Learning to Relax (4)
As children, we all knew intuitively how to relax. We didn’t
need special classes on how to “let go”, or special mind
and body routines that would help us to relax. We just did it! So, with
that in mind, let’s revisit the typical things we did as a child
when we relaxed, and see if we can incorporate some of these natural,
basic activities into our everyday lives.
- The Power of Hugs
Every kid instinctively knows the healing power of cuddles and hugs.
As adults, we often let this valuable de-stressing tool disappear
from our lives. We become too big for a hug. Yet how many T-shirts
do we need to see to realize that “Hugs are Healing” and
wise up? If you are feeling sad, stressed, or blue, the power of human
touch is irreplaceable. Often a simple hand on yours or a gentle rub
on the back can work the most amazing and calming magic on a sufferer.
Kids know this, so take a tip from your own inner child, and ask for
hugs when you need them. They really work!
- Using Daydreams
Watch any young child; they are big fans of daydreaming. You once
were too! As often as you can, take a little time out: five minutes
is plenty. Gaze out the window and watch the trees. Lie on your back
on the grass and watch the clouds form and re-from. Lie on your bed
and allow the ceiling to become the playground of your imagination.
Daydreaming is a valuable tool to relax the mind and allows your stress
levels to diminish over time.
- Taking short naps
Following from daydreams comes the serious business of naps. Again,
kids are expert at taking cat-naps which leave them refreshed and
ready to cope with the afternoon’s activities. Some adults dislike
taking naps, as they report that it leaves them feeling groggy and
dopey, yet others swear by them. Winston Churchill was reputed to
have carried his heavy burden of responsibility through WWII via the
use of catnaps. So, give it a try. You may be one of the lucky ones
to benefit from the proverbial forty winks!
Kids love to doodle, it’s fun and a great way to relax. Doodling
requires little intellectual input, allowing you to engage the right
side of the brain and daydream a little. If you really get keen, drawing
and painting are the more sophisticated versions of doodling, yet
also help you to let go of the “thinking” left brain and
access that “feeling” right brain. Any kid will tell you
drawing is fun. Give it try. You have nothing to lose but stress!
- Pets: the best psychotherapy in town
Most kids instinctively love pets. Why not let your inner child re-live
the sheer fun (and relaxing!) experience of playing with your pet.
If you already own a pet, make time every day to exercise with your
pet, or just simply stroke and talk to your animal friend. There are
no end of studies documenting the positive mental attributes of interacting
with animals, from lowering blood pressure to easing depression and
anxiety. Pets can play an enormous role in our lives from childhood
right through to old age, where they are often invaluable companions.
So take a tip from your inner child, and experience the sheer joy
of pet power!
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