We all have a different experience of “homeostasis.” Some people are naturally laid back while others are a bit more high-strung and stressed. If you’re more the latter and you don’t know how to relax, this post is for you. We’ll talk about the importance of stress on your health as well as some practical relaxation methods you can try today.
Effects of Chronic Stress
Chronic stress means you have prolonged periods of stress without sufficient relief or relaxation. And it can have significant effects on both your physical and mental well-being. Here are some common effects of chronic stress…
- Cardiovascular problems: Prolonged stress can increase blood pressure, heart rate, and the risk of developing heart disease, heart attacks, and strokes.
- Weakened immune system: Chronic stress can suppress the immune system, making you more susceptible to infections, illnesses, and slower healing.
- Digestive issues: Stress can lead to digestive problems such as stomachaches, indigestion, diarrhea, or constipation. It can also exacerbate conditions like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
- Sleep disturbances: Chronic stress can interfere with sleep, leading to insomnia, restless sleep, or fatigue.
- Headaches and muscle tension: Stress can trigger tension headaches, migraines, and muscle tension throughout the body, leading to pain and discomfort.
- Anxiety disorders and depression: Persistent stress can increase anxiety levels and contribute to generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, and depression.
- Burnout: Excessive and chronic stress can lead to burnout, which is characterized by physical and emotional exhaustion, detachment, and reduced productivity.
- Cognitive problems: Chronic stress can impair cognitive function, leading to difficulties with memory, concentration, decision-making, and problem-solving.
- Irritability and mood swings: Prolonged stress can make you more irritable, short-tempered, and prone to mood swings.
- Social withdrawal: Feeling overwhelmed by stress may lead to withdrawing from social activities, isolating oneself, or avoiding interactions.
- Unhealthy coping mechanisms: Chronic stress can lead to unhealthy coping mechanisms like overeating or under eating, excessive use of caffeine or nicotine, or engaging in risky behaviors.
What’s my point?
It’s very important to do whatever you can to relax and reduce stress. We’ll talk about that below, but first, let’s look at how beneficial relaxing is for your health.
Benefits of Relaxing
Not only does relaxation feel good, but it’s also essential for maintaining a balanced and healthy lifestyle. Taking time to relax and unwind offers many benefits for both your physical and mental well-being. Here are some key benefits of relaxation…
- Improved mental well-being: Relaxation promotes mental clarity, enhances concentration, and improves overall cognitive function. It can help alleviate symptoms of anxiety, depression, and other mental health conditions by reducing emotional distress and fostering a positive mindset.
- Enhanced sleep quality: Engaging in relaxation techniques before bed can improve the quality of your sleep. Relaxation helps calm the mind, release tension from the body, and promote a state of relaxation that facilitates falling asleep faster and experiencing more restful sleep.
- Reduced muscle tension and pain: Relaxation techniques can help release muscle tension, alleviate pain, and promote physical comfort. Relaxing the body can also contribute to improved posture and reduced muscle soreness.
- Boosted immune function: Chronic stress weakens the immune system, making you more susceptible to illnesses. Relaxation supports a healthier immune response by reducing stress levels, improving sleep quality, and enhancing overall well-being.
- Increased productivity and focus: Taking regular breaks to relax and recharge can improve productivity and focus. When you allow yourself time to rest and rejuvenate, you return to tasks with a clearer mind, increased motivation, and improved cognitive performance.
- Improved cardiovascular health: Relaxation techniques help lower blood pressure, reduce your heart rate, and promote better cardiovascular function.
- Emotional well-being: Relaxation allows you to unwind, let go of negative emotions, and cultivate a more positive and balanced emotional state. It provides an opportunity for self-reflection, self-care, and self-compassion, leading to improved emotional well-being.
- Enhanced creativity: Relaxation can stimulate creativity and foster a more open and receptive mindset. When you’re relaxed, your mind is free to explore new ideas, think creatively, and problem-solve more effectively.
- Overall improved quality of life: Regular relaxation practices contribute to a better quality of life by reducing stress, promoting physical and mental health, and enhancing overall well-being. It allows you to recharge and find balance in your daily life.
Remember that relaxation is a personal process, and it’s important to find the techniques and activities that work best for you. So let’s talk about some ways you can try relaxing…
15 Ways To Relax
Obviously, you can’t force yourself to relax. And sometimes, trying to relax can cause more stress. So below are some methods for you to try, but if one doesn’t work, just try another one. If none of them are working, then take a break from trying to relax. Stress often passes with time.
Deep breathing exercises
Deep breathing is a simple and effective relaxation technique. Sit or lie down in a comfortable position, close your eyes, and take slow, deep breaths. Focus on your breath and let go of any tension as you exhale.
Meditation involves focusing your attention and eliminating the stream of thoughts that may be causing stress. You can try guided meditation using apps or online resources, or simply sit quietly, focus on your breath, and allow your mind to become calm and centered.
Progressive muscle relaxation
This technique involves systematically tensing and relaxing different muscle groups in your body. Start with your toes and work your way up to your head, tensing each muscle group for a few seconds before releasing the tension. This helps promote physical and mental relaxation.
Mindfulness involves being fully present in the moment and observing your thoughts and feelings without judgment. Engaging in activities mindfully, such as eating, walking, or even washing dishes, can help you relax and reduce stress.
Engaging in hobbies
Pursuing activities you enjoy can be a great way to relax. Whether it's painting, gardening, playing a musical instrument, or reading a book, engaging in hobbies helps take your mind off stressors and promotes a sense of relaxation and enjoyment.
Exercise is not only beneficial for your physical health but also for your mental well-being. Engaging in regular physical activity, such as walking, jogging, dancing, or practicing yoga, can help reduce stress, release endorphins (feel-good hormones), and promote relaxation.
Spending time in nature
Nature has a calming effect on the mind and body. Take a walk in the park, go hiking, or simply spend time in a garden or by the beach. Connecting with nature can help you relax, reduce stress, and find peace.
Listening to calming music
Listening to soothing music, nature sounds, or instrumental tunes can have a relaxing effect on the mind. Experiment with different types of music and find what helps you unwind and de-stress.
Taking a warm bath or shower
Immersing yourself in warm water can help relax your muscles and calm your mind. Add some bath salts or essential oils with relaxing scents like lavender or chamomile for an extra soothing experience.
Socializing and seeking support
Spending time with loved ones, talking to friends, or seeking support from a therapist or support group can help you unload stress and find emotional relaxation.
Laughter is a great stress reliever. Watch a funny movie or TV show, spend time with friends who make you laugh, or engage in activities that bring joy and laughter into your life.
Massage or self-massage
Treat yourself to a professional massage or practice self-massage techniques. Gently knead or massage your muscles using your hands, a foam roller, or massage tools to release tension and promote relaxation.
Yoga or stretching
Practicing yoga or gentle stretching exercises can help relax your body and mind. Yoga combines movement, breath control, and meditation, promoting relaxation and stress reduction.
Taking a power nap
If you’re feeling tired or overwhelmed, taking a short nap can help recharge your energy and provide a mental reset. Keep it around 20-30 minutes to avoid disrupting your sleep cycle.
Yes, really. You can safely take small doses of hallucinogenic plants to help you relax. You’ll experience the calming effects of these plant extractions without the hallucinations.
What To Microdose for Relaxing
Whenever you’re ready to try microdosing, you should ensure you’re getting plant extractions from a reliable source.
Here at Soul Drops, every tincture is hand-made by me, Vlada Talan. I draw on 20 years of shamanic plant healing and herbalism, so you can be sure that every bottle of plant extractions is non-toxic, 100% safe, and will do what it says.
Take LUN at the end of the day to help you unwind and prepare for a good night’s sleep. Then take COSMOS right before bed to experience lucid dreaming and restful sleep.
These two tinctures together will hit you with a one-two punch of relaxation.
How To Relax FAQs
Why do I struggle to relax?
It could be for many different reasons, one of them being that some people are naturally more high-strung. But typically, stress is caused by trauma, a feeling of chaos, physical discomfort, and mental health issues.
What is the best way to deeply relax?
The most effective way to relax is to microdose hallucinogenic plants. The doses are so small that you experience the relaxing effects of these plants without having any of the hallucinations.
What are 10 ways to relax?
Here are 10 ways to relax you can try: 1) Deep breathing exercises, 2) physical exercise, 3) spending time in nature, 4) listening to calming music, 5) taking a warm bath or shower, 6) laughing, 7) massage or self-massage, 8) yoga or stretching, 9) taking a power nap, and 10) microdosing hallucinogens.