Are you overwhelmed by worries? Do you feel you need to rest but can’t manage to find a way to do it? Do anxious thoughts invade your mind and you can’t focus on what’s really important? In this article, we will tell you how to relax your mind, what are its benefits and how to achieve it in different situations.
What is mind relaxation?
Job stress overwhelms us, we have an endless number of commitments that require our attention, we push ourselves to reach our goals, we are submerged by traffic jams, and even by our own thoughts, etc. However, what do we do when we get home? Do you disconnect and relax? Most likely you are still worrying about everything.
Mind relaxation is based on keeping calm and maintaining a mental balance which will allow us to have an internal sense of peace and quiet.
Mental relaxation does not only affect us emotionally, cognitive and behaviorally. It also has several physiological benefits.
10 benefits of relaxing your mind
- Improves mental and physical health.
- Decreases heart rate.
- Reduces metabolic oxygen consumption.
- Relaxes the muscles.
- It fights insomnia.
- Reduces stress and anxiety.
- Helps to avoid fatigue.
- Improves your mood.
- Increases productivity.
- Encourages creative thinking.
There are different scenarios where a little mind relaxation is essential or needed. Regardless of whether you intend to rest or prepare yourself for a challenge, here are 20 effective tips on how to relax your mind.
1.Trust that it is possible to relax your mind
Sometimes we think that by taking a vacation or going to the beach or a spa we will actually relax. However, most of the time we end up feeling stressed in these places as well. Your attitude is the key to success.
We have to be convinced that it is possible to relax your mind. If we have a negative attitude towards relaxation techniques from the very beginning, it will be difficult for us to advance and achieve our purpose.
2. Remember, relaxing your mind isn’t so easy.
Our restless mind won’t stop just because we want it to. It’s more about willpower and practice. During the process of relaxing the mind there will be certain discomfort and we won’t always achieve our goal on our first attempt. However, we will progress if we work with perseverance.
3. Take care of your health
When was the last time you took a quiet walk in the woods? Maintaining healthy habits such as getting away from the city from time to time or spending time with our loved ones are important in discovering how to relax your mind. To enjoy the full benefits of relaxation, mind and body must be in harmony.
Exercising goes hand in hand with relaxation techniques. A sedentary lifestyle makes it difficult for us to sleep and diminishes our self-esteem. It also increases the risk of developing numerous diseases. Swimming or running can get you clear your mind and keep yourself in good shape.
5. Avoid or stop multitasking
Stop and think for a moment how many things are you doing at once right now? Are you reading this article whilst doing something else? Do you have several tabs open at once?
You may think that this is normal and that you are able to do several tasks at once. Fortunately, we can keep an eye on various activities and are efficient in some cases. However, this habit lowers our productivity, leads us to make more mistakes, fragments our attention, and exhausts us mentally.
It is difficult to concentrate on a single issue when we feel pressured to respond to an immensity of stimuli at the same time. However, we can gradually stop multitasking and engage tasks one by one in our daily lives. Try making a list of the things you need to do and prioritize with numbers so you will know where to start.
6. Paint mandalas
Mandalas are complex representations of the universe from India. They are used in Buddhism and Hinduism, although they have also gained wide acceptance in Western culture. Coloring these images makes it possible for us to disconnect and focus all our attention on their intricate patterns and spaces.
7. Pick a time of day to relax
If you find it hard to get into the habit of spending a few minutes a day relaxing, you can set a schedule so that you don’t forget and plan your day better. For example, a good time may be before bedtime or during a regular break at work.
8. Tidy your space
Keeping calm in chaotic, noisy and suffocating places is extraordinarily difficult. On the other hand, if we have a small “sanctuary” that allows us to feel at ease and avoid unnecessary distractions, we will achieve mind relaxation easily.
For example, you can assign a small corner of your room to relaxing moments. At work, you can try arranging the things you can in your office so that it gives you a sense of inner peace.
9. Use color psychology
The colors that surround us have more repercussions in our emotions than we believe. Imagine for a few moments that you find yourself in a room with red walls, just like every object or piece of furniture you see in this space.Now visualize yourself in another room where everything is white. Which room gives you more peace?
If you need to know how to relax your mind at work and/or at home, try adding color elements that suggest peace and harmony. Small details like these can make a big difference and give you more peace of mind.
10. Keep your cell phone away from you
We constantly check our phone to see if someone has written (even if it is the tenth time in half an hour). We tend to not focus on the task at hand but instead increase our attention towards our phones. Do these situations sound familiar?
Nomophobia (no-mobile-phone phobia) or the anxiety we feel when we are without our smartphone is becoming more and more common. It’s hard to separate from your cell phone when we’re expecting an important call. However, if you really want to relax, you need to be away from your phone or have it silenced. In addition, it is advisable to place it away from us to avoid temptations.
11. Make yourself comfortable
Sometimes we don’t give enough importance to small details that make it difficult for us to rest peacefully. Perhaps they are obvious, but elements such as a watch ticking, uncomfortable shoes or thirst can distract us from our objective.
If we want to relax our minds, it is essential that we find a comfortable place, wear comfortable clothes and make sure that nothing and no one can disturb us. We will not always have everything under our control and our ability to relax depends more on ourselves than on the environment. Even so, it is preferable that we try (especially at the beginning) to have everything in our favor in order to find the minimum number of obstacles possible.
If we are not used to relaxing and we try it in other conditions we might not succeed. This might make us attribute the lack of success to our inability, however many factors are at play. Keep in mind that to succeed, we need perseverance to acquire relaxing as a habit.
12. Listen to soothing music
Select a playlist that conveys peace, and keep in mind it’s not enough to just put songs in the background while you’re doing other things. We recommend you lay down or get into a comfortable position and try to pay full attention to what you are hearing.
13. Try Jacobson’s progressive relaxation
This physiological technique is based on gradually relaxing the whole body and eliminating tensions. However, it also allows for deep mind relaxation and its effects are long-lasting.
Regularly practicing this procedure has benefits such as reducing anxiety and insomnia.
14. Employ visualization techniques
Close your eyes and think of a scenario that conveys peace to you. Whether you want to imagine a deserted island or the mountains. The important thing is that it evokes a deep sense of calm. Imagine yourself there and think about what you are listening to, how the environment smells, what is the texture of the elements around you, etc.
You can walk around this place and explore it with all your senses. Try to make this experience as vivid as possible. After a few minutes, when you have travelled all over the landscape and believe that your journey can end, try to gradually return to reality.
If we want to know how to relax the mind before an important event such as an exam or a sports match, a very useful option is to perform this procedure and visualize ourselves in detail in these situations. It will relax us to think about ourselves, step by step reaching our goals until we hold a trophy or emerge victorious from the class.
15. Perform breathing exercises
How to relax your mind before bedtime? Sometimes, our daily stress seems to pounce on us when we go to bed. This prevents us from not getting a restorative sleep which makes it difficult for us to have a clear mind the next day and in turn creating a vicious circle.
There are various training activities that make it easier for us to control our breathing voluntarily in order to reduce respiratory disorders and also to increase our mental well-being. These procedures are considerably effective in promoting a pleasant rest, but they can also help us to relax before studying or simply to clear our mind.
For example, sit quietly, place your hands on your abdomen, establish a type of diaphragmatic breathing, fill the lower part of your lungs first, then the middle and then the upper part. Breathe out the air in the same order and concentrate only on how it enters and exits your body slowly for a few minutes.
16. Repeat mentally relaxing sentences
“I am calm”, ” I am relaxed “or “I am calming down”are examples of phrases that we can say over and over again as we try to relax. This way we will make it easier for our attention to focus on these thoughts and not on other distractions.
This is a fantastic option if we want a solution to how to relax before a situation that worries us such as a presentation that we have to give to a demanding audience.
17. Practice mindfulness
Mindfulness comes from Buddhism, it is based on attention or full consciousness. It consists of accepting the present moment without judging it. It helps us to self-observe and enjoy ourselves every moment while it develops our patience. It frees us from the thoughts we consider negative and it diminishes the emotions that hurt us. In addition, it has been shown to be effective in treating problems such as anxiety disorders, depression, or stress.
18. Don’t judge your thoughts
Throughout the process of relaxation, several thoughts arise, many of them might not be nice. For example, we might think “this is not going to work”,”I think I lost my keys, I’m a messy disaster” or “this morning I was rude to my brother”. In addition, we will probably scold ourselves and increase our discomfort.
It is logical that other (pleasant and unpleasant) ideas come to our minds as we try to relax. We simply have to continue our activity and try not to fight them. A very useful technique to achieve this is to imagine that our thoughts are moving away from us. You can watch them march in front of usand how they walk away from you little by little.
19. Express your emotions
It is advisable to try to externalize your concerns and feelings. For example, if you are unable to relax because you are afraid of not being accepted by someone important to you, or if you can’t stop reviewing that discussion with your boss, you can seek support from a loved one or write your thoughts on paper. This way you’ll be able to get your ideas straightened out and feel unburdened.
20. Hold back stressful thoughts
If you have any thoughts that give you anxiety and don’t let you concentrate on relaxing, try to postpone then for half an hour. This will ease your discomfort and will also allow you to gain more control over your thoughts.
Remember that to reach full mind relaxation your body and mind need to feel connected and persevere in the techniques explained above. Live the present and relax, refresh and recharge.