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Simple Relaxation Techniques I’m Using This Year

My Journey to Calm

As a mom of two, a content creator, an entrepreneur, and a full-time social media manager, life often feels like a juggling act performed on a tightrope. The balls I keep in the air – family, work, personal health – sometimes seem like they’re one gust of wind away from plummeting. That’s why I’ve turned to simple relaxation techniques. Not just as a lifeline, but as a daily practice to help keep my feet grounded. Stability and strength are everything to my inner peace. Here’s a journey into how these techniques have become powerful tools amid chaos.

Breathe Easy

Let’s start with deep breathing. Did you know that practicing deep breathing for just 6 weeks can significantly reduce cortisol levels, the stress hormone, in your body? A study from the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that participants practicing deep breathing experienced a notable decrease in cortisol, highlighting its effectiveness in combating stress (JACM, 2017). So, when you breathe deeply, you’re not just inhaling air; you’re exhaling stress and inviting tranquility. To help with my deep breathing, I use the Insight Timer App guided breath work tool.

The Magic of Music and Sounds

Music and sounds have a profound effect on the human psyche. Nature sounds and classical music have been said to significantly reduce heart rate, cortisol levels, and perceived stress. When I listen to these sounds, I’m not just hearing music; I’m orchestrating a symphony of serenity in my mind. It’s incredible how pausing my busyness for 5-10 minutes to listen to calming, meditative music, can change how I feel.

The Art of Mindfulness

Mindfulness might seem like a buzzword, but it’s backed by science. According to a report in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, mindfulness meditation can lead to a 31% reduction in symptoms of anxiety and a 23% decrease in symptoms of depression (JCP, 2019). When I’m mindful, whether I’m savoring a meal or feeling the grass under my feet, I’m not just in the moment; I’m actively healing and fortifying my mind.

Visualize Calm

Visualization isn’t just a relaxation technique; it’s a tool for mental transformation. Visualization can enhance mood, decrease stress, and even improve physical ailments like high blood pressure and headaches. When I close my eyes and picture my haven, I’m doing more than daydreaming; I’m crafting a mental refuge that my body responds to as if it’s real.

Unplug to Recharge

In our always-on digital world, a tech detox isn’t a luxury; it’s a necessity. A study from the University of Pennsylvania found that limiting social media usage to 30 minutes a day led to significant reductions in loneliness and depression (UPenn, 2018). For me, those tech-free moments are not about what I’m missing online but what I’m rediscovering within myself. As a social media manager and content creator, I have to set limits on the time I spend on social media and practice balance or else it can have a negative effect on my overall well being.

Move Gently

Gentle movements are a cornerstone of my relaxation regime. According to Harvard Health Publishing, just 10-15 minutes of daily yoga can significantly increase your overall well-being and decrease stress (Harvard Health, 2019). Every stretch and pose isn’t just moving my body; it’s teaching my mind and muscles to release the day’s tensions. I do a basic evening routine using 5-10 poses that I feel comfortable with. Sometimes, I follow a YouTube guided video which is almost like having an instructor right there beside you!

One Step at A Time

As a professional and mom, finding time for relaxation isn’t just about carving out moments of peace; it’s about ensuring I can keep all those balls in the air with grace and strength. The statistics and data aren’t just numbers; they’re testaments to the power of taking a pause. These techniques aren’t just activities; they’re my daily rituals that empower me to face each day with a calm mind and a resilient spirit. It’s not always easy, and I don’t always achieve my zen – believe me. But, I’d rather use these tools and incorporate them in my day to take small steps towards maintaining my peace and balance, than none at all.

Let me know in the comments how you are finding your calm this year!

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Emily Smith
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