Time to relax: 9 Ways to a Happy Body
The current busy corporate lifestyle has a negative effect on health in general. When our bodies aren’t in shape anymore and suffer the effects of stress, it is very hard to be happy. Those who work out, take care of their body and even reserve a time for relaxation involve not only their body, but also their mind in order to operate more efficiently and maximize happiness.
1. Exercise right now!
Exercise is an essential component for a healthy life. Starting exercises may seem daunting for those who are not familiar with this, but it is as simple as standing or walking. The hardest part is, however, getting out the house. Once you get out, you’ll find out that your motivation grows. No matter what you do, any amount of movement is better than none.
Exercise is a powerful antidepressant and one of the fastest, easiest and most effective ways to raise your spirits. When we work out intensely, the brain releases endorphins – the same neurotransmitters that make us feel like heaven when we are in love. So next time you feel bad, stop and challenge yourself to do something active. Stretch, take a walk, climb a steep hill running or do some abdominal exercises, do anything that will put your body in motion!
Think of yourself as an athlete: monitor your progress and achievements and reward yourself for keeping fit and doing exercises. Take yourself seriously and don’t mock the exercises!
Exercises become progressively more attractive to you as you train and as a result, it becomes a habit that invigorates you.
2. Practice meditation
Focusing on current experiences involve intentionally paying attention to your actual thoughts and actions, while refraining yourself from any kind of judgment. This type of meditation can be practiced as a part of any activity – for example, during walking. Thus, you can focus on your breath and the movement of your feet. Make sure that you maintain a stable concentration on these two things and do your best to get back if you are distracted. This type of exercise can be applied to almost any gesture and will not only increase kinesthetic awareness, but also body-mind connection.
3. Practice controlled breathing
A method of relaxation is controlled breathing. This is the most effective one in reducing anxiety and help you keep youcalm. Moreover, it is quick and easy to practice wherever you are. Just follow these instructions:
• Make yourself as comfortable as possible, depending on where you are.
• Begin by breathing normally and make no effort to change your breathing in any way. Allow your body to establish its own natural pace, gradually focusing yourself on your breathing.
• Pay attention to the way you breathe and do it slowly and evenly. When you are ready, begin to tell in your mind “Inhale!” when you inspire air into your lungs and “Relax! “ when you exhale. Repeat the exercise several times.
• As you breathe calmly and repeat these two simple formulas, imagine that every time you say “Relax”, you become more calm and relaxed. Imagine all the tension and stress flowing out of you with every exhalation and with each repetition of the formula “Relax.”
If you are distracted by any noise or if your thoughts wander, gently turn your attention back to your breath and to the two simple formulas. Repeat meditation exercises whenever needed.
Our recommendation is to do 3-5 sessions of meditation exercise per day, lasting for 3 to 5 minutes each.
4. Practice visualization relaxation
Relaxation through visualization is very effective in creating feelings of calm and tranquility. It represents the type of relaxation that resembles the most with meditation. It can be performed anywhere, but it is easier to do in a quiet room. The key point is to visualize whatever you think is relaxing and soothing or something that inspires you and motivates you. Therefore do not hesitate to experiment it and come up with new ideas.
It is recommended to start by making yourself as comfortable and to slow down your breath until you reach a steady pace. Breathe deeply and slowly a few times and think about relaxing things. Imagine yourself in a beautiful place where everything is as you want it to be. You could be whether on a beach in a tropical forest near a lake or in a comfortable chair. Imagine yourself as calm and relaxed as possible. You can feel how your body is calm and relieved. All you can hear is soothing and relaxing. The sky is blue, water is clear, and the seat is soft, warm and comfortable. Involve all your senses and make sure you can return to this imaginary place whenever you want to relax.
5. Have a healthy snack
Rather than bombard your body with food lacking any nutritional value, think of food as an investment in your own wellbeing – good fuel will mean that your body will function well. Choosing healthy snacks will not only make you feel good in the short term, but it’ll do your body a favor in the long run. Therefore provide yourself with the following healthy foods and enjoy them in moderation:
• fresh fruits;
• fresh vegetables;
• smallquantities of dried fruit;
• low-fat yogurt;
• low-fat high fiber muffins;
• unsalted peanuts and cereals.
As for the health food, you can also read 13 healthy foods that relieve stress.
6. Rehydrate yourself
Happiness requires energy, and dehydration leads to lethargy. So it is clear that happiness, at least in part, requires an adequate hydration, which means sufficient water to drink every day. Everyone should drink a minimum of 8 glasses every day, or a glass of water every one hour and a halfwhen you are awake.
You can also eat foods with a rich content of water in order to to supplement the body’s need for hydration.
7. Do more unexpected things
Spontaneous activity involves finding ways to stay active in your normal life, daily. You can either climb the stairs instead of jump in an elevator or on an escalator, or get off the bus or tram one stop earlier and walk part of the way to work or school.
Engaging in unforeseen activities can significantly improve your health and wellbeing.
8. Do stretching exercises
Most often exercise is perceived as an effort that leads to a rapid pulse of the heart and sweat. However, an equally important part of the exercise is warming and relaxation of the muscles through stretching exercises. Stretching helps activating your muscles and prevents accidents. Relaxation is its intrinsic benefit. Light exercise can be fun and allow you to get in contact with your body. So, when a demanding day is over, don’t forget to relax your muscles.
Laughter relaxes the body, improves mental relaxation, increases your immunity, gets you closer to other persons and, of course, keeps your spirits up.
Timothy J. Sharp, 100 ways to happiness. A Guide for Busy People