How do you relax?

I get surprised how many times I am asked that question and I think it is a good topic of conversation.  How do you relax? 

This is easier for some than others.  I have a few tips here on how to relax and while some of these tips won’t work for you, some will.  Take a look and see what is appealing and then give one or two a try without judgement or expectation. 
1. Breathe – take a deep breath in, hold for a couple of seconds and let the air out very slowly.  Imagine that you are breathing in energy and breathing out tension.  Repeat a couple of times.

2. Tense and relax your muscles – even of only a little bit.  You can make a fist, hold, then relax. Repeat a couple of times and take note of the sensation of relaxation.

3. Shrug your shoulders. hold for a few seconds then relax.  Repeat a few times. 
4. Sit with your feet on the floor, hands resting by your sides or on your lap.  Close your eyes and breathe in and say to yourself: I am….. breathe out and say to yourself: relaxed.  Repeat this 5 times. Continue at your own speed, breathing in and out with mindful relaxation. 

5. Imagine yourself in a place where you have felt pleasure and comfort.  Recapture the positive feelings you had then and keep them in your mind.  

Try some of these techniques after you have exercised – such as having gone for a walk. Exercise reduces levels of the body’s stress hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol. It also stimulates the production of endorphins, chemicals in the brain that are the body’s natural painkillers and mood elevators.