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10 Ways to Relax…and Why Relaxation is Vital to Your Recovery

In the busy world we live in, relaxation has never been so vital. Not only is it essential for maintaining our sanity as we spin around in this craziness that we call life, but it is especially crucial to your recovery. Relaxation has been proven to relieve stress, improve focus, relieve muscle tension, elevate mood, slow heart rate and blood pressure, reduce anxiety, increase confidence, and enhance immune system function. As if these benefits aren’t enough, relaxation minimizes the risk of relapse, reduces negative feelings like anger and frustration, and aids in restful sleep. Relaxation is wonderful for both your mind and your body. When you are ready to relax, check out these ten tips for helping you enjoy some much-deserved relaxation!

  1. Meditate. This may not come as a surprise, but mediation can provide a way to mentally “reset” yourself. It offers you some alone time and opens a window to your insightful self.
  2. Consider guided imagery.  Guided imagery is when you close your eyes and walk yourself through a specific scenario. This can be done in very brief sessions or much longer if you prefer. Be very descriptive, use your mind’s eye to see things and to engage all of your senses in the process. The more you can feel yourself in the picture you are drawing, the more relaxing the experience will be for you.
  3. Practice Tai Chi. Tai Chi is very similar to yoga, but it is filled with movement. Focus on slow, controlled, deliberate movements. You will feel your muscles strengthening and elongating, and your breathing will become slow and steady.
  4. Drip cold water on your wrists. This may sound strange, but this technique centers all of your senses on the cold sensation of the water on your skin. It draws all of your body’s attention to the contact of the water and entirely focuses your body.
  5. Give yourself a hand massage. You may not have time for a professional massage, but giving yourself, a hand massage is surprisingly effective in relaxing the mind and body. The rhythmic movements and the stimulation of blood flow in your hands soothes your body from head to toe.
  6. Brush your hair. The feeling of the bristles on your scalp and the gentle tug on your hair combined with the repetitive motions bring about feelings of relaxation.
  7. Acupressure. Our bodies are made up of hundreds of pressure points which are like windows into our nervous system. Press on these spots firmly, and your body will reset.
  8. Sip green tea. The warmth of the tea on your tongue and the sweet smell will relax your body. Green tea also contains L-Theanine which has been shown to reduce anger.
  9. Squeeze a stress ball. Create a slow and relaxed rhythm to ease your tension.
  10. Soak up some sun. If weather permits and you’re feeling stressed, take a walk and get some sun. Sun is an excellent source of Vitamin D, which improves your mood.

When relaxation doesn’t seem to be enough, or you need extra support, please call Villa Tranquil at 214-799-3080 to speak with a professional that can help you on your recovery journey.