To be relaxed, you need to relax your body and your mind. For many people, stress takes the form of psychological distress, and you find that your mind is filled with distressing thoughts that prevent you from feeling relaxed and at ease. You may have a mind that races a mile a minute. You may be worrying about your job, your relationships, your financial, or simply how you are going to do all the hundred and one things on your agenda. Whatever the cause of your worry, you are clearly not going to relax until you stop – or at least slow – this mental circus.
One of the best ways to relax your mind is to relax your body. When your body relaxes, your mind slows. But there are other ways to tame unruly thoughts and a restless mind.
Five Signs Your Mind is Overly Anxious And Stressed:
Some common signs that your mind is working overtime:
- Your mind seems to be racing.
- You find controlling your thoughts difficult.
- You are worried, irritable, or upset.
- You are preoccupied more often and find concentrating more difficult.
- You find it difficult to fall asleep or to fall back asleep once awake.
The simplest way to calm your mind is to distract yourself. This may sound obvious, but you’d be surprised how often people forget this method. Psychologists know that concentrating on two things at the same time is very hard. Therefore, if your mind is flooded with distressing thoughts, change tacks. Find something else to think about. Here are a few pleasant diversions to consider:
- Watch some television
- Go to a movie
- Read a book, newspaper, or magazine
- Talk to a friend
- Work or play on your computer
- Play a sport
- Immerse yourself on some project or hobby
- Listen to some favorite music, sing along
- Think of something you are looking forward to
If you are able to replace a stress-producing thought or image with one that is relaxing, you’ll feel much better. Try this:
- Find a place where you won’t be disturbed for a few minutes and get comfortable, either sitting in a favorite chair or lying down.
- Think of an image – a place, scene, or memory – that relaxes you. Use all your senses to bring that imagined scene to life. What do you see? What can you hear? What can you smell? What can you feel?
- Let yourself become completely immersed in your image, allowing it to relax you completely.
Can’t think of a relaxing image? Try taking a mini-mental vacation:
- The Caribbean: Imagine yourself on the beach of a Caribbean island. The weather is perfect. You’re lying on the cool sand and you feel a warm breeze. You can hear the ocean lapping on the shore and a tropical bird singing in the palms. You are sipping a daiquiri and can smell your coconut suntan lotion. Your mind is completely at peace.
- The Pool: You’re lying on a large inflatable raft, floating in a beautiful swimming pool. The sky is deep blue, the sun is warming your body. The raft is rocking gently. You are very content and could lie here forever.
- Winter Wonderland: You’re in small cabin in Vermont or Austria or Vancouver, etc. You’re snowed in, but that’s perfect because you don’t have to be anywhere and no one needs to contact you. Also, you are with your favorite person and you’re both lying in front of a crackling fire. There’s music playing and you’re sipping warm drinks.
- Memories: Picture a memory, perhaps one from childhood, or a more recent one that you find particularly happy and satisfying. It could be a past vacation, a birthday party, or playing with your old dog Buster.
None of these work for you? Find your own personal relaxation image. You could try one of these:
- Soaking in a hot bath, with soft music and candlelight
- Walking in a quiet forest, with birds chirping and leaves rustling
- Lying under a tree in the park, with warm breezes and birds chirping
- In your most comfortable chair, with a great book and a beverage
What you see and hear generally dominates your imagination. But don’t forget to add in the good old senses of touch and smell. By adding sensual dimensions you can enrich your images and make them more involving.
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