Here are 12 fast relaxation tips that will assist you to center yourself. The top five are breathing and relaxing techniques. The rest are things you can do to move your brain from left to right or may use more of your right side of your brain (creative side/emotional side) to assist you to relax. I love to go kayaking to relax. I do not have to tell myself to breath when I am floating on the lake I just do. The lake takes me to my peaceful place where I can breath and let go of my stress. If you are looking for some new relaxation tips, I highly suggest tapping. See the videos below to learn how to tap with Nick Ortner.
Deep Breathing: Find a comfortable position in your chair. Close your eyes thinking of a word that you repeat in your mind. Pace the word slow enough to relax but fast enough that no other thoughts enter your mind, if thoughts come in say the word faster until no other thoughts come in. Do the exercise for 5-30 minutes daily.
Tapping in your Peaceful Place: Sit back and relax as you think of your happy place, rather it be outdoors, a library with books, a campfire, the lake, a sunset, or whatever it is that brings you calm. Imagine your five senses in that peaceful place such as your taste, smell, touch, hear, and sight. When you feel like you are there, tap in the positive feelings by taking your right hand on your right leg and then doing the same with your left hand on your left leg. This starts a bilateral stimulation which will help you feel calm.
Progressive Relaxation: Moving back and forth between light tension and ever-deepening relaxation allows you to reach an incredible level of relaxation very quickly. This is also much easier to do during an agitated state.
Visualization: Just letting your imagination flow can be a powerful way to relax. You can also imagine specific scenes that are relaxing for you. Beaches, massage, wine in front of a fireplace… (or beer in front of a space heater… whatever works for you). Visualize doing activities that bring you into a deep space of relaxation… and as you picture them in your mind’s eye… you will find yourself getting more and more relaxed.
Countdown: Countdown from 10 to 1, 20 to 1, or 100 to 1. You might notice that as you count down your shoulders drop lower and lower… and you feel your body become more and more settled… as you descend deeper and deeper into incredibly peaceful relaxation.
Do something creative such as Coloring, Drawing, or Painting: Color/Draw/Paint for 15 minutes. Coloring – I suggest allowing yourself to color without any lines, yes that is right by not using a coloring book. Allow yourself to color freely by doing whatever you want to color. Now you can trace your hand and make a Zendoodle which allows you to be creative in coming up with how you want to design it.
Light Exercise/Go for a walk: When you get your body moving, it activates your happy cells in your brain and you start breathing deeper. Move your arms from side to side for at least 15 minutes, however the most benefit comes after 40 minutes.
Take a Bath/Hot Tub: Create a relaxed environment with a hot bath, bubbles, candles, and/or music.
Pleasant Music: Music is one of the fastest methods of relaxation in common use. Use the music that assists you to feel calm. Finding music that slows down your heart rate or has the beat of your heart rate is helpful to decrease high-intensity emotions.
Clay: Use a piece of clay to mold, squish, roll, and move side to side to activate your brain.
Throw a pokey ball or tennis ball: Throw a pokey/tennis ball about 6-12 inches apart from the left hand to the right hand. This helps to stimulate the brain, activating both right and left sides.
Rocking: Stand with your feet at least 12 inches apart. Put all your weight on your right foot then all your weight on your left foot with the right foot slightly off the ground. Continue to rock self from side to side. Add arms by raising them in front of you, cross your arms, clasp hands and pull through while continuing to rock back and forth.
Written By: Lisa Parsons, LPCC-S, NCC, RPT-S