When your time is no longer your own, it’s all too easy to internalise any stress in your life, which can lead to anxiety and insomnia.
Here are my top ten tips for a short relaxation, whether it is taking time out from work or from your energetic toddler clambering all over you.
Pick two or three of the suggestions that work for you and use them regularly. With practice, you will be amazed at how quickly they become second nature. Soon you will be a professional at speed relaxing!
DROP YOUR SHOULDERS
It may sound obvious but you will be amazed by how much tension suddenly falls away – tension that you didn’t even know was there in the first place! And then try and drop your shoulders another inch lower.
COUNT DOWN FROM 10
No this isn’t the usual countdown until your toddler is on the naughty step! Count down slowly 10- 9- 8 -7 -6- 5- 4- 3- 2 -1. Say the numbers slowly and repeat. You can even imagine you are on a flight of stairs or a lift- each time you count down you are travelling lower and lower down.
YOUR THIRD EYE
If, like me, you weren’t aware of having a third eye – it is located between your two eyes! Allow the tips of two fingers to rest as lightly as possible on the third eye.
This could be anywhere where you feel relaxed – a special holiday location/ your favourite place. Somewhere you feel happy, relaxed and at ease. Imagine this place and try and think through all the senses – the smells, the tastes, the colours of this special place.
STRAIN YOUR EYES UPWARDS
Find a spot above your head and strain your eyes lightly upwards. Notice how it feels light, and lighter, and lighter. You should be struggling to keep your eyes open.
BREATHE OUT GOLD
Focus on long, slow and calm breaths out. This helps you produce oxytocin and endorphins. You can try to visualise this breath as a thin golden thread, a big fat golden ribbon or a golden light spiralling from your mouth. Whatever image works best for you.
COOL IN AND WARM OUT
Focus on the temperature of your breath. The air is cool as you breath in and warmer as you breath out. Try to imagine you are blowing candles out as you breathe out.
JUST ONE BREATH
Just one lovely, relaxed, deep breath. As you breathe out say to yourself slowly – relax, relax, relax.
Imagine raising the occiput (the bone at the base of your skull) by 1 mm and dropping your elbows by 1 mm.
This will allow your whole bone structure to drop into a better place and help you relax.
Bring to mind the colour that you associate with rest, relaxation and ease. For most people this seems to be blue – but perhaps you are one of the few who finds red deeply relaxing!