Many of us would admit relaxation generally comes at the end of the day, collapsing in front of the TV on the couch, binge watching the latest series on Netflix on our devices, trying to switching off from our reality. There is simple pleasure in watching our favourite shows, but in truth are you really taking care of yourself; mind, body and soul?
We need to activate the body’s natural relaxation response by practising mindfulness relaxation techniques which include mindful meditation and breathing exercises.
Why Is Mindfulness So Important?
Almost impossible, we cannot avoid daily pressures, expectations placed upon ourselves and those of our peers, these continual stressful situations, however, we can try to control their effects by learning how to produce the relaxation response – deep, rewarding rest, which helps return our body and mind back to calm. The aim is to be both physically relaxed and mentally alert at the same time.
When the relaxation response is activated, we are able to cause the following changes to our body:
- The heart rate slows down
- Breathing becomes slower and deeper
- Our muscles relax, tension is released
- Blood flow to our brain is maximised
Relaxation Techniques to try:
Put one hand on your stomach right under your rib cage. Inhale gradually through your nose, drawing a deep breath into your lungs. Your chest should move only a little, while your belly rises, pushing your hand up. As you exhale, just let yourself go and picture the whole of your body becoming loose and limp. It should take you double time to exhale as it does to inhale. Do this technique three times every day for two to three minutes.
How to practice mindfulness meditation:
Look for a calm and comfy position.
While you focus on your breathing, let your thoughts, feelings, and physical sensations flow over you, entering and leaving your awareness at their own speed. Know each sensation, but then let it disappear, allowing the next thought or feeling to come into your mind. Continue acknowledging every sensation, then let it go.
You will possibly find out that your mind is very busy with thoughts about different kinds of things – some pleasing, some not. Each time you notice that your mind has gone far, slowly and without judgement shift your consciousness back to your breath.
It can be very useful to perform mindfulness for 30 minutes a day until you become at ease with the technique.
Download a Mindfulness & Meditation App
Our busy lives are often time poor, on the go constantly, and therefore we require mobile mindfulness – that soothing voice in our ears we can listen to on our phones or devices, that can coach and guide us through when we feel the stresses of life overwhelming us and your intuition is telling you to take a break.
The following are some of the best Apps available that give you a chance to pause, be present, and pay attention to things as they are, with an open-hearted and non-judgmental attitude. There is no single mindfulness technique that is same fit for everybody. The right one is the one that resonates with you and fits your lifestyle.