The power of relaxation

A spa day or a trip to your local massage therapist is a great way to get that lovely, relaxed feeling we all crave. With our busy lifestyles and never-ending to-do lists it can sometimes feel as if relaxation is some kind of unattainable goal, but there are plenty of ways that you can relax and step away from stress without having to go too far or spend too much.

Breathe Deeply

Have you tried breathing lately? Silly question but although we all do it, day in and day out, we don’t always recognise the healing properties of breath work. Just stop as you’re reading this, and take a long, deep breath to the count of 10. Stop, and exhale SLOWLY. The act of concentrating on your breathing slows everything down, and if you do this for just a few minutes you’ll be mastering a very basic meditation technique.

Meditate on Life

Talking of meditation, if you thought that it was all about Buddhist temples, incense and hours of silent contemplation, you’d be wrong. You can start a meditative practice by just being mindful – being aware

of your surroundings, even your body. One good meditation if you have time is to focus on a part of your body at a time; for example, how do your toes feel right now? Relaxed or tense? Warm, cold? Are they enclosed in footwear or bare? Work your way along your body, breathing slowly in and out as you go.

Take it further by using one of the many free visualisation and meditation downloads available and spend a few minutes focussing on YOU.

Get a Massage

Massage and the power of touch are incredibly relaxing. Our bodies crave touch and human contact, or even contact with a pet. If you don’t have a pet or a pet human to give you a soothing back rub or relax your shoulders when you feel stressed out, opt for a quick massage in a spa or with a private practice professional. You should never have to go without a massage when you need one, so go find yourself a great massage therapist and relax with the touch of their healing hands.

Get Outside

If you work indoors, chances are that you may skip lunch and don’t get outside anywhere near nature for most of your working day? The outdoors is a natural relaxant and getting some green space is a sure- fire way to calm down any stressful feelings. If you live or work near a park, beach or river, get yourself down there as often as possible and breathe in that fresh air. Beaches are especially good for calming and de-stressing, plus the sound of the waves and effects of the negative ions in the air and in the sand really have a positive effect on many people.

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