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Challenge your Mindset

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How are you feeling?

A checklist for chilling out and enjoying life

chilling-out

We live in a hectic, hyper-connected world, where finding the time to chill out and enjoy life is near impossible. Even when finding the time, we tend to over-share our efforts to at least 200 ‘friends’ on social media which can make us feel lonely. Me-time no longer centres around just ‘me’. Reports show an increasing number of us are investing in products dedicated to relaxation and de-stressing, from apps like Headspace to books on meditation and spirituality.

A developing Western approach to finding our Zen shows that we long to chill out and enjoy life, but some of us struggle to maintain the commitment.

Here is a checklist for ways you can achieve just that.

Learn how to take deep breaths

There is a method to doing a simple, reactionary process in a more effective way. In regulating your deep breaths you trigger the parasympathetic nervous system, which can decrease heart rate, increase glandular and intestinal activity and generally activate tranquil function in your body, such as certain hormones and enzymes. The breaths should push your diaphragm out as you inhale and exhaled slowly out the nose. It’s important to take deep breaths when proceeding to relax because it prepares your body to chill out.

Stress can be aggressive to your body’s nervous system and make the immune system weaker as a result. Deep breathing is the first step to overcoming this.

Get mindful

Adopted from a traditional Buddhist meditation practice, mindfulness has become incredibly popular, to the point of being recommended by GPs. Unlike other forms of meditation, mindfulness is a technique to apply in everyday situations, that can help you chill out more at normally stressful places, like work or the hospital.

By completely embracing the present and allowing negative thoughts to pass through your mind, acknowledging their temporariness, you can become more relaxed and save mental energy. Next time you fidget waiting for something or get unnecessarily angry over a minor mishap, keep mindfulness in mind.

Work on posture

Unnecessary tensions can build up in the body just in the way we carry ourselves. Check up on your posture and movements every now and again across the day. Keep your shoulders up right, see how often you clench certain muscles and see if you’re straining any parts of your body when in certain positions, for instance, when you sit at your desk.

Move away from achievement

A large part of being unable to relax is the feeling of guilt. Instead of thinking that chilling out is conducive to being unproductive, see it as a chance to recuperate in order to maintain your high standard of working. Chilling out is about contentment with how it is, not a task to complete or a performance to score highly on.

The joke reflex

Some people like to tackle stressful situations with a sense of humour. When you find yourself in one of those situations, try and have a catchphrase or joke related to you and how you deal with things to share with others. It will help you take it less seriously or give you perspective on the true importance of the given situation.

Seek quiet time

Create a routine for relaxation to get excited about. Think about your perfect place where you can relax – maybe a bubble bath, on the settee or in the park – and stick to the plan. The reward of relaxation makes you appreciate it more.

The importance of chilling out and enjoying life is how it improves your mentality when approaching work, relationships and challenges. Making the effort to relax and de-stress needs to form part of a consistent and committed lifestyle, not a one-off event. You’ll find that your health can improve dramatically when you dedicate yourself to a relaxation routine – chilling out isn’t just for the lazy.

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This article was contributed by Pink Moods.

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