October 31, 2012

Cleaning out the Cobwebs

Sometimes in life, it's important to clean out the cobwebs that clog up our day-to-day activities and can have a draining effect on our moods. Over the last couple of weeks, I've done some much-needed mental housekeeping. I have made peace with things that have been weighing heavily on my heart and mind for some time now, and the difference it has made is wonderful.

I'm lucky to have family, friends, co-workers, and many others who are supportive and enthusiastic about my ideas. Focusing on those things can be difficult sometimes, but I'm making a conscious effort to do so.

In college, I learned some amazing relaxation tools as part of my psychology classes. Today, I'm offering some (perhaps unsolicited) tips to improve your mood and relieve some stress, even if it's just a little.

1) Take a breath: it seems so simple, and yet, many people don't stop to take a deep breath a few times a day. Doing so can help to "reset" your mind, so to speak. I take a deep breath in the morning as soon as I wake up, just before heading out the door for work, and then periodically during the day. Try it! Close your eyes, fill your lungs with air slowly through your nose, and exhale slowly through your mouth.

2) When you lie down at night, systematically tense and relax your muscles (hold the tensed muscle for 5 seconds, slowly relaxing it) from head to toe. This one is my favorite, it almost instantly puts me to sleep.

3) There are plenty of websites out there that will allow you to choose from any number of ambient noises, such as rain, thunder, waterfalls, etc. My favorite combination is a light rolling thunder and a steady rain.

Ahhhh... relaxation. It's such a welcome luxury at the end of a busy day.

By the way, happy Halloween! Did you catch the cobweb connection?

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