You might be scratching your head a bit, wondering, “How can I possibly relax at the same time as re-energizing my body?” Most activities that we take part in usually have one or the other affect, rarely both simultaneously.
But when you find the right activities and the right ways to unwind and rebalance your life, it’s possible to completely relax your mind and body and feel more energized after the fact despite the deep relaxation. Here are some of the best techniques.
Laughter really is the best medicine, especially when you’re feeling stressed out, overwhelmed and overall tired. How good does it feel to laugh when you’re having a terrible day? It makes everything else seem not quite so bad, right?
Imagine what laughter can do for your body. Not only can it help you get through tough situations by loosening up a bit, but it physically ramps up your stress response, then abruptly cools it down. Your blood pressure raises and so does your heart rate, and as a result, your body feels more relaxed.
At the same time, though, laughter gets tons of the organs of your body working all at the same time, so you’re pumping some major blood throughout your entire body every time you have a good, hearty laugh. That’ll give you some energy.
Go For A Walk
Taking a quick break from work or from your home life to go for a walk outside can make a world of difference in terms of stress and energy levels.
For starters, getting a good whiff of some fresh, outdoor air will work wonders for the lungs over the stuffy air that gets caught in offices or sometimes even homes. Take a moment to enjoy the scenery, even if you’re just walking through your office’s “neighborhood” of other office buildings – the change in scenery from a desk with a white wall behind it or even cubicle walls will instantly uplift your mood.
Take deep breaths outside and try to focus on just letting the stressful things go. Concentrate on returning to your office or your home feeling more relaxed and less stressed, and chances are, if you focus on those feelings hard enough, you will begin to experience them.
Plus, any kind of physical activity, even if it’s just a leisurely 10-minute walk, will get the endorphins pumping through your body, and endorphins naturally lift your spirits. So give your brain a break while energizing your body by just taking a quick break to get outside for a good, relaxing walk.
Going shopping when you’re stressed or feeling exhausted from a tough day or week at work doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to get a big group of girlfriends together, make a day of it and spend a ton of money that you don’t really have to spend.
Shopping can be a relaxing activity in and of itself – just pick a good, quaint place to go! Wander a local “main street” that has cute boutiques or shops, stop at a local coffee house or possibly even treat yourself to a piece of jewelry you’ve had your eye on for a while (if, of course, you have the money to do so).
Choose to go by yourself, too. The time alone will give you a chance to clear your mind and sort of get away from anything that’s troubling you. Wander in and out of stores browsing all the pretty things they have on display. Talk to the sales clerks or even the owners of the stores. Say hi to people that you pass along your way.
This can be a great combination of light physical activity (depending on how much walking you do on your shopping trip) and thoughtless wandering to give your body a perfect opportunity to relax and re-energize!
Lay in the Grass
Perhaps none of these activities already mentioned are quite enough to fully relax your mind and get your body feeling more energized – maybe you’re stuck in such a rut that you feel you need a bit more.
Give lying in the grass a try! It sounds childish, yes, but it can be so soothing to feel your body engulfed in the tall, natural grass with the sun shining down on your face. You’ll feel like a kid again.
It’ll give you a chance to lay down and simply relax. Use some yoga or meditation techniques to imagine your body as being one with the ground. Focus on feeling the earth support your body and feel the gravity pulling your body to the earth at the same time. By focusing your energy on these kinds of thoughts, you’ll open your eyes feeling relaxed and renewed.
Plus, if it’s a sunny day out, the natural rays will energize you and give you some much-needed vitamin D that our bodies so crave throughout the year. Make sure it’s a comfortable temperature out, though – otherwise the sun will have the opposite effect and will make you feel somewhat lethargic.
Watch the clouds as they pass by over your head, and even imagine some of them as shapes or pictures, like you probably did when you were a kid. Focusing on these tiny simple pleasures will leave you feeling refreshed and totally renewed.
Maya Richards is a freelance writer and avid yoga practitioner. When she stresses out, her favorite way to calm down is to buy herself a piece of the popular line of Satya jewelry – mostly yoga inspired – as wearing these pieces gives her the internal power she feels she needs to relax and re-energize her body.