Nine ways to unwind and calm your mind after a long day
After buzzing about all day, it can seem impossible to calm your mind. These tips and tricks will help you find inner peace before your head hits the pillow.
In our modern world, where many of us are in a constant state of ‘being too busy’, it can be hard to find time for relaxation. And even if you do find the time to kick back and relax, how do you get that message to your brain? After all, it’s not easy to calm your mind after it’s been going at a mile a minute all day.
But missing out on these all-important periods of total rest and relaxation can have dire consequences. Day-to-day stress can soon become chronic and feelings of anxiety may begin to take hold.
What’s more, lack of relaxation harms your immune system, meaning that you’ll be more prone to colds, infections, and other common complaints.
This is why it’s important to unwind your body and mind, especially after a long day. Read on to discover nine ways to relax for total inner peace.
1) Lie down
It might sound simple but one of the best ways to relax after a hard day at work is to lie down on your bed or sofa. Taking this time out to give both your mind and body a much-needed rest is often a good exercise in encouraging relaxation for the rest of the evening.
But, you need to make sure you devote this time to doing nothing. No looking at your phone, no picking up a book, no scanning the room for things to clear away. Close your eyes and lie there for a few minutes until your body starts to feel less tense and your mind feels calmer.
2) Practice mindful meditation
If you find that lying down helps relax your body but not your mind, you may benefit from mindful meditation.
Mindful meditation involves observing yourself and your surroundings in a non-judgmental way, helping bring your focus back to the here and now. If you’re lying down this will be things like the sound of your breathing, the sounds from outside, and the feeling of your bed or sofa beneath your body.
As well as helping to relax your body and calm your mind, meditation helps reduce negative emotions and lower stress levels.
To try it for yourself, start by focusing on your breathing. This helps keep your mind focused on a simple task and acts as an anchor when your thoughts start to wander. Many find it hard not to get distracted at first. But with practice, you’ll soon start to feel calmer and experience more control over your thoughts.
3) Consider CBD
If breathing exercises and mindful meditation don’t work for you then you might need a little help finding ways to relax.
One in sevenAmericans used CBD 2019, with one of the most common reasons for doing so being to stop anxiety and help promote relaxation.
CBD helps you achieve this by restoring balance to your body and mind. So, rather than making you sleepy or ‘high’ as some people incorrectly assume, taking a water soluble CBD powder makes up for whatever your mind and body are lacking at the time.
If that’s control over anxiety and stress then the CBD works to activate your body’s natural control mechanisms. As a result, you’ll feel calmer and better able to find things to do to relax that help you unwind even more.
4) Use guided imagery
While meditation helps you immerse yourself in the here and now, guided imagery involves allowing your mind to drift off to your ‘happy place’. Whether that’s a white sandy beach, rolling hills, or a peaceful garden, imagining yourself in that setting can be one of the best ways to relax and calm your mind.
To try this relaxing activity out, all you need is a quiet space to retreat to and a little imagination. Start by sitting or lying down in your bedroom, making sure you feel safe, warm, and able to relax.
Then, close your eyes and imagine all the details about the place you feel most calm. If that’s the beach, think of the waves crashing against the shore, the smell of sunscreen, the sand between your toes.
The more you put into this task, the more you get out of it. So make sure to give in to your imagination and allow your happy place to have its powerful effect on you.
5) Try progressive muscle relaxation
It’s not uncommon to leave work feeling tense, with your shoulders up by your ears, your back hunched over, and your jaw clenched.
Often, releasing this tension running through your body can help calm your mind too. One way to achieve this is with progressive muscle relaxation. This practice involves tensing and then relaxing the muscle groups in parts of your body one by one.
To do this, you’ll need to lie down on a soft surface such as your bed or a yoga mat. Start by tensing the muscles in your face then work your way down. By the time you reach your toes, your body should be well on the way to total relaxation.
6) Get active
Although it may sound counterintuitive, physical activity is often one of the best things to do to relax.
Instead of worrying about how to calm your mind, getting active helps to quieten a busy mind without effort. This then encourages you to become more aware of your body and how it moves through the world. What’s more, physical activity also provides you with a boost of feel-good hormones, giving you the kind of natural high that helps reduce stress and promote relaxation and calm.
As for the best relaxing activity, something you enjoy and can ‘lose yourself’ in tops any one sport or exercise. That said, many find yoga to be a great stress-reliever, while aerobic activities like running and swimming are perfect for boosting your mood and reducing anxiety.
But, even if you prefer to take a walk, stretch it out or do some gardening, let your body guide your mind towards that all-important relaxed state of being.
7) Take a warm bath
For many people, there are few better ways to relax than soaking in a warm bath.
These days more than ever, one of the primary ingredients that makes a long soak so relaxing is that you get to spend time away from the technological devices that constantly demand your attention.
As a result of allowing yourself to switch off, you’ll soon realize that not being aware of every social media update as and when it happens isn’t a great loss. And, that some quiet time in the tub alone and away from technology is a great way to relax both your body and mind.
8) Write it down
A long day can often leave you feeling exhausted and emotional, and yet still unable to relax.
One way to ease this stress and promote relaxation is to write down these emotions. While writing a journal is a good relaxing activity, it doesn’t have to be anything as formal or consistent. Instead, practice free-writing by letting your feelings out on the page. If you’re not sure where to start, think about how you feel now and write down some words that come to mind then go from there.
This exercise is perfect for calming a busy mind and helping you to relax. Especially as huge problems can seem a lot more manageable when they’re written down in black and white.
9) Connect to nature
Living in built-up cities may be necessary for our careers and chosen lifestyles but regular contact with nature is essential for our happiness and peace of mind.
At the end of a long day, try to spend some time in nature. That could mean strolling home through a park, taking your dog for a walk along the beach, or stepping out into your yard and listening to the birds. These simple acts of nature appreciation can help reduce stress levelsand anxiety after just 15 minutes.
In fact, the power of nature is so strong that even looking at photos of green spacescan reduce stress. That said, nothing beats the power that water has over us.
Research shows that natural blue spaces bring us even more pleasure, supporting the idea that being near water makes us happier. So, if you are lucky enough to live near a river, lake, or ocean, spending time there could be exactly what you need after a stressful week.
Try these nine ways to calm your mind
While all these suggestions are great ways to calm your mind, remember that doing things you enjoy can be just as good for promoting relaxation.
That could be listening to music, getting lost in a good book, cooking, or painting. Whatever relaxing activity you prefer, if it allows your mind and body to wind down and feel calmer, then you’ve found the winning formula for guaranteed relaxation whenever you need it!
Photo by Sincerely Media