Have you ever met those people who seem constantly relaxed? They’re completely comfortable in their own skin, and no matter what their day throws at them their heart rate remains at a steady sixty beats per minute.
If you notice them, then you probably wish you could be a little more relaxed yourself. There is no great secret when it comes to how to be more relaxed, even if it feels a million miles away right now. We’re here to tell you that there are steps you can take, starting from today, to give you that ‘chilled-out’ superpower.
How to be More Relaxed
Any relaxed person will tell you that its about choosing to use your energy wisely. No one is completed unaffected by stress, but what you do with your time can greatly affect how stress affects you.
Let’s take a look at nine lifestyle hacks that can help you relax, and have you less like the time-bomb in the room and more like an enlightened bubble of calm.
- One Thing at a Time
Your brain can be your best friend and sometimes your worst enemy. In these days of smartphones and social media, our attention span faces new challenges. It’s very easy for us to find ourselves distracted almost immediately when trying to get things done.
This inevitably results in only partially completing tasks throughout the day, and so that feeling that there is still something to be done never really goes anywhere.
Instead, make an effort to do one thing at a time, and do it until it is finished. Make a list of what you need to do, switch your phone off and work through the list. The list will help you to stay focussed and you can cross off each task as you complete it.
- Build a Support Network
Feeling like you have to go at it alone can be intimidating. Knowing that someone is there for you if you need them is a de-stressor in itself. Make sure you have people you can speak to when life feels like its getting too much.
Talking through your problems can be cathartic, and a good friend might offer a new perspective on your situation. By regularly connecting with friends and family you can help make sure that your support network will be there when you need it. And be sure to be there for those people who need you. Reciprocity goes a long way!
It can be difficult to meditate if you’re stressed, but not all meditation involves sitting in silence and hoping that unwanted thoughts don’t enter your head, which they inevitably will. Meditation is really about focussing on one thing for a period of time. If that still sounds impossible then you could try walking meditation.
Take your self for a long walk somewhere quiet and try to place your attention on your steps or the noises you can hear. Or the next time you take a bath, focus on your breathing or how the water feels against your skin.
It’s about finding a focus point and staying with it. Don’t beat yourself up if you get distracted. Gradually let your attention return to where it should be. Try and make meditation part of your daily regimen.
Exercise is a great stress buster. Not only is it a great way of finding time for yourself, but the rewards from exercise don’t just stop at the body.
Exercising actually increases the production of endorphins, serotonin, and dopamine. These ‘feel-good’ chemicals affect how your body responds to stress. Why not try scheduling a couple of runs or gym sessions a week, or perhaps join a yoga class.
- Challenge Yourself
Hear us out on this! You might think you already have enough on your plate, but maybe not. It’s very easy to get bogged down in doing the same things over and over again. This kind of living can make the brain and body sedentary. And in the absence of stimulation breeds stress.
By setting yourself little challenges such as not eating a particular food or choosing to face uncomfortable situations instead of shying away from them you actually begin to teach your brain who is boss. This starts a positive feedback loop, and one of the rewards is less stress.
Massage is much more than a luxury indulgence. Of course, the very nature of taking an hour of your day just for yourself can have stress-busting properties, but there’s much more magic to be found in a massage.
Stress manifests itself as tension in the body -usually a build-up of lactic acid. A massage breaks down that tension, so in effect, it also breaks down the stress. Massage can also help increase serotonin, endorphins, and dopamine whilst reducing cortisol levels, making it great for relieving occupational stress. So make sure to sit down in the massage chairs when you can.
If your life seems forever busy and stressful there’s a large chance that you’ve chosen coffee as your faithful companion throughout the day. Well, hold off for a second!
Caffeine is a stimulant and one in particular that can make you jittery and nervous, especially if you’re already stressed. Instead of trying to power through your days on coffee try replacing it with herbal tea or just water.
- Slow Down
Remember that ‘to-do’ list? Don’t feel as if you have to get through it as fast as you can. Be sure to schedule in short breaks throughout your day in which you can stop and take your mind off the job at hand.
And don’t forget the little things in life. Make time to call your friends, pet your dog, and hug your kids. Trying to race from one job to the next will keep your stress levels elevated. Take deep breaths throughout your day and slow down.
The same brain chemicals associated with deep sleep are the ones that are responsible for reducing the production of stress hormones. Making sure you get enough good, uninterrupted sleep is paramount to helping you relax.
Wind down gently at the end of your day. Try not to use electronic devices late at night and be sure to schedule in a few cat naps now and then.
You Don’t Need to Be Stressed to Be Productive
With so many people running around the office like wild-fire its hard to not get trapped into the idea that you need to be stressed to be successful. Follow this guide on how to be more relaxed and you will find that not only does your quality of life increase, but your productivity will too.
Take a look at the rest of our site for more tips and tricks for a healthier lifestyle.