Life always finds a way to throw our minds into chaos. Whether it’s a difficult financial situation, a struggling relationship, or a global pandemic, there will likely always be something to keep us up at night.
Fortunately, the human body is built to survive stress. In an emergency, the nervous system responds by flooding the body with adrenaline and cortisol in preparation for fight or flight. Your heart beats faster and your senses sharpen, all in preparation to deal with whatever’s been thrown at you. The trouble is that stress has become a part of daily life and eventually it will wear you down.
Stress may be unavoidable, but you don’t have to let it get to you. Taking just a few minutes out of every day to relax and unwind will help lower your anxiety (and your blood pressure). Here are some simple things you can do to relax your mind during stressful times.
Simple Tips to Relax Your Mind
Your body’s response to stress is a necessary defense mechanism, but we weren’t designed to deal with stress as a 24/7 experience. Chronic stress limits you. Your nerves become tightly wound, your energy flags, and your focus weakens. The best way to relax is to give your mind a break for 30 minutes a day.
Here are some simple ways to reset your mind:
Meditation can help you clear your mind and relax your body from the stresses of daily life. With consistent practice, you can learn how to change your reaction to stress, making you more resilient against it. There are many types of meditation to choose from and most require as few as five minutes to get started. Basic meditation involves a focus on breathing while mindfulness meditation is about focusing on the present moment. To try meditation yourself, find an online guide or video.
2. Take a Bath
Nothing relieves stress like a good, long soak. Fill a bath with hot water and stir in some Epsom salt or your favorite bath oil. Light a LAFCO Black Pomegranate fragranced candle then step in, lie back, and relax. Play some soothing music to steady your mind or put on a tape for guided meditation.
3. Read a Book
When you start to feel overwhelmed with reality, escaping into a good book might be just what your mind needs. Reading a book enables you to enter a different world and connect with characters, taking a break from your own life. If you don’t like fiction, choose a subject you’re interested in learning instead. Just a few chapters a day can give your mind the time it needs to relax and reset.
4. Deep Breathing
Breathing exercises are a simple way to relieve stress and you can do them anywhere, at any time. The simplest way to start is belly breathing – sit or lie down and place one hand on your belly and one on your chest. Breathe in deeply through your nose, letting your hand rise with your belly. As you exhale, feel your hand lower and use it to push the air out. Repeat up to 10 times, focusing on your breaths.
To add an extra level of stress relief, set up a LAFCO Chamomile Lavender reed diffuser in the room you choose to do your breathing exercises.
Sometimes the best way to overcome your anxious thoughts is to get them out of your head entirely. Jot down your worries in a journal to relax your mind, then shift your focus to something positive to reset it. Starting a “gratitude journal” may help you get in the habit of focusing on the positive in your life. Choose whatever format works best for you – many people write paragraphs in traditional journal form or you can simply keep a running list.
The right scent has the power to change your entire outlook. Aromatherapy is a holistic healing treatment that uses natural ingredients like essential oils and plant extracts to promote health and wellbeing. This therapy has been shown to improve sleep quality, reduce stress, manage pain, alleviate soreness, and treat headaches and migraines. Some of the best relaxing fragrances for aromatherapy include lavender, chamomile, lemongrass, and ylang ylang.
LAFCO fragranced candles are a great way to try aromatherapy because you can experiment with different scents to see what you find most relaxing. For longer-lasting aromatherapy benefits, try a LAFCO reed diffuser or scented room mist.
7. Talk to a Friend
When your mind is whirling from stress, it’s easy to feel like you’re alone in the world. Taking time out of your day to connect with a friend will ground you and give you the support you need to stay strong. Reach out to a friend over the phone or connect online via video chat. If you prefer something more anonymous, try an online support group or join a pen pal community.
8. Connect with Nature
Stress has a way of making us feel small. When you start to become overwhelmed by stress, it may help to spend some time connecting with the wide, wonderful world around you. Explore a local nature reserve or simply take a walk around the neighborhood. The exercise will be good for you and it will give your mind a break to calm down and focus on something else.
We all experience stress and we each have our own ways of dealing with it. Give the gift of relaxation to someone special in your life with a LAFCO Herbal Spring gift set or create a DIY gift basket with an assortment of fragranced candles. Not sure which scent to choose? Try the LAFCO Fragrance Finder.