The Power of Peace (Part II): Things You Can Do to Relax

Part II: Things You Can Do to Relax

In Part I (http://www.costaricayoga.org/?p=433), I wrote to you about the health benefits of daily, meaningful relaxation. This type of relaxation doesn’t just come from plopping down in front of the television, surfing the web, or flipping through a magazine; it’s a relaxation that is purposeful and comes from within. It is stimulating and stress-free.

Here is a list of relaxation techniques or relaxing activities that can have a healthy impact on your life, large and small, if practiced mindfully and on a regular basis:

1) Practicing yoga
2) Stretching
3) Practicing meditation
4) Practicing prayer (and reading a religious or spiritual text)
5) Deep breathing techniques
6) Thinking positively and visualizing your goals being achieved
7) Keeping a journal
8) Reading a book or poetry for pleasure
9) Getting some fresh air and taking in the outdoors
10) Listening to classical or soundscape music
11) Taking a long, thoughtful walk or bike ride
12) Sitting in the sun and or going for a peaceful swim
13) Getting a massage or giving a massage
14) Going to the sauna or spa
15) Taking a day off work or reserving one day a week for rest
16) Writing a loving letter or thank you note
17) Cooking and then sharing a healthy meal with a loved one
18) Drinking more water and tea, while cutting down on sugars
19) Taking power naps and sleeping appropriate amounts at night (7 hours)
20) Focusing on the task at hand rather than stressing over multitasking
21) Designating a night to turn off the television and computer
22) Painting, drawing, making music, creating art
23) Taking a long hot shower or long bath
24) Doing things ahead of time so you have time later to relax
25) Lighting candles or incense

In Part III, the relaxation techniques that I would like focus on are yoga and meditation, as there is substantial research that proves these practices, when implemented properly and frequently, can dramatically improve your health and life.

Part 3: What Yoga Can Do to Help You Relax- Coming Soon!


Sources:

Health Benefits of Yoga: http://www.abc-of-yoga.com/beginnersguide/yogabenefits.asp and http://www.webmd.com/balance/the-health-benefits-of-yoga

Yoga and Relaxation: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/yoga/CM00004

100 Ways to Relax: http://www.thedailymind.com/stress/100-ways-to-relax-unwind-and-loosen-up/

Relaxation and Your Immune System: http://www.thevegetariansite.com/health_stress.htm

8 Simple Ways to Relax: http://yourtotalhealth.ivillage.com/8-simple-ways-relax.html

Photograph is courtesy of Jessica Kuhn Melton. Please see her photography here: http://meltonphotography.wordpress.com/

About the Author

Kimberly PhinneyKimberly Phinney Kimberly Phinney is a writer with a degree in English from The University of South Florida. She’s devoted her adult life to the pursuit of natural health and wellbeing for the body, mind, and soul. She has her own blog on health and wellness at http://TheUniversalSoul.blogspot.com and freelances for other websites as well. Currently, she teaches English and journalism at a high school in Tampa and is in the middle of working on her first novel.