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Sometimes, we all need to slow down and slip into a state of calmness after a long, busy, and hectic day. Here are some of the quickest and easiest ways to relax.
What are the Best Ways to Instantly Relax?
1) Taking Breaks
One of the best ways to instantly relax is taking that needed snack or toilet break. It can make a huge difference in your day, and it may even be just what you need to slow down and pause from the flow of tasks from school or work. When you take breaks throughout the day, your productivity goes up, you get more creative, and you think more clearly and rationally. A short period of relaxation lets our minds rest and recharge, and in turn, reduces the possibility of mental fatigue and enhances our focus upon return to our school and work tasks.
Aside from mental rest, it's also good to note that school or work breaks can give you physical benefits like less bodily tension. And while taking a break isn't necessarily a consistently relaxing activity, just a simple stretch or a short walks can help release endorphins and make your blood circulate better, which contributes significantly to physical comfort and long-term wellness.
2) Body-Focused Relaxation Techniques: Chewing Gum or Jaw Exercises
Sometimes, feeling stressed actually comes from a specific body part, like your clenched jaw. The good thing is, it can be alleviated by chewing gum or performing jaw exercises, which is one of the best ways to instantly relax. This relieves built-up tension, as it stimulates the production of endorphins, which can reduce your pain significantly and even boost your mood. When you exercise your jaw regularly can also enhance jaw mobility, reduce stiffness, and improve overall oral health.
What jaw exercises mainly do is sensory distraction, which helps you shift your focus away from any stressful thoughts and redirect it towards the tasks at hand. So if you practice gum or jaw exercises and squeeze them into your routine, your stress levels can significantly decrease and you can achieve a state of calmness and quality relaxation.
Like a holiday break from your to-dos and persistent worrisome thoughts, you can turn to meditation. Some people find themselves in the midst of chaos, with their negative thoughts and emotions pulling them in every direction and making them feel lost, confused, and frustrated. But when they meditate, they can tap into that inner calm and forget about their troubles and their hectic schedules for a while. As you sit comfortably and focus on your breath, mindfulness settles in like a warm blanket while meditating, which soothes your troubled mind.
Meditation can gently nudge away your nagging worries and stresses, as well as allow you to truly let go of sticking to a busy schedule and wanting to be preoccupied, and instead embrace a period of stillness and sit only with healthy thoughts and feelings - or not have any at all. With each deep inhale and exhale, your bodily tension can gradually decrease and your mind becomes can sink into a state of deep tranquility. So if the going gets tough, or if you just need an escape from your everyday grind and hustle, you can find solace in meditation.
4) Scalp, Facial, or Body Massage
Another one of the best ways to instantly relax are getting massages, which are possibly what most people think of when they want to wind down. Not only do massages provide you with physical benefits; it also helps reduce the effects of stress on us and promote calmness in our hectic lives through targeting certain body parts that we overuse or are overworked. Massage is mostly effective because of touching, which triggers the release of our body's natural feel-good hormones, which are also known as endorphins. This creates an immediate sense of relief and comfort in us, and when done well, massage eases our muscle tension, decreases our bodily pain, and improves our blood circulation, among a slew of other benefits.
It also helps a lot if the environment during a massage is serene, complete with soothing music and aromatic scents, to relax our mind and provide us with a soothing escape from our busy lives. Whether you choose a Swedish or Thai massage, this pampering process will leaves you feeling rejuvenated and ready to take on your tasks. But note that you don't necessarily need to go to a posh spa - you can have a good massage at home using massage tools like hair and facial massagers, or invest in a massage chair to induce relaxation when you're stressed at home.
5) Relaxing Music
Music has an unique ability to take you to a state of tranquility like nothing else can. Whenever we listen to soothing melodies and soft, relaxing vocals, it induces feelings of pleasure and contentment among the listeners. As the music envelops you, it can redirects your focus away from worrisome thoughts and make you fully present in the moment. Songs with a slow tempo and gentle rhythms tend to activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which likely triggers a calm, relaxed bodily response.
But note that music as a tool for relaxation doesn't always have to be soft and slow - as music serves as a form of self-expression and emotional release for other people, we can channel our innermost thoughts and emotions without any judgment or inhibition. Even loud music like rock, hip hop or EDM can be relaxing to some people, especially the enthusiasts of those genres.
6) Aroma Therapy: Lavender or Chamomile Essential Oils
If you're a fan of all things natural and you want an effective way to unwind after a long day, then aroma therapy can be your go-to relaxation technique. One of the best ways to instantly relax, aroma therapy can help keep you calm and promote deep relaxation especially after a hectic day. When essential oils are diffused or applied on the skin, they stimulate the olfactory system and start reactions in our brains that are for mood regulation and even stress reduction.
Lavender and chamomile oils, for example, are renowned for their calming properties that help ease anxiety and insomnia. You can invest in aromatic oils into your bath routine or also use a diffuser in your living space for your daily aroma therapy to help you relax and rejuvenate naturally. You can also use lavender and chamomile scented candles if you want a subtler scent in your living space.
If you've been watching YouTube for along time, you've probably heard of autonomous sensory meridian response, also known as ASMR. Another one of the best ways to instantly relax, it aims to trigger sensations from auditory and visual stimuli. These sounds can actually induce feelings of calmness and relaxation, like when you listen to soft ASMR whispers, tapping sounds, or even just hearing someone do everyday tasks like folding towels or brushing their hair. This also activates your parasympathetic nervous system and put you in a state of relaxation.
Lastly, audiobooks are another one of the best ways to instantly relax, especially at night. With a casually narrated story streaming through your headphones and the soothing voice of the narrator creating a calming ambience, you slip into a state of tranquility The tension in your body and mind can be eased, and you can even feel as though you're in another setting, time, or place. Audiobooks let you unwind and imagine a fantasy world while doing your everyday tasks such as encoding in spreadsheets or writing down notes.
Immersing yourself in an audiobook by closing your eyes and envisioning things can be relaxing and therapeutic, making you detach from reality temporarily, which is needed sometimes. By devoting time to listening to an audiobook, you give yourself permission to relax fully, rejuvenating your mind and finding solace in stories that provide you with warmth and comfort.
Meanwhile, other relaxation techniques include acupuncture and doing some of your favorite hobbies, like skiing, shopping, spelunking, or just taking the longer and smoother way home can do you a world of good. As long as you are put under a state of comfort, relaxation, and calmness, go ahead and do it. However, it's discouraged to engage in substance use like drinking, smoking, vaping, or taking drugs to induce relaxation, as this can develop into an addiction that would be detrimental to your overall health and wellbeing.
Relaxation Techniques and Treatment Plans at Archways Centre for CBT
A mental health clinic committed to individualized treatment plans for stress management and general therapy sessions, Archways Centre for CBT is dedicated to using evidence-based methods grounded in cognitive-behavioural therapies (CBT) to help adults, adolescents, and children improve their lives. The clinic provides virtual sessions, as well as in-person therapy sessions. For effective and quality relaxation techniques and stress-relief treatment plans, consult with our team and reach us at (519) 472-6612.