It can be quite a challenge to relax. Even if our bodies lie still on the ground it doesn’t mean we are relaxed. And sometimes we even have a hard time lying still on the floor. There is an itch here, a little tension there and the mind seems to get louder the quieter the body becomes.
Most of the time we either replay past events in our heads or we create (or worry about) possible future events, but to really relax we need to become present to the now.
How to relax (find video below for a short guided meditation)
Find a place where you can either sit or lie down comfortably and undisturbed. Set a timer for how long you want to practice. Begin with a few minutes and increase step by step, if your schedule allows it.
Take three deep breaths, breathing in through your nose, exhaling through your mouth and make a clear decision in your mind to use the next minutes to relax.
Use each exhalation to soften the muscles in your body, to ground down, to release tension, to let go. Empty your lungs as much as you can, and use each inhalation to draw your attention to the now, into your body and towards your breath.
Then begin to naturally breathe in and out through your nose.
Observe if your breaths are deep and smooth, or if they are a bit more flat or uneven. No judgement, no control of breath, simply observe.
Scan your body for tension and feel free to move, stretch out, change position when it gets uncomfortable, take another deep breath and settle back in again.
Thoughts will continuously arise and try to get your attention back into the mind and away from the body. But know that neither the past, nor the future and no judgement is important right now.
Use the sensations of the body, and each breath to re-focus your attention. Even use the noises you hear around you as a reminder to simply come back to your breath.
Know that there is nothing you can do wrong. Even if you get lost in your thoughts all the time, or if you fall asleep. Everything we begin to do needs practice before we see changes.
Make it a habit
Find a time of the day that works for you. Practicing at the same time every day will make it easier. Maybe in the morning when you wake up, or at night when you go to bed.
Do it for at least 21 consecutive days. That’s usually how long it takes to make something a habit.
Avoid following the thoughts that show up before getting to it: Excuses, explanations why today it just isn’t possible etc. Just take your phone, set the timer and sit down.
If you have some more time for a short Yoga practice afterwards or before, your body will be grateful for it. If not, just continue with the rest of the day and notice that you feel more clear, more relaxed and balanced. This is also something wonderful you can do to support even deeper relaxation before or after a massage treatment!
Do you still ask yourself if you feel like brushing your teeth? I guess at some point in our lives we stopped wondering if we want to do it or not, and we just do it because we know it’s important. Our mental hygiene is as important as the physical one and this is an amazing way to clean and still your mind, to create some space between your thoughts and to practice to be present to the now.
In this short video I guide you through the meditation:
What do you do for your mental hygiene?
What tips and tricks work for you to stay committed to a regular practice?
Share in the comments to let us know about your own experience!