This is the stuff of the familiar good life: unwinding at each day’s end with a sexy craft brew and the newest Netflix original.
Who doesn’t love orange jumpsuits, royal protocol, fly-on-the-wall White House drama, and extra hops?
The forefathers might approve, but your beer-charmed brain yearns for life, liberty, and the pursuit of new relaxation techniques.
I’ve got the authoritative suggestions for easy ways you can combat stress, decompress, wind down, and lean back without overdosing on the newest season of this or that.
1. Express Gratitude
Feeling and expressing gratitude has demonstrable uplifting effects and benefits on your psyche and your life, reports Psychology Today.
Citing a plethora of research and studies, Psychology Today states that gratitude
- Increases your mental strength
- Improves your self-esteem
- Helps you sleep better
- Reduces your aggression
- Enhances your empathy
- Boosts your physical health
- Opens the door to new relationships
Even today, researchers don’t know exactly how gratitude engenders all of its advantages, but countless studies demonstrate a clear link between individuals who practice gratitude and the above benefits.
How do you practice gratitude?
Say thank you repeatedly. Take time to count your blessings. Jot down a few lines daily in a gratitude journal.
Similarly, the Mayo Clinic asserts that positive thinking effectively minimizes your stress levels. Positive thinking begins with self-talk, so make a conscious decision to speak positively to yourself, about yourself, and about others from moment to moment.
2. Go Green… With Tea
Sip some green tea while sitting on your porch or in a comfortable room in your house. Green tea has a ton of antioxidants that increase your immune function.
Green tea is an adaptogen, a substance that helps your body adapt to stress, and it also contains L-theanine, an amino acid that promotes relaxation and peacefulness.
3. Focus on Five Sounds
Focus on five sounds, such as
- Passing cars
- Opening and closing doors
- Artificial horns or klaxons
- Chirping birds
This exercise teaches a form of active listening that puts you in closer touch with your environment. Choosing the sounds to focus on and waiting for them to manifest helps you to relax and develop a deeper awareness of the melody that surrounds you.
It also focuses your mind on more pleasant, transient matters.
4. Take Notice of Five Objects Near You
Similar to the act of focusing on five sounds, taking notice of five objects near you transports your attention away from oppressive thoughts. When focusing on the objects near you, acknowledge their relevant details, such as
In James Clavell’s 1975 novel Shogun, several samurai engage in the act of watching rocks grow. Same deal.
5. Inventory the Smells of Your Home
When was the last time you really smelled your home? Maybe it’s time. Tour your home, and smell with zeal and effort.
Smell flowers and plants, fruit, food — whatever you like. Using your senses with passion pushes regret and worry to the back of your mind. Anecdotal and empirical evidence suggest this pays incredible dividends over time.
6. Reflect on the Mindfulness Exercises You’ve Done
It sounds counterproductive: Give some thought to your thoughts. Indeed, mindfulness is rather meta, except that it’s devoid of judgment.
When thinking about your mindfulness exercises and thoughts, reflect on noticeable or subtle benefits you received from your exercises — any physical changes, emotions, or improvements.
These periods of reflection enable you to better assess when you feel more or less angry, depressed, or stressed in the future, which increases your mindfulness.
7. Supplement Wisely
If drinking green tea to obtain L-theanine isn’t your cup, try L-theanine in a capsule form. You can wash it down with your favourite brew (after you observe five objects and focus on five sounds).
Omega fatty acids, GABA, passionflower, and valerian roots are some supplements known to reduce anxiety and promote relaxation.
Phenibut, a popular anti-anxiety supplement, is yet another. Phenibut is an effective way to relax quickly.
It’s also considered to be one of the most effective nootropics, or cognitive enhancers, according to a recent survey. It lowers your stress and inhibitions, making you much more sociable without impairing your sense of judgment or your ability to think critically. Some people even experience mild euphoria.
While the idea of supplementation is controversial to some folks, there’s no denying that some over-the-counter herbs and vitamins have real, tangible benefits to our physical and mental well-being.
8. Treat Yourself to Creative Visualization
Creative visualization is fancy, on-trend lingo for “adult daydreaming.” Don’t limit yourself, and creatively visualize whatever you want when you’re
- Working toward a goal
- Faced with a challenge
- Sinking into a nihilistic Freudian void of pizza and binge streaming
Picture yourself with the body of your dreams, in your ultimate career, doing good in the world, etc. Maybe your visuals are simpler? A sedate, pristine beach.
A loving companion. A private seashore concert by the Boss and the E Street Band.
9. Give Yourself a Foot Massage
Rolling your foot over a golf ball or tennis ball relieves foot pain and uncomfortable tightness in the legs built up during exercise or long days at the office.
10. Breathe and Count Sheep… or Anything
Still your mind and follow your breath. This is the basis of all meditation and yoga, regardless of the school, path, or practice.
Take deep, slow breaths to lower your blood pressure and heart rate. Zero in and pay exclusive attention to your breath, clearing your mind and relaxing completely, steadily.
Count back from 10, 100 or 1,000 — whatever it takes. This is a basic, accessible relaxation technique that diverts your attention away from unpleasantness.
A certain level of difficulty improves the efficacy of this exercise. If it gets too easy, maybe try counting backwards using prime numbers or odd numbers only.
Explore all the ways that you can relax, including breathing, counting, and supplements.
Tear yourself away from your screen for a moment, and enjoy the unparalleled freedom of truer, deeper peace that accompanies you wherever you go.
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