If holiday stress or anxiety are getting the best of you, take a moment and try these simple relaxation techniques.
Close Your Eyes – Start by breathing calmly. Breathe in slow and deep with your eyes closed, using your entire diaphragm. You want to fill your stomach first and your chest second, and you want to breath slowly both in and out. At the peak of your breath (when you have filled up your lungs), hold for a few seconds before you exhale. Breathe in through your nose and breathe out through pursed lips, almost like you’re whistling. It’s a good idea to practice this type of breathing for a while to get used to it before moving onward. Once you feel your breathing is under control, move forward.
Count Backwards – Slowly count backwards from five to one. You can do this in your mind, or you can do this out loud. Start over every time you reach one. Remember, slow, measured breathing is important. If you count slowly, you’ll be able to breathe at a better pace. Repeat this until you feel your mind focus less on your stressful thoughts or situation.
Start Positive Affirmations – Now that you’re in a relaxing place, start giving yourself positive affirmations or suggestions. These are often the part that feels the most awkward to those new to the technique. But the goal is to make sure that you’re thinking about and listening to positive things. It distracts your mind from the negative and provides you with something happy that you can focus on. Examples of these positive suggestions include:
- I feel calm and serene.
- I am having a good day.
- I am a great person.
- I have and will have a pleasant attitude.
- I love my life.