Do you know how to relax your mind?
Probably not, which is why you’re reading this article! According to the numbers, Americans are more stressed out than ever before. Whether it’s working 40+ hours a week, troubles at home or constantly worrying about things that haven’t even happened yet, most people struggle to relax.
Unfortunately, the costs of always being stressed out and on edge are much more than you think. From high blood pressure to stress hives and other health problems, your inability to relax is literally killing you!
But here’s the thing. Most people want to sit back and relax, but their minds are so busy thinking about everything going in their lives that it seems nearly impossible to reach a calm state of mind. We’re here to help.
Below, we’ve put together a list of 13 tips on how to relax your mind so you can have mental clarity and break free from the stressors of everyday life.
1. Deep Breathing Exercises
When your mind begins racing with stress, you need to try deep breathing exercises. There is a pretty good chance that you’ve heard this before. Nevertheless, deep breathing can prove to be very helpful. These exercises have proven time and again to be very beneficial for relaxing the mind. It is best to practice deep breathing each and every day. It works great when you’re feeling stressed out. It can help you relax and reduce your anxiety.
Start by closing your mouth and breathe through your nose. Try to breathe in for at least four seconds.
Now, hold your breath for at least eight seconds. Exhale for eight seconds and repeat this process. This is one of the best tips for relaxing your mind from stress.
When your stress is becoming overwhelming, you need to get away from it all. Step aside and try meditating!
Meditation is very helpful for clearing your mind. All you need to do is focus on a certain place, thought or word. To begin, you’ll need to sit, lie or kneel down.
Make sure that you find a nice peaceful place and get into a comfortable position. And we suggest using a comfortable meditation cushion. It’s hard to reach a zen state when all you can focus on is how uncomfortable it is to sit on a hard floor.
In order to fully clear your mind, you may need to meditate for at least ten minutes. No matter what position you get in, it is pertinent to make sure that you keep your eyes closed. When you meditate, you’re probably going to be flooded with intrusive thoughts.
This is completely normal. Just make sure that you ignore these thoughts and focus on the positive thought, word or place. Your mental focus will eventually block out these annoying thoughts and clear your mind of stress and worries.
Meditation is particularly great if you’re trying to figure out how to relax your mind before sleep. Doing 10-20 minutes of meditation will put you in the right mental state to quiet your mind so you’re not up all night thinking about random things.
Meditation isn’t easy, but over time you’ll get the hang of it and see why it’s such an amazing way to relax your mind.
Visualization is another good option to calm your mind. This technique is pretty similar to meditation, but there is one difference.
Instead of thinking of a word or thought, you’re going to need to focus solely on a peaceful scene. Make sure that you focus on this scene for as long as humanly possible.
Pour all of your energy and spirit into making that peaceful scene come to life inside of your mind. Once you’ve achieved this goal, you’re going to feel relaxed. And of course, your worries will be forgotten.
Visualization is very good for people who can’t stop thinking negative thoughts. If your mind is constantly wandering because you’re stressing over everything that’s bad in your life, try using visualization to have a more optimistic look on life.
4. Progressive Muscle Relaxation
Progressive muscle relaxation is another great way to overcome your stress. By learning to master this technique, you’ll be able to wipe the stressors from your mind.
So, how does it work?
Well, muscle relaxation is far easier than you could ever imagine. You just need to start by tensing your muscles. Then, relax your muscles. By doing this, you’ll be able to change your mental state. This will help your mind and body relax.
It’s common to start from your feet and work your way down, or vice versa. Try to keep each muscle tensed for at least 5 to 10 seconds.
Here’s a great video that walks you through the process.
5. Trying Yoga
Yoga can be very beneficial for relaxing your mind and body.
This form of exercise is very similar to stretching. It is also low impact. Therefore, it is suitable for pretty much everyone.
When performing yoga, you’re going to be required to focus intently on each specific pose. Your mind is going to be occupied and you won’t be able to focus on anything else. Therefore, your entire body and mind will enter a state of peace. This is why yoga is really one of the best ways to relax your mind from stress.
You can get started by watching videos online (we recommend YogiApproved!) or sign up for a local yoga class if you want in-person instruction.
6. Drinking Plenty Of Water
Believe it or not, water can be very beneficial for relaxing your mind. Water is vital for ensuring that your body is properly hydrated and free of toxins. If your body is full of toxins, there is a good chance that your mind is going to have a much tougher time focusing.
By drinking water, you’ll be able to wipe out these toxins. In return, your mind will have a much easier time focusing on the task ahead. It’s recommended that you have a least eight glasses of water per day.
If you struggle to get in a full day’s serving, try squeezing some lemon into your water to add some flavor. You can also use a bottle like this that you can carry around with you throughout the day.
7. Eat The Right Foods
While you’re at it, you should understand that there are some foods that can actually promote relaxation. Certain foods high in selenium, magnesium or tryptophan are known to decrease hormones that increase anxiety and stress.
They may also be able to increase the levels of hormones that can lead to peace and happiness.
Some of the best foods for promoting relaxation include dark chocolate, nuts, berries, spinach, apples, and tuna. Eat these foods on a regular basis and you’re going to feel much more relaxed and calm.
8. Exercise More
If you’re not exercising enough, there is a good chance that your stress levels are going to be excessively high. After all, exercise is one of the best ways to deal with stress.
Exercising is known to release endorphins, which are known as the “happy” hormones. You don’t have to spend two hours in the gym every day to get results either. Try to get in at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day.
Make sure you’re doing exercises you actually enjoy. If you’re spending 30 minutes on the treadmill dreading every second, you’ll only get more stressed out tense. There are plenty of other ways to get exercise such as lifting weights, playing a sport or even going for a swim.
Once you start exercising regularly, you’ll be shocked at how relaxed your mind becomes. Plus, if you’re stressed about losing weight for a big event or just want to be all-around healthier, you’re killing two birds with one stone!
9. Do Your Favorite Activities
You should also partake in your favorite activities. Everyone enjoys some type of hobby. It might be cooking, playing sports, reading, painting or anything else. No matter what it is, make it a part of your life.
Hobbies take your mind off the stressors you’re dealing with. When you’re journaling, listening to music or playing games, your mind tends to wander away and focus on the task at hand.
You reach a sort of “zen” state of mind where you’re relaxed and tune out everything around you. You’re not overanalyzing everything, you’re just at peace and enjoying the moment. It’s extremely relaxing.
10. Turn On Calming Music
Pretty much everyone likes listening to music from time to time. You’ll be surprised that listening to music can be very beneficial and therapeutic.
The best type of music to relax your mind is something calm and mellow. It is often best to choose slow music that is very repetitive.
While classical music is usually the first thing that pops into mind when you think of “relaxing” music, don’t restrict yourself to any one genre. If you like hip-hop, pop, or indie rock, just find songs that put your mind at ease.
If you want to get the full experience, invest in some noise canceling headphones like these to block out any surrounding noise around you so you can just vibe with the music.
Close your eyes and enjoy the tunes. Before you know it, you’ll forget about your stress.
11. Enjoy Your Pets
You also need to understand that animals can be very therapeutic. Studies have proven that people who touch or spend time with animals are going to be far less stressed.
You don’t even need to own a pet. It helps, but you can always take your friend’s dog for a walk. You might even be able to head to the local park and spend time with dogs owned by complete strangers.
You can also do some research into animal-assisted psychotherapy. This is a specific form of therapy that involves the use of animals, and works great for reducing stress levels.
There is a pretty good chance that you’ve heard of aromatherapy at some point or another. This specific form of therapy is very beneficial for many reasons. The benefits provided really depend on the specific aroma utilized. Oils such as peppermint, eucalyptus and lavender are great for relieving stress and relaxing your mind.
Just turn on your diffuser, lay back and relax while taking in the soothing aroma.
13. Take a Bath
Finally, you should think about taking a relaxing bath. Bathing is one of the best ways to deal with your stressed mind. When you’re soaking in the water, you’re going to feel relaxed and your mind will be cleared.
Create a spa-like environment by lighting some candles, turning down the light and playing soothing music. Then fill your tub up with warm water, add some bubbles and take a well-deserved relaxing bath.
Give Your Mind a Break
Hopefully these 13 tips on how to relax your mind gave you some new ideas. You deal with so much on a daily basis, and probably just push through. But remember, just like your body needs a break from physical activity, sometimes your mind needs time to sit and relax as well.
The next time you’re feeling mentally drained and exhausted, step away and just relax your mind.