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5 Simple Ways to Relax & Unwind

May 4, 2012

1.  Just Breathe.  Begin by observing your natural breath. Don’t change it in anyway. Just observe the rhythm of the breath as it flows in and out of the body. Notice the length of the breath, the temperature of the air as it touches your nostrils, the cold air entering the nostrils and the warm air leaving.  Notice the pauses between the breaths. If thoughts arise just allow them to pass by like clouds in the sky, gently bringing your attention back to your breath.

2.   Breath Counting.  If you are finding it difficult to concentrate you may find silent counting helpful. Begin by observing your natural breath and then count 1 as you inhale, 1 as your exhale, 2 as you inhale, 2 as you exhale and continue up to 10.  When you reach 10 you can repeat the cycle. After a while you may be able to stop counting and just focus on your breath.

3. Chant Mantra. This Sanskrit manta is a powerful way to quieten your internal dialogue but you may choose any words that have meaning to you.  As you inhale you say ‘om’ and as you exhale to say ‘shanti’ which means peace. If thoughts arise concentrate on the sound and the vibration of the sound in your body.

4. Mudra.  These are also known as finger powerpoints.  This simple exercise involves chanting and mudras to promote focus and clarity. Do do this exercises it is suggested you sit upright on the floor or in an upright chair.  Rest your hands on your knees with your palms facing upwards and close your eyes.

  1. Touch your index finger tip to the tip of your thumb as you chant Sa.
  2. Touch your middle finger tip to the tip of your thumb as you chant Ta.
  3. Touch your ring finger tip to the tip of your thumb as you chant Na.
  4. Touch your little finger tip to the tip of your thumb as you chant Ma
5.  Practice relaxation techniques whilst doing other things.  Mindfully follow your breath whilst commuting to work on a bus or train, or when queuing in the supermarket.  Chant a mantra whilst doing housework or mowing the lawn.  Try counting your breaths as you walk your dog or walk to the car.
Once you have learned these techniques you can practice them in the office or in the park at lunch time.


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