3 Simple Relaxation Techniques

Let’s pretend someone gives you the advice to just relax and do nothing.  Could these be your responses?

“I don’t have time to relax.”
“I can’t just NOT think of anything.”
“This requires years of practice.”

Yes?  Well, then I have some relaxation advice for you:  “When you’re in a hurry, slow down.”

Particularly when you think you don’t have the time, a super quick time out can help you lower your stress level and focus on what’s important in life with new-found serenity.

If I tell you “don’t do anything for a moment,” it’s easily said, but not so easily done.  The art of doing nothing, particularly without permitting distractions, is not an easy one.  But if you persist and keep trying, you’ll be able to drastically reduce stress.

Many people believe they have to practice yoga or learn to meditate to stay calm in their stressful daily life.  Well, you don’t.  You can get started with some really easy exercises.  Breathing is the name of the game.  Calming, deep breaths free your mind and bring instant relaxation.

I have three 3-minute relaxation techniques for you to integrate into your everyday life.  You’ll soon feel the benefits, I promise.  By the way, the best way to do this is by setting a timer to 3 minutes, so you don’t have the feeling you need to check your watch all the time!

Relaxation Technique 1: Recharge your batteries
When: Mornings; after waking up
3 minutes

  • Stand upright, with both legs hip-width apart.
  • Imagine you’re connected to the ground, just like the tree.
  • Take deep breaths and feel the oxygen enter your lungs.  Imagine you’re breathing pure energy.  Feel the energy filling your entire body.
  • When breathing out, let go of tension and negative thoughts.
  • If you want, stretch your arms towards the sky when breathing in and let them sink down again while breathing out.

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Relaxation Technique 2: Find your balance
When: During lunch or other short breaks
3 minutes

  • Take a deep breath and slowly count to seven.
  • Then, don’t hold your breath, but breathe out slowly while counting to seven.
  • Observe thoughts that pop up in your head, then let them burst like bubbles.

Relaxation Technique 3: Free your mind
When: Evenings; before going to bed
3 minutes

  • Sit down on the floor or on a chair and make yourself comfortable – with your back straight and relaxed shoulders.  Take a deep breath, with your eyes closed if you want.
  • Focus on your breath.  It is important not to change your breathing rhythm.  Just concentrate on how the air flows into and out of your lungs.
  • If thoughts or ideas pop up in your head, let them pass by like clouds, without paying any attention.  Shift your focus back to your breath (we often get angry or give up at this point, as we think we can’t manage to “not think of anything” – just stay calm and try to keep going).
  • Keep breathing and allow your thoughts to wander.  Observe them, but don’t judge them.  Stay focused on yourself and your breathing until the timer goes off.

Every day has 1,440 minutes.  Therefore, nine, consciously-spent minutes are just a tiny fraction of your day, but they can make a huge difference.  Take these three 3-minute exercises and make them a part of your day (yes, day after day) for the next 30 days.  You’ll see – they’re truly life-changing.

We would love to hear about your personal experiences and relaxation techniques, so please share in the comments below.  I’m looking forward to your stories & feedback!

Ciao for now,
Vera

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Vera Schwaiger Vera studied dietetics & psychotherapy. She lives her life according to what Einstein once said: "Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving." View all posts by Vera Schwaiger »

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