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5 Of The Best…....Ways to relax at home

This months feature is on '5 of the best relaxation techniques you can use at home'.

Whether its preparing the mind and body for the day ahead, or unwinding after a tough day, there are many techniques you can use to de-stress.

We take a look at 5 that you can do in the comfort of your own home.

1) Meditate

Sit in a quiet room in a comfortable position with your feet on the ground (or sit on the ground). Close your eyes and focus all your thoughts on a positive thought or saying. Repeat this over and over again either out loud or in your head, and let all your other thoughts disappear.  Leave all your stresses and worries behind you.

2) Deep breathing

This one is easy to do anywhere and can be combined with many other relaxation techniques. Sitting up comfortably, place one hand on your chest and one on your stomach. Take a deep breath in through your nose so that the hand on your stomach rises. The hand on your chest should move very little, and your shoulders should not rise at all. Count backwards from 10 as you exhale through your mouth as much as possible, while contracting your abdominal muscles. Your hand on your stomach should move back in but your hand on your chest again should move very little. If you find this difficult sitting up, try lying down on your back.

3) Listen to music

Kick back on your sofa or take a load off and lie down. Rest your head and turn on some ocean waves, crackling camp fires, babbling river brooks, or the gentle calls of wild woodland creatures to help you relax and get away from the stresses of everyday life. Imagine yourself in this comfortable position lying on the beach or by a calm river somewhere, or just back somewhere at place where you felt at peace... your happy place!

4) Stretching

Getting into a daily routine of stretches can really help reduce the tension in your muscles and your body. It can also help get your blood flowing around your body and generally help wake your body up to feel ready for the day ahead. Alternatively, it can help you unwind after a long gruelling day at work. If you need help with selecting the right stretches for you, consult your local physio or massage therapist, or look into Pilates classes!

5) Progressive muscle relaxation

This is a 2-step process to help you really feel the relaxation of your muscles. Sit in a chair with a back, head and arm rests, or lie down. The first step of the process is to tense a particular muscle group as much as you can for 5 seconds, such as your legs, and take a slow and deep breath in. After the 5 seconds, as you breathe out immediately let go of all that tightness and tension, and fully relax. Take notice of that feeling of tension leaving those muscles. Remain in this relaxed state for about 15 seconds, before moving on to the next muscle group. Systematically repeat this for your entire body until you are sitting there completely relaxed and free of any unnecessary tension.