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How To Relax At Home

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All of us at some time will suffer from stress – pressure at work, pressure at home, pressure from family – and if we are anxious, our body becomes tense. Just as there are many causes of stress, there are many ways to relax and to provide varying degrees of quality time. Relaxation can help us to feel calmer and more controlled, and at least once a day we should try to switch off the pressure and relax – if only for 10 minutes.
What you'll need: 
10-20 mins to yourself
Although it doesn’t matter where we relax, peace and quiet are essential. A simple change of scenery can often be relaxing in itself.
Going for a walk, gardening, or watching the world go by in a local park are well-known relaxing activities. A brisk walk will also help to improve sleep patterns and increase resistance to stress.
Creating a pleasant atmosphere helps relaxation and clears the mind, so put the radio on a timer so there is music playing when you arrive home and open the door.
Run a deep bath with essential oils and have a soak with music playing in the background. Change into comfortable cloths before sitting down to a light supper rather than a heavy meal.
Sitting down in your favourite chair with a book, newspaper, or listening to a favourite CD, or even just stroking the cat can be relaxing, especially if combined with gentle stretching exercises to ease tension.
Effective relaxation can also be aided by playing appropriate background effects after a hectic and stressful day. There is a wide range of commercially available CDs that provide a wide variety of background effects – rainforest reverie, bird song, sounds from a monastery garden, etc. Some people find that listening to the haunting sounds of whale-song transports them to a stress-free level of relaxation.
A simple and effective method of reducing tension is to breathe evenly and deeply using a yoga technique called pranayama. Place your hands flat on the area just above your navel; inhale so that your stomach rises and your hands are pushed outwards. Exhale and your stomach will deflate beneath your hands. Repeat the exercise.
The degree of relaxation when watching television depends on what we watch. A romantic comedy or musical can be enjoyable and stress reducing but recent studies have shown that watching violent or overly dramatic programmes does little or nothing to reduce anxiety and stress - and can even have the opposite effect. Keep a supply of soothing DVDs to hand for those stress-reducing moments.
Stress can cause changes in the heart rate, blood pressure, brain waves and skin temperature. When your body (and mind) is in a relaxed state it helps to increase physical and mental resistance to everyday pressures.


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