How to relax when meditation just isn't your jam

Let's be real. Meditation can have amazing benefits for our health - especially mental health - but meditation isn't easy for everyone. A lot of people genuinely struggle with anxiety and forcing themselves to sit still can trigger anxiety and panic. I know this from experience. Even though I am able to meditate for short periods of time now, it wasn't always possible for me. The racing thoughts and anxiety were just crippling for me.

I want to share 5 things that helped me relax when meditation wasn't easy.

#1 Breathe

It's easy to overlook breathing is something automatic. When we are feeling anxious, we have a tendency to have shallow and quick breaths which can result in even more anxiety and panic. Pause and take a deep breath. Slowly exhale through your mouth and you will begin to feel relaxed almost instantly.

Taking slower breaths helps your body and nervous system understand that you are safe. Repeat as often as you need. For safety reasons, I don't recommend doing this while driving or operating heavy machinery. Dr. Andrew Huberman has some amazing videos on youtube with the science to back this up.

#2 Music

Music is such a wonderful way to help us express our feelings but I have also found that it also has the ability to help us elevate our mood when in a funk. Create a feel-good playlist that you can turn to whenever you need to relax or lift your spirits.

#3 Write

Writing has been so instrumental to my growth and personal journey with anxiety. Find a notebook that inspires you and release all of your thoughts and feelings on paper.

Sometimes our minds are burned with endless chatter and thoughts that just need to be released. A notebook you keep private is a great way to let it all out without affecting your day-to-day life and relationships.

If you are on your own healing journey, periodically reading what you wrote weeks/years ago, can help you have a sense of achievement because you are able to observe your growth.

#4 Do Your Makeup

Or color, sew, paint, cook, bake, read...Activities you love are a great way to help you relax and become present in the moment. Create small rituals you can turn to that will help support your wellbeing and bring you joy.

#5 Exercise

I'm not talking about strenuous workouts that can further agitate you. Look for exercises that you love and help you feel relaxed such as walking, yoga. etc.

BONUS: Gratitude

Practicing gratitude can be very difficult especially when you are feeling anxious but I assure you that practicing gratitude can help you transform any tough moment into an opportunity. If you cant think of anything, start with the basics. Thankful for your health, running water, food, the internet. Anything you can think of that helps make your life easier in some way.

What things do you like to do to relax? Share them below.

#innerbeauty #mentalhealthawareness #emotionalwellbeing

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