During times of stress, having a few relaxation techniques at the ready can help keep you grounded. It’s difficult when we are constantly bombarded with information, and facts seem to be changing every other minute. We’re dealing with unexpected issues like suddenly working from home, keeping kids occupied, and basically, rearranging our lives.
Turning off the news, even for a night or an hour, can help, and simply walking outside can calm the mind. But what do you do when you can’t go outside or can’t leave the kids alone? Try one of these relaxation techniques that you can do indoors. Watch the video below and then keep reading for more information.
Make Your Self-Care and Relaxation a Priority
With constant news about the state of the world, it’s hard to create a balance between being informed and letting go. Making relaxation a regular part of your self-care can help you get through just about anything. And when you can’t leave the house, for whatever reason, here are some relaxation techniques you can do inside.
Mindfulness is defined as paying attention in the present without judgment. This means carefully paying attention to our feelings and senses without judging them. Based on the principle of mindfulness, the practice has two parts: awareness and acceptance. During mindfulness meditation, you bring your attention to your breath and let whatever comes up in the moment come up. Then you let it go.
This meditation technique has become increasingly popular in the past few years. Research has shown it to be successful in reducing stress, anxiety, and depression. Try this soundtrack for your mindfulness mediation.
Deep Breathing Exercises
Breathing through stressful situations is a powerful way to relax the body and calm the mind. Even just a few minutes of breathing exercises can bring you calmness in the moment that can last for hours. When you begin, you may find yourself returning to your natural rhythm. Bring your attention to the timing of each inhalation and exhalation.
To start, try one of these breathing techniques proven to ease stress, and once you feel comfortable with breathing practices, try a breath counting technique such as 4-7-8 breathing.
Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR)
When you have more time, try Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR). You’ll need a relaxing space with no distractions, so either before the family is up and about or after you’ve put the kids to bed is ideal. Or, if you are working from home, take some time on your lunch break.
The technique is just what it sounds like. You tense and relax groups of muscles in your body, one at a time, starting at the feet and working your way up. The technique really helps develop body awareness and teaches you to recognize how your muscles feel when they are tense and how to release that tension. Once you know this, you will have an increased awareness of the tension that occurs when you are stressed and can then release that tension and create a feeling of relaxation.
Practicing PMR regularly can create a feeling of relaxation that lasts longer than the 5-10 minutes it takes to do the exercise. The technique can take some practice to truly master, so try practicing it a few times a week to get familiar with it.
Visualization / Guided Imagery
This method uses the power of your mind to bring forth positive emotions. It entails imaging a relaxing scene in minute detail. For example, if you find the ocean or beach relaxing, you make a picture of that in your mind. But not just any beach. Be specific. Your favorite beach from a vacation in Hawaii or some faraway land. Or even what you think that would look like. All the details: the color of the ocean and sky, the sound of the waves, the feeling of the breeze on your skin.
It may sound too simple or a little silly, but believe it or not, it works. Here’s an example you can try. Bring to mind your favorite food. Close your eyes, and really think about it. Picture it sitting right in front of you. Image the aroma wafting up to you. Think about the mouthfeel and taste. Really focus on it. Picture it as if it’s real.
You’ve probably begun to crave that food, and your mouth might even be watering. This demonstrates the strong connection between our thoughts and their effect on our bodies. Visualization / guided imagery takes advantage of how our minds work and uses it to influence our emotional state.
A Note from GR8NESS
GR8NESS is not a substitute for seeking medical care, and we are not doctors or medical experts. The information on this site is not meant to diagnose, treat, or cure any mental health issues.
GR8NESS is a source of information that you can use as a starting point for a conversation about your feelings of stress anxiety with your doctor. Do not start, stop, or change your course of treatment without speaking with your doctor.