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The biggest barrier most people face when it comes to relaxing is their mindset about what ‘relaxation’ really is.” – Lisa Kaplin, psychologist and women empowerment coach.

There’s no doubt that in today’s modern society, our lifestyles can be extremely demanding. Finding time for ourselves, juggling between work, family, and other responsibilities, can be challenging. As such, we tend to get stressed and accept that it has become a norm. However, excessive stress can result in poor performance at work or even at school, as well as resulting in regular headaches and soreness throughout the body, leading to stress-related illness. Hence, we need to find time to relax and unwind. Relaxing can keep you healthy, in both body and mind. If you can find five minutes of your day for yourself, you can easily slip in simple relaxation activities.

Here are some easy ways to do just that:

  • Take a deep breath and relax. Breathing exercises are one of the most basic relaxation methods, which can immediately calm your body and mind. Place one hand on your belly and sit or lie down on your bed or the floor. Inhale slowly to a count of three, then exhale slowly to the same count. Repeat five times, or as many times as necessary to help yourself feel at ease.
  • Release physical tension. Stress is a feeling of emotional or physical tension. Firstly, lay down on your bed, a carpet or a yoga mat. Focus and tense up one part of your body at a time, then gently release the muscles. As you do this, you will notice how your body sensations change. Many people start with the muscles in their face and then work their way through the muscles across their body. Even a short yoga session will help relax your body and mind. Simple activities such as soaking in a warm bath or listening to soothing music after a long day can also help with this process.
  • Pen down your thoughts. Getting things off your mind by writing them down may help you keep your mind at ease. Take a few minutes off when you’re stressed to list down some quick notes about how you’re feeling or how your day is going. You may write it down in your notebook or on a note app on your smartphone. Besides, making a list of what you’re grateful for can also help you feel more relaxed. According to experts, when you’re stressed, you tend to focus on the negative parts of life rather than the positive. Which is why, writing them down may help with this process.
  • Connect with nature. When you’re feeling overwhelmed, spend just a few minutes outdoors and in nature or go for a short stroll, as that can help you relax and clear your head. But you don’t necessarily need to be in nature to feel its stress-reducing effects. Scientists have found that, by simply looking at photographs or images of nature for as brief as five minutes can have a similar, calming effect on the brain.

To conclude, relaxation is important for everyone’s wellbeing. The negative mental and physical impacts of stress that we all encounter on a daily basis can be overcome by relaxation. Children who are encouraged to engage in relaxing activities are more focused than children who are stressed. This will also be beneficial in school as they tend to be more cooperative and have less to no social and behavioural problems. By learning to relax, you can always take control of your stress. When stressed, try a simple relaxation technique, like deep breathing. By doing so on a daily basis, it can help with the stress management.