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5 Ways to Relax Your Mind

Fitting relaxation activities into your life can help reduce everyday stress, boost your energy and improve your mental and physical health.

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We all face stressful situations throughout our lives. And it is a normal part of life. However, if you are constantly reacting to stressful situations, you need to make adjustments to counter these effects. Unfortunately, relaxation often means watching TV and eating unhealthy food at the end of a stressful day which actually does little to reduce the damaging effects of stress. We can certainly develop healthier ways of responding to these effects. Fitting the following relaxation activities into your life can help reduce everyday stress, boost your energy and mood, and improve your mental and physical health. Rather than focusing on one technic, I would highly recommend trying several to see which one works best for you. Of course, the longer and the more often you do it, the greater the benefits and the more you can reduce stress.

Breathing exercises. It’s never too late to start

Deep breathing is one of the best ways to lower stress in the body. This is because when you breathe deeply, it sends a message to your brain to calm down and relax. The brain then sends this message to your body. Those things that happen when you are stressed, such as increased heart rate, fast breathing, and high blood pressure, all decrease as you breathe deeply to relax. The good news is that breathing exercises are easy to learn. You can do them whenever you want, and you don’t need any special tools or equipment to do them. I recommend trying the following simple and easy to learn exercise that will help you relax and relieve stress: take long, slow, deep breaths. As you breathe, you will progressively disconnect your mind from everything else.

Guided imagery

For some reason, we never talk about guided imaginary. And that’s a shame because it actually works. Close your eyes and try remembering places, or experiences that you have really enjoyed in the past. This will immediately help you relax as you will travel back to that time where you felt happy and relax. It can be difficult for those who have intrusive thoughts but once you manage to do it once, you will be addicted to it, I promise.

Meditation

The popularity of meditation is increasing as more people discover its benefits. In fact, a study from UCLA found that long-term meditators had better-preserved brains than non-meditators as they aged. Meditation is used to increase awareness of yourself and your surroundings. Many people think of it as a way to reduce stress, develop concentration but therefore beat burnout. However, meditation can sometimes be challenging. Many people think meditation is about sitting in a dark room trying to make your mind go empty. But meditation does not have to be physically uncomfortable. And you don’t need to force your mind to go blank. Try simple mindful breathing exercises, which is also a form of meditation. If sitting is uncomfortable, try mindful walking and pair your steps with your breath.

Adopt a healthy lifestyle

When I am stressed, I tend to eat unhealthy and exercise less simply because I am looking for ways to feel more comfortable. The truth is that these practices will not help your mental and physical state. Instead, make sure you are exercising, eating healthy and sleeping properly. Focus on your body and its needs. That should be the priority in everything you do.

Travel 

Taking a vacation and having a change of scenery, even if it is just a quick trip, can have a considerable impact on your mental and physical health. It has been scientifically proven that travel provides a number of benefits to your health, especially if you are surrounded by nature. For me, there is nothing better than a few days at the beach where I can fully relax. And who says beach says the Bahamas.

This year I discovered the Ocean Club, a place I will never forget. I’ve never been so relaxed in my life! The hotel is located on a private stretch of natural, white-sand beach on Paradise Island with 14 hectares of Versailles-inspired lawns and gardens. I really enjoyed staying in my traditional Bahamian room, located only a few steps from the beach. Every day felt like a dream: around 5PM, you can expect glasses of Champagne and chocolate-covered strawberries brought to your room. I was also able to enjoy a massage in the tranquility of a private Balinese-style treatment villa and was able to use the beautiful tennis court. Finally, I would highly recommend Dune, the hotel’s restaurant which is perched atop a white sand bluff and offers a dramatic ocean view. The restaurant serves an innovative blend of French-Asian fare and the breakfast served there is delicious and healthy!

I would also highly recommend the Grand Hyatt Baha Mar, a great option if you are traveling with kids and family and are willing to relax. The hotel is only fifteen minutes from the airport which means you can actually check in to the hotel in no more than 45 minutes which is ideal. This beautiful hotel is located on Nassau’s relaxing Cable Beach where you can soak up the sun or relax in a cabana next to one of the six sparkling resort pools. You will also have the opportunity to unwind in your spacious guest room with tasteful contemporary décor. Another highlight is the overwhelming list of places to eat: my favorite was the relaxing Drift Poolside Bar and Grill which had the best fried conch on the island.

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People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

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