This Relaxation Exercise May Be The Easiest Way To Relieve Stress Or Anxiety
For many of us, relaxation is a state of mind that can’t be accessed much of the time. It’s more of a dream than a reality, especially when it comes to the times when we need it the most – when we’re in situations where we’re surrounded by chaos, feeling overwhelmed, and starting to panic. Truly, it’s a difficult skill to be able to foster relaxation “in situ”, in the midst of a chaotic situation. It takes lots of practice.
But you have to start somewhere, right? I believe this simple, five-minute relaxation exercise may just be what you need to learn how to quiet the mind.
Close your eyes. While sitting down, make sure you’re easing into a position you find comfortable. Begin to focus on your breath: the slow inhale through the nose, filling up your belly gradually; then the equally slow exhale through your mouth, feeling your belly compress as the air leaves it.
Now, imagine a color. It can be any color – it doesn’t matter. Picture your breath as this color, like it is dyed with food coloring. Continue to focus on slowly inhaling and equally slowly exhaling, all the while imagining your breath as this color originating in your lungs, traveling up and out of your body while inhaling through your nose, then filling the air around you as you gradually exhale.
Keep doing this for at least five minutes, or a few minutes more if it takes you longer to fully relax. Now, how do you feel?
Relaxation can be achievable for anyone who wants to put a few minutes’ worth of time into it, and the beauty of this easily-accessible exercise means that you can practice by building on it when needed in the exact moment that you need it (no tools required!).
Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons – Onderwijsgek
– Kristen Martinez, M.Ed., Ed.S., LMHCA, NCC Therapist in Seattle