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12 WAYS TO RELAX YOUR MIND AND SLOW DOWN YOUR THOUGHTS

Ways to relax your mind and slow down your thoughts is much essential in today’s stressful life. In almost all the countries stress and anxiety are common experiences for most people today. Stress and strain is caused due to work pressure and lifestyle of modern day. How to relax your mind and calm down your stress, strain and how to lead a life peacefully with contentment.

Importance of Relaxation:

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It is a process which lowers the stress of your mind and body. When an individual is in relaxation blood flow increases around the body and gives more energy. It helps to have peace of mind, to stay calm, slow down one’s thoughts, concentration, and improves memory. Relaxation reduces heart rate, brings down high blood pressure and relieves tension.

There are many ways to relax your mind and slow down your thoughts. Some of them are discussed here under:

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1. Deep Breathing exercise

2. Pranayama

3. Yoga or Physical exercise

4. Laugh from the heart

5. Spend time with Pets

6. Spend time with Family and friends

7. Gardening

8. Singing or listening to music

9. Connect to nature

10. Meditation

11. Mudras

12. Prayer

1.Deep Breathing exercise:

Once we enter into this world, inhale and exhale process starts till the end of our life. So, breathing is unintentional and unknowing process. During ancient time our ancestors used to work in fields, mostly they were into agriculture. So obviously they had more physical exercise. After laborious and strenuous work, naturally we take deep breaths. In our busy schedule today, we forget about proper breathing, study says. Hence, deep breathing exercise is need of the hour. Inhale slowly and deeply through your nose. Keep your shoulders relaxed.

Deep breathing is one of the ideal approaches to bring down pressure in the body. This is on the grounds that when you inhale profoundly, it makes an impression on your mind to quiet down and unwind. The brain at that point sends this message to your body. The manner in which you inhale influences your entire body. Breathing activities are a decent method to unwind, decrease stress, strain and lower down pressure, relieves pain, improves immunity, and increases energy.

Breathing activities are not difficult to learn. You can do them at whatever point you need, and you need not bother with any instruments to do them.

2. Pranayama

In simple terms we can say controlling breathing is pranayam. In pranayam you control your breathing, time duration, frequency of breath and holding or retaining breath. Ultimate objective of pranayam is to connect your body and mind. Pranayam supplies oxygen and removes toxins. Daily practise of pranayam also improves sleep quality.

What is the best time to do pranayama?

It is suggested to do pranayama early in the morning, one to two hours before sunrise. During that time oxygen content is to the optimum in the air. Also, early mornings body is fresh and calm, and the stomach is also empty, which is ideal for pranayama.

Is it good for women to do pranayama during menstrual periods?

If a woman is getting normal periods without stomach pain, headache, irritation, anxiety, depression in such a case one can do Ujjayi and Viloma pranayama in a sitting position for 15 minutes maximum.

Pranayam is useful as it is helpful to have balanced emotions, relax your mind  and slow down your thoughts.

Before the physical exercise or after the physical exercise – when Pranayam is good?

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Doing physical exercise or workout, asana before pranayama is always good. Because pranayam gives relaxation to your mind. It is suggested that not to do any physical workout after relaxation to body and mind.

Pranayam is successful in lightening pressure by having our body take in more oxygen. There are different varieties and everyone helps to cool the mind and reduce pressure. Uneasiness, stress can be relieved by doing pranayama regularly.

Is drinking water allowed before doing pranayama?

If you are thirsty then you can drink half a cup of water. And don’t drink water immediately after pranayama. After pranayama give a 10 or 15 minutes break to drink water.

3. Yoga or Physical exercise

Yoga is an ancient form of physical exercise which involves step-by-step procedures; postures and systematic breathing i.e. inhale exhale and retention of breathing to boost physical fitness as well as mental fitness.

Yoga as exercise is an actual work consisting essentially of stances, regularly associated by streaming successions, here and there joined by breathing activities. Yoga ends with savasana which promotes relaxation to each part of the body and mind.

Is yoga better than exercise/workout?

Yoga has its unique features and benefits. Physical exercise or workout has its advantages. Both are different in nature. So, the advantages are also different.Yoga is good to build strength, body flexibility and balance. Regular practice of yoga improves distressed breathing patterns. The aim of yoga is to attain balance of the physical body, mind and energy and thereby to attain a higher state of consciousness. While the main objective of physical workout or exercise is to gain physical fitness. Yoga is more process oriented whereas exercise is goal oriented.

Yoga and physical exercise or workouts have similarities too. Both will energize the body, improve blood circulation, calm down, remove stress and slow down your thoughts. So, it is up to you which one is to be practiced? The art of rehearsing yoga helps in controlling a person’s whole self. It unites physical and mental orders to accomplish a serene body and psyche; it oversees pressure and nervousness and keeps you unwinding. It additionally helps in expanding adaptability, muscle strength and body tone.

 4. Laugh from the heart

Laughing brings a lot of benefits to the health of individuals. Laughter relaxes the whole body, it boosts the immune system, and laughter activates the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals.

 Why do you have to laugh?

A good laughter lowers down stress, tension by relaxing your muscles. It increases immunity; it enhances antibodies, increases your resistance power also. Laughter is good for the heart; it burns calories and adds up more years to your life as well as adding up more value to your years. When you laugh more, more oxygen flows around your body. Laughter energizes your organs. Social laughter can relieve pain.

And it is an interesting fact to note that it increases the endorphins which are released by the brain. Laughter will help you to live longer. Laughter always promotes peacefulness, affection and friendship. It is having the capacity to put an end to all fights, anger, and hatred between individuals.

Laughter is lighting up tough situations. So, smiling and laughing from the bottom of the heart is always good for health and by this you can lead a peaceful life and can spread happiness around you. Laughter yoga is famous nowadays. You will breathe better after laughing. It improves mood, reducing anxiety and depression. Laughter can often be a safe, fun and effective one. 

5. Spend time with Pets

You like to spend time with pets because they show you love and affection. Pets make people feel less lonely. Pets reduce your stress and strain. It is revealed from research that cuddling your pets relieves stress. Positive touch of cuddling, hugging has the positive vibe and power to release oxytocin and lower cortisol which is helpful to reduce high blood pressure, tension, heart rate, and anxiety. Pets help you to forget your ailments, having a pet helps you to stay more active, happy, and lively. You are surrounded by pets and you feel better.

 6. Spend time with Family and friends

Family is the primary social organization where you are living with your parents and siblings. Friends are to whom you have a mutual understanding and an intimacy. Hence, spending time with family and friends is one of the most effective ways to relax your mind and slow down your thoughts. Social support from family and friends during tough times relaxes your stress and spreads happiness.

Family members and friends are acting as stress relievers. During your stressful time, spend time with them. You will be energized and your mood will be fresh.

 7. Gardening

Gardening reduces your stress level. Working in the garden , pouring water, planting, replanting and relaxing your mind a lot. Even sitting in the garden also helps to slow down your thoughts. Gardening is one of the most powerful mood refreshing methods.

Flowers and plants increment levels of good energy and assist individuals with having a sense of safety and relaxation. Keeping blossoms around the home and in the working environment enormously decreases your feelings of anxiety. Individuals who keep flowers in their home feel more joyful, not stressed and more relaxed. Research and studies have shown that gardening is useful for your well-being. It offers natural air and work out, and to the extent stress goes.

 8. Singing and listening to music

Music makes and increases your happiness, this may appear glaringly evident, yet the common thinking is really amazing to consider. On the off chance that you are ever needing an enthusiastic lift, let it be realized that it just requires 15 minutes of tuning in to your favourite tunes to relax and slow down your thoughts. This is on the grounds that your cerebrum discharges dopamine, a synapse that prompts expanded sensations of joy, energy, and bliss, when you tune in to music you like. Music decreases stress while increasing overall health. Music has a direct effect on our hormones. If you listen to music you enjoy it. The group playing instruments and/or singing had better results.  For maximum benefits on a stressful day, turn on some music and sing along.

Singing, listening to music has a direct effect on our hormones ; it can even be viewed as a characteristic energizer. This is on the grounds that specific tunes cause the arrival of serotonin and dopamine (neurotransmitters) in the cerebrum which prompts expanded sensations of joy and prosperity. It additionally delivers norepinephrine, which is a chemical that summons sensations of happiness.

Tuning in to music can have an exceptionally relaxing impact on the body. Moderate paced instrumental music can actuate the unwinding reaction by assisting lower with blooding pressure factor and pulse just as pressure hormones. Simply tuning in to the music is also effective to slow down your thoughts.

9.  Connect to Nature

Simply, sit in nature. Just watch and listen to the voices of birds, sounds of breeze, leaves movement and enjoy. Nature sounds are very calm and soothing. This is the reason why watching nature or when you are in the lap of nature brings relaxation. And being in nature, or in any event, seeing scenes of nature, lessens blood pressure, and stress and increases lovely sentiments. Openness to nature not just causes you to feel better inwardly, it adds to your actual prosperity, diminishing circulatory strain, promotes heart health, muscle pressure, and the creation of stress hormones.

Investing energy in nature helps satisfaction. They revealed critical expansions in their feeling of prosperity. They had more energy. Sensations of stress and antagonism were decreased. They had less rest and unsettling influences. They felt more useful at work. They felt more joyful.

 How does nature deal with our cerebrum?

Researchers are starting to discover proof that being in nature significantly affects our cerebrums and our conduct, assisting us with diminishing uneasiness, agonizing, and stress, and increasing our consideration limit, innovativeness, and our capacity to associate with others.

 10. Meditation

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Meditation means a set of techniques that are aimed to achieve a higher state of awareness and focused attention. Meditation acts as a preventer of mood disorder. There are many health and psychological benefits of meditation. Some of them are mentioned below.

  • Meditation reduces stress and controls anxiety.
  • Meditation reduces negative thinking.
  • Meditation gives strength to tackle stressful situations effectively.
  • It increases patience and tolerance.

 What meditation does for the brain?

Different studies show that training can help alleviate pressure — just as overseeing nervousness, diminishing aggravation, and improving memory and consideration, for sure. Meditation has been demonstrated to be as powerful in easing indications of tension and depression. It expands the prana level (life power) in the body. As indicated by Ayurveda, as prana level expands, uneasiness (anxiety)  diminishes consequently.

11. Mudras

Mudras are helpful to ease tension and promote positive feelings, it helps to combat depression, improves brain health, mudras are good at relieving headaches, good for managing diabetes with medicines and diet.

Do mudras really help?

Daily practice of mudra can reduce sleeplessness, arthritis, memory loss, heart problems, incurable infections, blood pressure, diabetes and many other diseases. Mudras help to interface the brain to the body, relieve torment, animate endorphins, change the disposition and increment our essentialness. Mudras have been an essential piece of numerous Hindu and Buddhist customs. They are utilized broadly in Yoga, meditation and dance. Mudras boost metabolism and balance the proportion of five elements in the body.

 What is the best time to do mudras?

Early morning is the best time to do any type of sadhana like yoga, pranayama, mudra, exercise etc. But, if you are not able to do it during the early morning, you can do it at any time. But, there should be a gap of minimum 30 minutes after having food; one should not do mudra immediately after food intake.

 Whether each finger represents different elements?

Each finger represents each element. The thumb represents fire; the first finger represents air; the middle finger is space; and the ring finger is earth and the little finger represents water.

 12. Prayer

Prayer is an invocation and praying brings you closer to yourself as well as the higher power you pray to. A study conducted by Columbia University shows that prayer reduces ego and promotes humility.

 Does prayer really work?

Studies show that prayer can have various advantages. For instance, prayer can be a strong source of self-relieving and self-comfort when one is having pain, adapting to misfortune, or managing unbearable conditions.

Does prayer have health benefits?

Yes. It is evident from the research that prayer has health benefits. It contributes to reducing anxiety, depression etc. Experts opined that you should not neglect medical treatment. Prayer creates positive energy and gives confidence.

Changes in technology shift from undivided to divided family and relationship dynamics today life is more stressful than ancient times. With advent and updates in technology we are tethered to our smartphones. We are constantly connected through social media but, maintaining distance from other human beings and becoming more and more self-centred is the reality today.

It is beyond the realm of imagination to all the while accomplish greatness at work and home life, to venture to the far corners of the planet yet sustain your work, to be innovative and fit all simultaneously. If you are trying to do each and every thing in a perfect way surely you will feel stress.  So, at all times don’t be a perfectionist. This is also one of the ways to relax your mind and slow down your thoughts.

Live happy, live healthy.

Other suggested Reads: How to Relax Your Stressful Thoughts

15 Ways to Calm Yourself Down

–   Annapoorna Sharma

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