The quiet moments in your day offer natural opportunities to let go of stress. Here’s how to make the most of them.
1. Read something out loud
A good piece of writing or poetry read aloud can have a very soothing effect. That’s why children love to be read to. If you don’t like to read out loud to yourself, try listening to an audiobook.
2. Listen, really listen, to a piece of music
Sit or lie down and listen to an entire album, symphony, opera, or whatever suits your taste. You may feel yourself getting antsy or reaching for your phone at first, but soon you’ll sink into the sounds.
3. Relax your muscles with a body scan
Progressive muscle relaxation — also known as a “body scan” exercise — can help you notice where you’re holding stress. It doesn’t take long and it’s simple to do:
Body scan exercise:
Lie down comfortably on your back with your legs straight. Close your eyes. Start by tensing the muscles in your feet, then relax. Work your way up your body doing the same thing in sequence from your feet to your head. Often it’s only by experiencing muscle tension and letting it go that we become aware of just how much tension our bodies are holding.