Chill, It's National Relaxation Day!
August 15th marks National Relaxation Day! In the very fast-paced society that we live in, stress is common (and normal in small doses), but no matter how much of a workaholic you are, everyone needs a break. That’s why they gave us a dedicated holiday telling us to “RELAX!!”.
Check out these scientifically proven ways to wind down:
Listen to relaxing music
While melodic tones such as classical music can help to increase focus, and upbeat, happy rhythms help to promote an optimistic outlook on life. Relaxing music (usually played around 60 bpm) that incorporates things like string instruments actually soothe the mind and allow stress to be released.
Avoid screens before bed
When dealing with stressful situations or feeling overwhelmed, getting a good night’s rest is essential to recharging your body and allowing yourself to take a much deserved break. That being said, many people read articles on their phones, watch videos or even movies on the TV right before falling asleep. According to a Harvard study, the blue light which is casted from these screens actually lowers your body’s ability to sleep soundly.
Take a deep breath
Breathing may seem somewhat rudimentary when it comes to something like lowering stress levels, but this natural reflex is great at aiding you in times of intense stress. According to the American Institute of Stress, deep breathing and an increased flow of oxygen in the body lowers both your heart as well as your blood pressure. Both of these are key stress factors and being able to keep them at reasonable levels is a proven relaxant.
Many times, our stress comes from cycles of self analyzation and criticism. Playing events back in your head or allowing yourself to become anxious about the future helps to ensure that your mind will state in a perpetual state of stress. Trying to spend time with friends, read a book or any other hobby you may enjoy will help to take your mind off of things that are bothering you and stress less about everyday activities.
Get a pet
Therapy animals have long been a way for people to treat certain mental disorders, but studies show that interaction with animals actually help to reduce the body's cortisol levels, which is a hormone that increases in stressful situations.
Take a yoga class
Yoga, which has been around for thousands of years, is a great way to physically relieve stress. Yoga allows you to relax your muscles and clear your mind for a period of time, something which a person in a stressful state of mind needs very much.