COUNSELLING BLOG

Posts tagged relaxation

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7 Unconventional Ways to De-stress and Release Tension

1. Massage your ears. The ear massage is a fantastic way to release endorphins in your brain and make you feel good. Start by gently rubbing your earlobes with your thumb and index finger. Then squeeze the outer edges of your ears all the way to the top. These parts of your ears have tiny reflex points that can relax specific areas of your body. Finish by using your index fingers and middle fingers to massage behind the ears on the bony part of your skull.
2. Finger paint. Finger painting allows you to have fun, be artistic and play in a child like way. It gives you permission to express your creativity and spontaneity without expectations.
3. Declutter. Take note of how much stuff you have lying around your room. Then, get rid of anything and everything you don’t use or need. It’s easier to relax when you are not surrounded by stuff – especially stuff like, work, electronics and even reading materials because your subconscious mind then feels you’ve things to do.
4. Try laughing yoga. We all know that laughter has a wonderful effect on our mood and is one of the best feel good things we can do. However, the opportunity to laugh like this doesn’t always come easily and often. A fun and crazy way to make yourself laugh uncontrollably is to find (google) a class, club or yoga studio in your area that offers laughing yoga.
5. Procrastinate. Make a list of things to do and then don’t do it. Call it your procrastination list. Then make the decision to engage in something you really feel like doing. If and when you become inspired to do something on your procrastination list then go for it.
6. Be brutally honest. Instead of bottling things up inside you, which causes stress and tensions, why not let it go through the power of honest speech. Express your emotions and tell people how you really feel without being rude or obnoxious. Notice how relieved you feel.
7. Dance in the rain. Next time it rains, have a little fun, get wet and do a little dance. Engage all your senses and enjoy the moment. If you live in a colder climate, try dancing in the snow or making snow angels.
Source: http://zenhabits.net/8-unconventional-ways-to-de-stress-and-release-tension/ (Abridged)

Filed under counselling psychology therapy stress self improvement inspiration motivation goals success relaxation mental health mental illness online counselling college

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8 Unconventional Ways to De-stress

1. Massage your ears. The ear massage is a fantastic way to release endorphins in your brain and make you feel good. Start by gently rubbing your earlobes with your thumb and index finger. Then squeeze the outer edges of your ears all the way to the top. These parts of your ears have tiny reflex points that can relax specific areas of your body. Finish by using your index fingers and middle fingers to massage behind the ears on the bony part of your skull.

2. Finger paint. Finger painting allows you to have fun, be artistic and play in a child like way. It gives you permission to express your creativity and spontaneity without expectations.

3. Declutter. Take note of how much stuff you have lying around your room. Then, get rid of anything and everything you don’t use or need. It’s easier to relax when you are not surrounded by stuff – especially stuff like, work, electronics and even reading materials because your subconscious mind then feels you’ve things to do.

4. Try laughing yoga. We all know that laughter has a wonderful effect on our mood and is one of the best feel good things we can do. However, the opportunity to laugh like this doesn’t always come easily and often. A fun and crazy way to make yourself laugh uncontrollably is to find (google) a class, club or yoga studio in your area that offers laughing yoga.

5. Procrastinate. Make a list of things to do and then don’t do it. Call it your procrastination list. Then make the decision to engage in something you really feel like doing. If and when you become inspired to do something on your procrastination list then go for it.

6. Be brutally honest. Instead of bottling things up inside you, which causes stress and tensions, why not let it go through the power of honest speech. Express your emotions and tell people how you really feel without being rude or obnoxious. Notice how relieved you feel.

7. Dance in the rain. Next time it rains, have a little fun, get wet and do a little dance. Engage all your senses and enjoy the moment. If you live in a colder climate, try dancing in the snow or making snow angels.

8. Enjoy a staycation. Instead of travelling somewhere on a holiday, stay at home and enjoy a local vacation. Maybe try a new hobby or activity, or just visit some local cafes, bars or restaurants.

Source: http://zenhabits.net/8-unconventional-ways-to-de-stress-and-release-tension/ (Abridged)

Filed under counselling psychology therapy stress relaxation self help self care self improvement inspiration mental health mental illness online counselling college

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The Benefits of Mindfulness

1. It helps us to let go of the tiredness, stress and negativity that clutters up our mind. That then frees us to be still, and get in touch with our true self.

2. It helps us get in touch with our feelings and emotions - so we’re able to respond, and not simply react. 

3. It helps us get in touch with our empathy - so we’re more able to listen, understand, connect and get inside the world of other people in our lives.

4. It keeps our focus on the present - so we’re not trapped by the past, or the pain and regret that can stop us moving on. Or, by concerns about the future, which haven’t happened yet!

5. It helps to keep us grounded in who we really are. That can increase our self confidence and self esteem, and we’re able to access and draw upon our strengths.

6. The body and mind are closely intertwined. Thus, if we’re careful to attend to our mental wellbeing it’s like to be good for our physical health, too.

Filed under counselling psychology therapy mindfulness stress relaxation inspiration motivation self help self improvement online counselling college

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Relaxation Techniques

The secret of dealing effectively with stress is learning how to take control of your mind:

1. Live in the present as much as you can – A lot of our thoughts are fearful, anxious thoughts – worries about what’s going to happen next, and what could go wrong, and what that means for us But concerns about the future only makes us feel much worse – they doesn’t influence the outcome of events. So, focus on the present and what you’re doing now.

2. Take control of your environment – Our home and work environment affect the way we feel. For example, if everything is messy it’s hard to relax as that subtly reminds us of all we need to do. That can, therefore, weigh us down and leave us feeling tired and drained. We don’t know where to start as we feel so overwhelmed. In contrast, fresh flowers, air fresheners, a light environment, and photos and pictures tend to make us feel relaxed, and help improve our mood and leave us feeling happier. 

3. Take up meditation – In meditation we actively quieten our mind, and seek to take control of that restless stream of thought that can stop us from experiencing true inner peace and calm.

4. Stop procrastinating – One of the most effective ways to deal with stress is to consciously prioritise the things you need to do – and then to work on the first item you’ve written on your list. That way, you’ll feel you’re making progress (and you’ll feel less guilty, too).

5. Don’t pay attention to what other people think – You can’t please everyone – and that is not your role. You need to be yourself, and to do what you think’s right, and to have your own opinions and your own points of view. Worrying about others, and what they think of you, will only wear you down (and it’s a moving target, too).

6. Make time for yourself – If you’re always available you’ll stress yourself out. You’re only one person and can’t do it all. You need some time for yourself when you can charge your batteries, and unwind, and replenish your energy reserves.

7. Sometimes a change is as good as a rest – If you’re stuck in a rut and keep doing the same things, so life comes boring and monotonous, you’ll start to feel frustrated and lose your zest for life. But trying something new can help restore your energy, and blow away the cobwebs that are settling on your mind.

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15 Meditation Tips

Meditation is the art of focusing 100% of your attention in one area. Below are some practical recommendations to help beginners get past the initial hurdles and integrate meditation over the long term:

1) Make it a formal practice. You will only get to the next level in meditation by setting aside specific time (preferably two times a day) to be still.

2) Start with the breath. Breathing deep slows the heart rate, relaxes the muscles, focuses the mind and is an ideal way to begin practice.

3) Stretch first. Stretching loosens the muscles and tendons allowing you to sit (or lie) more comfortably. Additionally, stretching starts the process of “going inward” and brings added attention to the body.

4) Meditate with purpose. Meditation is an ACTIVE process. The art of focusing your attention to a single point is hard work, and you have to be purposefully engaged.

5) Notice when frustration creep up on you. When this happens, really focus in on your breath and let the frustrated feelings go.

6) Experiment. Be experimental and try different types of meditation. Try sitting, lying, eyes open, eyes closed, etc.

7) Feel your body parts. Take notice of the body when a meditative state starts to take hold. Once the mind quiets, put all your attention to the feet and then slowly move your way up the body (include your internal organs).

8) Pick a specific room in your home to meditate. Make sure it is not the same room where you do work, exercise, or sleep. Place candles and other spiritual helps in the room to help you feel at ease.

9)  Commit for the long haul. Meditation is a life-long practice, and you will benefit most by NOT examining the results of your daily practice. Just do the best you can every day, and then let it go!

10) Generate moments of awareness during the day. Finding your breath and “being present” at various points throughout the day is a wonderful way to evolve your meditation habits.

11) Make sure you will not be disturbed. For example, if you have it in the back of your mind that the phone might ring then you will not be able to attain a state of deep relaxation.

12) Do NOT stress. No matter what happens during your meditation practice, do not stress about it. This includes being nervous before meditating and angry afterwards. Meditation is what it is, and just do the best you can at the time.

13) Do it together. Meditating with a partner or friend can have many wonderful benefits, and can improve your practice. However, it is necessary to make sure that you set agreed-upon ground rules before you begin!

14) Meditate early in the morning. Without a doubt, early morning is an ideal
time to practice: it is quieter, your mind is not filled with the usual clutter, and there is less chance you will be disturbed. Make it a habit to get up half an hour earlier to meditate.

15) Be Grateful at the end. Once your practice is through, spend 2-3 minutes feeling appreciative of the opportunity to practice and your mind’s ability to focus.

Source: http://zenhabits.net/meditation-for-beginners-20-practical-tips-for-quieting-the-mind/ (Abridged)

Filed under counselling psychology therapy meditation Mindfulness mental health mental illness self improvement self help inspiration motivation relaxation online counselling college

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8 Unconventional Ways to De-stress and Release Tension

1. Massage your ears. The ear massage is a fantastic way to release endorphins in your brain and make you feel good. Start by gently rubbing your earlobes with your thumb and index finger. Then squeeze the outer edges of your ears all the way to the top. These parts of your ears have tiny reflex points that can relax specific areas of your body. Finish by using your index fingers and middle fingers to massage behind the ears on the bony part of your skull.

2. Finger paint. Finger painting allows you to have fun, be artistic and play in a child like way. It gives you permission to express your creativity and spontaneity without expectations.

3. Declutter. Take note of how much stuff you have lying around your room. Then, get rid of anything and everything you don’t use or need. It’s easier to relax when you are not surrounded by stuff – especially stuff like, work, electronics and even reading materials because your subconscious mind then feels you’ve things to do.

4. Try laughing yoga. We all know that laughter has a wonderful effect on our mood and is one of the best feel good things we can do. However, the opportunity to laugh like this doesn’t always come easily and often. A fun and crazy way to make yourself laugh uncontrollably is to find (google) a class, club or yoga studio in your area that offers laughing yoga.

5. Procrastinate. Make a list of things to do and then don’t do it. Call it your procrastination list. Then make the decision to engage in something you really feel like doing. If and when you become inspired to do something on your procrastination list then go for it.

6. Be brutally honest. Instead of bottling things up inside you, which causes stress and tensions, why not let it go through the power of honest speech. Express your emotions and tell people how you really feel without being rude or obnoxious. Notice how relieved you feel.

7. Dance in the rain. Next time it rains, have a little fun, get wet and do a little dance. Engage all your senses and enjoy the moment. If you live in a colder climate, try dancing in the snow or making snow angels.

8. Enjoy a staycation. Instead of travelling somewhere on a holiday, stay at home and enjoy a local vacation. Maybe try a new hobby or activity, or just visit some local cafes, bars or restaurants.

Source: http://zenhabits.net/8-unconventional-ways-to-de-stress-and-release-tension/ (Abridged)

Filed under counselling psychology therapy mental health motivation inspiration stress self improvement self help relaxation online counselling college

3,370 notes

Self Care

1. Consciously teach yourself to relax, and practice relaxation as soon as you feel stressed.

2. Pay attention to what you eat and drink.

3. A warm shower or bath can help our muscles to relax, and can help ease the tension in our body and mind.

4. Talking with someone who accepts us as we are – and is nonjudgmental – is highly therapeutic.

5. Recognise that there are things that are outside our control – and there are some situations that we simply cannot change.

6. Reward and indulge yourself with things that you enjoy so you feel respected and valued as a person. (For example, buy some clothes you love, or get your hair and nails done)

7. Make an effort to establish and maintain a work/ life balance. You need to make time for your hobbies, and to hang out with your friends.

8. Organise your time, and prioritise your tasks.  You’ll feel a lot less anxious if you get things done on time.

9.  Recognise that you have limits and enforce your boundaries. If you live with too much pressure you will end up overwhelmed.

10. Keep a sense of humour – smile and laugh throughout the day.

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How to Meditate

1. Set aside some time in your daily schedule as it’s best to meditate at least once a day.

2. Find a quiet place where it is easy to relax. Make sure it’s a place where there are few distractions (like the phone, TV or a barking dog). Only play music that is gentle and relaxing.

3. Pay attention to your posture and your body position. Sit on level ground (use a cushion if it helps) and keep your body straight, and your shoulders relaxed.

4. Focus on relaxing every part of your body. Work through each group of muscles in a systematic way.

5. Next, focus your attention on the way you’re breathing. Use this process as a tool to still your busy, chattering mind.  

6. Visualize a peaceful scene, such as lying in the sun, in a field of scented flowers, with a river flowing by.

6. Seek to quieten your mind so you’re thinking less and less. Try and reach the place where your mind in clear and open. Then simply bask in the stillness, until you feel refreshed.

Filed under counselling psychology therapy meditation self improvement self help relaxation online counselling college

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How to Stay Peaceful around Stressful People

When we’re around people who are stressed and negative it can upset our own sense of inner peace and calm. Here are some suggestions to help you with this:

1.    Imagine there’s an invisible shield that separates you from them. See their attitudes, reactions and high expectations as being their choice and decision- they’re not a part of you. You are two separate people – don’t let them influence you.

2.    Disconnect from the source of negativity. End the call, close your email, or get up and walk away. When we feel stressed and angry we’re more likely to react – so maintain your control by taking steps to decompress.

3.    Avoid toxic people if you possibly can. Avoid people who guilt trip you, or are constantly complaining, or who like to sit in wallow in their misery. They’ll quickly drain your energy and drive you to despair.

4.    Be a positive person. Go on the offensive and reach out to people who need some encouragement, a smile or a kind word. That will keep you feeling peaceful and positive.

5.    Spend time with people with whom you can connect, and who inspire and motivate you to be a better person. Look out for people who improve your self-esteem, who are positive role models and live life to the full. They’ll broaden your capacity to give and grow as well. (So let them be your focus – and not the stressed out people!)

Filed under counselling psychology therapy mental illness stress relationships relaxation self improvement life self help online counselling college