With so much to worry about in times of increasing austerity, how is it possible to just ‘switch off’ like so many lifestyle magazines demand we do?
Of course, there’s always the pub – that cosy haven for drowning sorrows and lowering inhibitions but, as blissful as that Friday night pint is after a particularly heavy week – the government wouldn’t approve and we all know alcohol causes more problems than it solves.
Yoga is another favourite, especially with ‘new-age’ mums and fitness fanatic corporates, but sometimes the idea of squeezing yourself into a pair of leggings and surrounding yourself with outrageously stretchy people can cause more panic than it’s worth.
According to the BBC, you only need to reserve 20 minutes every day to dramatically reduce your stress and anxiety levels – and it doesn’t even have to involve alcohol or leggings.
Step One – choose a quiet place where you know you won’t be interrupted. If this means dragging an armchair in front of the door in the living room, so be it.
Step Two – do a few gentle stretches to relax your muscles. Don’t worry too much about the kind of stretch, just keep it simple and don’t strain too much. Next, make yourself comfortable by either sitting or lying down.
Step Three – start breathing slowly and deeply, concentrating on your lungs filling up and emptying. While you are doing this, gently tense and relax each part of your body, starting with your toes and gradually working your way up to your face. As you focus on each area, think of warmth, heaviness and relaxation.
Step Four – if any distracting thoughts start to amble their way back into the forefront of your mind, envision them floating away.
Step Five – imagine a calm, beautiful place such as a tranquil beach or a warm meadow.
Step Six – stay like this for 20 minutes or so, then take some deep breaths, open your eyes and think about getting up (but don’t rush!)
If you practise this routine regularly, you will find it increasingly easier to ‘switch off’ and deal with your stresses. The calmer you are, the easier you will find it to tackle life’s problems.
If you would like professional help relaxing and dealing with your problems, you might find hypnotherapy useful. hypnotherapy can be used to treat a wide range of physical and mental conditions. To find out more, visit Hypnotherapy Areas.
View and comment on the original BBC article.