can help lower blood pressure and heart rate. You could also try yoga breathing techniques.
  7. Count backward. Try slowly counting to 10 and then back again to get your stress under control.
  8. Use creative visualization. It’s a fancy way of saying daydreaming, but you get the idea. Think of something or somewhere that makes you feel good and go there for a few minutes in your mind.
  9. Find some alone time. Even if it’s just five minutes to yourself, take a little timeout to collect your thoughts and clear your head.
  10. Get a massage. You know you deserve it!

Click here for more ideas on how to relax.