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In today's fast-paced world, finding those moments of peace and tranquillity has become more important than ever. Incorporating relaxation techniques into our routines can significantly improve our overall health and wellbeing. Take a look through our top tips for getting that much-needed serotonin boost:
Exercise isn’t just about physical fitness – its profound effects on mental health have also been well documented. Engaging in regular physical activity releases endorphins, which are natural mood-boosters that help reduce stress and anxiety. Whether it’s a brisk walk, a cardio session, weightlifting or a yoga class, finding an activity you enjoy can be an excellent way to both energise and unwind.
Journaling is a simple yet powerful tool for self-expression and self-discovery. Putting pen to paper allows you to unload your thoughts, fears and worries in a safe space. This can help you gain clarity on your feelings, identify patterns and find solutions to problems that might be causing stress.
Visualisation is a relaxation technique that involves creating vivid, mental images to promote a sense of calm and wellbeing. It can be particularly effective in reducing anxiety and stress. To practise visualisation, find a quiet, peaceful place to sit or lie down. Take a deep breath and imagine yourself on a secluded beach at sunset; engage your senses by focusing on the sights, sounds, and sensations of this imagined place.
In a digital age, finding solace in the pages of a book can be a welcome escape from screens and the constant flow of information. Reading provides a sense of escapism, allowing opportunity to engage yourself in different worlds, perspectives and stories. The benefits of reading expand beyond reducing stress and anxiety, to increased concentration, memory and imagination.
Music has the remarkable ability to influence our emotions and mood. Upbeat tunes can improve our spirits, while soothing melodies can induce relaxation. Create a playlist of your favourite tracks, and dedicate the time to simply sit back and listen. Whether you’re commuting, cooking or winding down before bed, allowing yourself to immerse in music can provide an oasis of serenity amidst the chaos.
Physical tension can manifest itself in unexpected ways, and one common area it accumulates itself is the jaw. Clenching or grinding your teeth due to stress can lead to discomfort and headaches, but practising mindfulness throughout the day can help. Perform gentle stretches to alleviate the tension: open your mouth for 30 seconds and breathe through your nose. When it feels stretched, gentle close your mouth. Repeat a couple of times.
Quality sleep is often underrated, yet it plays a critical role in maintaining good physical and mental health. Establishing a good bedtime routine can greatly improve the quality of your sleep. Limit screen time before bed, as the blue light emitted by devices can interfere with your body’s production of melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep. Instead, engage in calming activities such as reading a book, practising deep breathing, or meditating.
In a world dominated by technology, finding relaxation through reduced screen time has become increasingly important. Disconnecting from digital devices can significantly improve our mental and emotional wellbeing. Try implementing strategies like having designated ‘tech-free’ periods of the day – this could be stepping away from the TV, having an hour without emails or temporarily cutting off from social media.
Whether it’s painting, playing a musical instrument or writing, engaging in creative activities can be incredibly relaxing. These activities allow you to express yourself, engage your mind and find joy in the process.
There’s a number of resources available to help guide us towards tranquillity. Apps like Calm and Headspace offer a treasure trove of relaxation techniques that provide a sanctuary of serenity at the palm of our hands.
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