Posted on December 24, 2013 by Alexander Dolin
For some people, the prospect of taking medication to reduce stress just doesn’t seem right. They want a more holistic, from the inside-out solution. Today I am going to offer 10 alternative relaxation techniques you may not have heard of before:
1. Throw your negative thoughts into the trash (literally)
Write them onto a piece of paper and then throwing it away. Better yet, write your anxieties on a paper airplane and have fun tossing them in the trash!
2. Imagine a happy world
Use your imagination to imagine a world that is different, one where you are happier and relaxed. If you could wake up to this world, what would that look like? Journal this. This is your peaceful place.
3. Stop buying possessions, start buying experiences
Spend quality time with those that you love. These earthly possessions do not last anyway!
4. Give/Help people
Volunteer, pay for the person behind you at a store, cook a surprise meal for someone, or give someone a gift outside of Christmas or their birthday. Doing kind acts/helping people, helps you feel better.
5. Train your brain like a monk
Do yoga or some form of mind training. Spend time in meditation. Slow down and learn to relax your body. Do a meditation.
The age of multitasking is wearing thin on our minds. And science is showing that multitasking does not work as well as we first imagined it would. Did you know that being distracted makes you unhappy? There is a powerful direct connection between focus and happiness. It makes sense though, because to focus is to live in the present moment, which cuts out worry, guilt, and other past regrets or future concerns.
7. Accept life difficulties as a challenge for growth
Accept life difficulties as a challenge for growth and gain instead of seeing it as an impossible negative situation. This theory works with clients and scientific research is beginning to back these experiences. A negative mind leads to a negative outlook, which often leads to a negative outcome. This is a self-fulfilling prophecy.
8. Try the simple breathing technique called belly breathing
Take a long breath of air in (long enough to count to, at least, 6). Make sure it is not a shallow breath, watch your belly (not just lungs) fill with air. Then on the release, go slow. You should be able to count to 6 again and see your belly slowly go back into your body as the air releases. Do this 3 or 4 times. You might start to feel sleepy. This is scientifically proven to lower blood pressure, lower anxiety and help you to focus on your task at hand.
9. Smile more
Yes it sounds strange, but it is true. Smiling, with real smiles that include your eye socket (not just your mouth), is also proving to increase psychological health. This is the “fake it until you make it” attitude. even if you are not feeling it, a smile will help you and other people around you.
10. Be Thankful for what you have
Be grateful and appreciative to everyone that treats you kindly. Tell people how grateful you are and journal every night about all of your blessings and thank God for them!
Share any additional alternative relaxation techniques that have worked for you in the comments below.
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