Here, I will try to cover some methods and ways in which you can relax. Whether at work or home the need to be able to relax is as vital a function as breathing itself. We can usually tell if people are stressed and tense by their body language.

Look at people (discreetly) and try and tell if he or she is suffering from tension (Ask yourself… do they need to relax?) by looking at the following areas:

  • Check the Forehead… Are their foreheads tensed? Are they frowning?
  • Check the Jaw… Are their teeth clenched?
  • Check the Shoulders… Are their shoulders hunched? This is a dead give away.
  • Check the Arms… Are their arms crossed?
  • Check the Hands… Are they fiddling with things? Are they excessively sweating?
  • Check the Legs… Are their legs crossed un-necessarily? Are they swapping over their crossed legs too often?
  • Check the Breathing… Are they breathing too rapidly or too shallow?

All these things you can observe in people every day. What about you? You could do the same observations on yourself! Check all the above plus:

  • Check your stomach… Are you getting butterflies? Do you feel tense? Are you feeling Anxious?
  • Check your Toes… Are your toes crunching and twitching without due cause?
  • Check your breathing… Is your breathing too rapid? Too shallow? Are you feeling dizzy or light-headed?

Okay we have looked at whether we are feeling tense or stressed, how do we deal with this?

How do we relax?

I use a variety of methods in which to relax. I use aromatherapy. I know what you are going to say… “Isn’t that all mumbo-jumbo?” or “Only girls use that rubbish”. Well believe me it really does work.

It is not expensive:

  • An oil burner will cost about £2.
  • The oils about £4 each.
  • The tea light candles about £1 for 10.

I use the following oils (about 4 drops of each), but they must be diluted in water if you are using a candle burner:

  • Ylang Ylang. This has the most soothing of aromas. Combined with the other two it creates an atmosphere of tranquillity.
  • Lavender. This really does help you relax and aids sleep. ‘This is a proven medical fact’.
  • Orange. This just seems to work really well with the other two. Creating a totally relaxing and soothing atmosphere in which you can really chill in!

Okay, I here all you sceptics out there slagging me off as a “namby pamby!” Well I say TRY IT!

What have you got to lose? Well maybe £15 (Some places will mix oils for you and only charge you one price! Cheaper that buying all 3 if you are only trying it for the first time) but I am sure that is not going to hurt too much?

I also use relaxing music. This just creates another layer of relaxation to try and calm you down and relax you. These can be bought in any high street music shop. The best one to buy is “the one that works for you”. I know that is not an answer, so just try a few out first (You could always get them from your local library for no cost at all).

There are other methods of relaxing as well. These are more conventional (or are they?). The best of these is the Benson’s Relaxation Method.

This takes a little practice to get it exactly right for you, after all we are all different. However, when you have mastered it, this will probably be the one method you will come to rely on the most, returning to it time after time.

Benson’s relaxation method

  1. Find somewhere quiet where you will not be distracted. Either lie down or sit in a comfortable, supportive chair.
  2. Take a few moments to get yourself as comfortable as you can. Let your body go loose and heavy and let the chair, bed or floor support the weight of your body completely.
  3. Close your eyes. Breathe easily and normally, don’t force your breathing. Concentrate on your breathing for a few moments.
  4. Think of one word that you associate with being relaxed. the word may be something like “calm”, “peace” , “sunshine” or even “relax” itself. It doesn’t matter which word you choose as long as it is the one word that helps you to relax.
  5. Say your word to yourself each time that you breathe out. So breathe in, breathe out and say the word in your mind, breathe in, breathe out and say the word in your mind etc.
  6. Let yourself relax like this for about 10-15 minutes.
  7. When you have finished relaxing allow yourself to become alert slowly, never jump up too quickly during or after a relaxation session.

Useful tips

  1. Never practice relaxation just after a heavy meal, otherwise you might get indigestion. Leave about an hour in between eating and relaxing.
  2. Allow plenty of time and use a quiet room where you are unlikely to be disturbed.
  3. Try not to fall asleep when you are practising your relaxation.
  4. Allow yourself to come to slowly after relaxing, don’t jump up suddenly to answer the phone or doorbell, give yourself time.
  5. Don’t carry out Benson’s relaxation for too long, 10-15 minutes is sufficient.
  6. Practice your relaxation at least once a day, since it is only through practice that you will learn to relax.

There are other ways of relaxing as well please click on the links below for more information.

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