8 Simple Ways to Relax

Finding ways to relax is one key to enjoying life. Relaxation calms your fears and helps you release stress. Having less pent up stress can be helpful for fighting disease and staying healthy.

If you haven't been good at relaxing, how do you start? First, it's important to surround yourself with positive people. Negative vibes from friends and co-workers can spread, making it hard for you to relax. Avoid them or, even better, have them join you in some spirit-raising activity! Here are other good ways to relax:

  • Rent a funny movie or visit a joke Web site. Laughter releases tension and helps put life back in perspective.
  • Get moving! Who said you need quiet to relax? Pop in your favorite CD or turn to your favorite radio station and dance for a few songs. This will revitalize your body and mind and you'll be ready to face anything.
  • Have you ever heard of the phrase "take 5?" Set aside 5 or 10 minutes to have "you" time. Try waking up a little bit earlier than the rest of the house and enjoy the quiet alone (or with a nice cup of tea).
  • Clean your inbox daily. No, not your e-mail. Your mind. Buy yourself a notebook or start a computer journal. Every night jot down happenings, thoughts and things accomplished that day, or even your frustrations. When your mind is "cleaned up," it is easier to relax and fall asleep.
  • Clean your inbox weekly. Yes, this time we mean the computer. At least once a week, read and answer your e-mails and file, archive or delete the stuff you don't need anymore. Clutter in the computer can clutter your mind, so let's clean it up.
  • Do yoga. If you don't have time to join a yoga class at least once a week, then purchase a yoga video. Make time to do at least 15 minutes of yoga most days. This will help stretch and relax your muscles
  • Take a bubble bath. Put on some soft music, light a candle and enjoy a nice warm bubble bath. If you don't want music, you can always take a book or magazine with you.

Being able to unwind and relax is one step toward a happier, healthier life. Don't be shy about being happy, pass it on to your friends and co-workers, they'll thank you for it.

Reviewed by Steven A. King, M.D.

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