25 proven ways to relax

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Don't flip out! Guaranteed to make you smile. Created by Bruce Kasanoff and Jim George, author of Time to Make It Stop: The How of Now http://www.amazon.com/Time-Make-It-Stop-How/dp/0615690742

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  • Jim GeorgeBruce Kasanoff25 PROVEN WAYSTO RELAX
  • WARNING!
  • There is a time to be tensed and ready, and a time to be relaxed and atease.The more aware you become of the difference between these twostates, the more likely you are to be in the right state at the right time.This guide helps you practice switching from tensed to relaxed orfrom something in between to even more relaxed.People are different. You will discover some suggestions that youespecially prefer. Focus on these, and do not worry about the rest.P. S. On some pages we respond to Flip s comments. Our repliesfollow this symbol:
  • AwarenessProgressiveRelaxationVisualizationshow this book is organizedTwo ways to relax:unload or overloadDramatic shifts in our state of consciousness becomepossible at either end of the spectrum. At the beginningof this book, we share ways to unload stress by unloadingstimuli. Near the end, we explore ways to escape tensionby overloading your senses, perhaps by going whitewaterrafting or dancing in a packed concert hall.unload overloadChange YourPatternsPhysicalActivities
  • 1. Close your eyes2. Use your breath to remind you to bepresent3. Three-step breathing4. Breathe into tension5. Walking meditation6. Write down what kind of person you wantto be7. Look at each human from a positive angle8. Progressive awareness9. Progressive relaxation10. Toe tensing11. Imaginary mini-vacation12. Look at this13. Perceive interconnectionscontents14. Listen to crickets, waves or rain15. Make a circle with your eyes16. Eye see what you think17. Reach out to an animal18. Convey affection19. Drop your jaw (and relax youreyes)20. Up against the wall21. Just stretch22. Be mobile23. Juggle24. Let the rhythm take you away25. And now for something completelydifferent
  • In 1908, an Austrian Psychiatrist named HansBerger discovered Alpha brain waves. Todaywe know that people who have more Alphabrain waves experience less stress andanxiety.In 1929 Berger demonstrated that closing theeyes decreases sensory input and increasesalpha power.From an intuitive perspective, we know thatyour eyes collect vast amounts of information,all of which your brain must process. Thus,simply closing your eyes is one of the easiestand fastest ways to give yourself a refreshingbreak.Close your eyes
  • It is all too easy to race around worrying aboutthe past or being obsessed with some future goal.But being relaxed depends on your ability tofocus your attention here and now.Since you breathe every moment of every day,your breath is a wonderful anchor to pull youback to the present. All you have to do is payattention to the feeling of air coming into yourbody and then being exhaled. That is it.Use your breath toremind you to bepresent
  • 1.) Sit in a relaxed position for a few minutes, and notice howyou normally breathe.2.) Inhale deeply and slowly, filling up as much of your lungsas possible. Pause for a moment at the top of the breath, thenslowly exhale.3.) Take a moment to observe how you feel. This is the mostimportant part. Look for any physical signs that your body isrelaxing. Do not force anything just observe, and then takeanother deep breath.Keep going in this simple pattern of deep breathing andobservation for as long as you like. The longer you do it, thebetter you will feel.Three-step breathingTry this in a setting that makesyou feel safe, such as indoorswhere there are no eagles orhawks ying above.If you crave slightly more structure than just be presentprovides, this simple breathing exercise may perfect for you:
  • Breathe into tensionPick just one of your tenseareas, and breathe into that.When you feel some relaxation,you can pick another area, ifyou like.Wherever and whenever you recognize tension in a portion of your body, breathe intoit. No, we do not mean blow on it visualize your breath moving through the tensearea. With each inhalation, visualize the fresh breath bringing healing energy thatloosens your tension. With each exhalation, imagine the tension leaving your body.
  • Walking meditation means to enjoy walkingwithout any intention to arrive, writes Thich NhatHanh, one of the most widely read advocates ofmindfulness. (This essentially means to devote yourfull attention to one and only one thing.)He explains that during walking meditation, youabandon any intention of arriving anywhere. You justwalk.Walking is only for walking. You enjoy every stepyou take. So this is a kind of revolution in walking.You allow yourself to enjoy every step you take.Walking meditationSource: Resting in the River, Thich Nhat Hanh
  • Although you may have spent years appearing to be ahard-charging professional or a conservative suburbanparent, that may not be who you truly are.Write down some aspirations in a private journal ornotebook. There is no pressure to get all your thoughtsdown on the first page. Feel free to take page after pageto explore possibilities.Cut out pictures from magazines and newspapers, orprint out images from online, and paste them into yournotebook all to better help you visualize the personyou want to be. Keep at it. This may take many weeks,months, or even years. But the process itself feels good.Enjoy the journey.Write down what kind of personyou want to be
  • In an interview, the Dalai Lama was askedwhether he ever feels lonely. He surprised theinterviewer by answering flatly, No.He explained that one reason for this was thathe tries to look at any human being from amore positive angle; I try to look for theirpositive aspects.Become more aware of how you look at others,and yourself as well.Look at each humanfrom a positive angleSource: The Art of Happiness by His Holiness The Dalai Lama and Howard C. Cutler, M.D.
  • Once you become accustomed to paying attention toyour breath, take the next step: become aware of yourbody.Start with one of the simple breathing exercises, thenwhen you are calm turn your awareness in turn toeach major part of your body. Do nothing more thanbe aware whether that part is relaxed or tense, orsomething in between. Do not try to change, just beaware.Move from your head and face to your neck,shoulders, arms, hands, chest, stomach, pelvis andbutt, thighs, legs, ankles, feet and toes. Pause at anypoint for as long as you like.Progressive awarenessYour goal is to feel your bodybecome increasingly relaxed. Tofeel, you need to stay awake.
  • Progressive relaxationSource: American Lung AssociationMove in turn through each of the following musclegroups, tensing one group and holding it for about tenseconds, then releasing the tension and relaxing whileyou enjoy the relief from tension. Do these in turn:Raise your eyebrows, then releaseOpen your mouth wide, stretching yourjaw, then releaseScrunch up your face, then releaseBring your chin towards your chest, then releaseTense your right hand and arm, then release- Do the same for your left armTighten your stomach, then releaseRaise your right leg and tense it, then release- Do the same for your left legTake a few minutes to be aware of how all themuscles in your body feel. Just observe.
  • Toe tensingSource: University of Maryland Medical Center, Sleep Disorders CenterIt may sound silly that tensing one little part of your body can help you relax, but thisexercise actually can pull tension out of the rest of your body. (It s a simpler version ofProgressive Muscle Relaxation.)1. Lie on your back and then close your eyes.2. Become aware of your toes.3. Pull your toes upwards towards your face, andhold the stretch to a count of ten.4. Relax your toes. Ten seconds later, repeatthe stretch. Do this a total of ten times.You can choose other single parts ofyour body and use this approachspecifically in that area.
  • Imaginary mini-vacationIf you imagine a pleasant scene, you tend to relax. If you imaginea pressurized situation, your body starts to tighten. In both cases,you are stimulating the nerve cells in your brain that react tosimilar real life situations.To relax, imagine a setting or experience you consider inviting. Itcould be a favorite beach, a special time with a loved one, a walkdown the winding paths of a small village, or simply theexperience of lying on your back in a field of grass andwatching the clouds drift by.Once you are comfortably within this imaginaryexperience, start touching things and payattention to how they feel. Sniff aroundare there any distinctive scents? The moreyou engage your senses, the more real - andrelaxing this imaginary escape will be.
  • Watch a free a river flow, or gaze into acampfire. Lie on your back and stare at the cloudsas they float by.Pick something you find both entrancing andreassuring, and give yourself permission to donothing but gaze peacefully at it.Look at this
  • Many of the suggestions in this book identify a source at the bottom of the page. Thisone does not, because we wish to share a personal obser