Feeling overloaded on stress and like you're constantly scrambling from one task to the next? Give yourself a much needed break, and take a minute for yourself!
Here are 10 ways to slow down right now!
1. Have a tea party.
Boil the kettle and make a pot or a cup of your favorite tea. Obviously a caffeine free tea is less stimulating, but for many, traditional black tea offers an experience that calls up soothing memories from the past.
Life can never feel rushed when you have a relaxing brew to gently sink into, either alone or with a friend. Set the table with a cloth, use your best china or just keep it simple. Either way, keep all of your senses open as you sip your way to relaxation.
2. Take two or three deep breaths.
Breathe really deeply two or three times every time you think about it. Adjust your posture while you’re at it, pulling your shoulders back and tucking your chin in.
The breath will move easier, and your body will be stimulated into good alignment. With every deep breath, your heart rate slows just a little, as your parasympathetic nervous system is triggered. You’ll feel a sense of calm wash over you by your third breath.
3. Stand on your head.
By inverting your body, specifically standing on your head, your parasympathetic nervous system is stimulated. Your heart rate drops a bit, and in turn so does your blood pressure, instantly bring you calm. Just a few minutes on your head can change your whole day. Build up your inversion time gradually, and obviously avoid doing this if you have any issues with your neck.
4. Do a simple meditation.
Focus your mind on your breath. Get comfortable, close your eyes, and just think purely about your breath. Count with each inhalation and then with each exhalation if you want to.
Consciously draw your breath in deeply, and then let it go. Do this at least once a day. If you find your mind wandering, simply refocus on your breath.
5. Touch the ground.
Dig your hands into the earth and feel the world slow down right before you. There’s nothing more relaxing than feeling deeply connected to Mother Earth.
Digging your hands into the dirt is the best way to do it. Be creative, watch things grow, nurture and tidy up a small area of your garden where you like to sit, or perhaps plant some things you can eat one day. It’s all good.
6. Turn off your technology.
Hide your phone, turn off your iPad, shutdown your PC. Just do it. If you're feeling adventurous, take it a step further. Choose one day a week, or part of a day (if that feels too hard), and completely disconnect from all of your devices. Your life will feel so much more connected when you disconnect.
7. Have an orgasm.
The moments during and after orgasm are generally extremely pleasurable ones. You are often filled with feelings of euphoria, and this is followed by a feeling of intense peace.
The hormones oxytocin and prolactin are what triggers this response of happy peacefulness. Regular orgasms, either alone or with a partner, tend to get overlooked as ways to relax. However, there aren't too many things in life which can achieve this amazing level of physical and psychological relaxation.
8. Go for a walk.
Walking is the perfect kind of movement for anyone who really wants to slow down. Running and aerobic exercise simulate the bodies stress response, whereas walking and the gentler sports actually calm and slow the body down.
Even better, walk with a really good friend and talk through all your worries. A problem shared is a problem halved!
My mom always says that an hour of sleep before midnight is worth two hours afterwards. It’s true. Start tonight. Go to bed half an hour earlier than you usually do. Kickstart a habit of getting slightly more sleep every night, and then sit back and notice how much more chilled out you are.
10. Just stop.
Do nothing. Schedule a part of your day to do absolutely nothing. Block out the time in your diary, if you feel like you need to do that to actually make it happen.
Do whatever feels right for you when you do nothing. For me, it generally means connecting completely with those around me. It means forgetting about my 'to-do list' and just being.
Let me know in the comments below, what works best to help you relax?