Let’s face it, the world in which we live can be a difficult one to navigate. With family obligations and job responsibilities, not to mention the demands that we put on ourselves, finding time for peace and calm, more often than not, is a luxury. That said, unless we can find time to focus on ourselves and cultivate that ever important relationship with self, life can feel somewhat meaningless.
Simcha Gottlieb & Frumma Rosenberg-Gottlieb in this Chabad post, give an overview of 13 different relaxation techniques meant to help a person to let go of disturbing and distracting thinking and behavior patterns which generate negativity, disharmony, and agitation. According to Gottlieb & Rosenberg-Gottlieb, in order to successfully face the world, people need more tension tamer tools in their toolboxes.
Strategies for Calm
- Breathing Exercises
Although breathing is one of those bodily functions that happens automatically, shallow breathing or erratic breathing in response to stress is all too common. Exercises that focus our attention more intently on our breathing are an especially helpful method of managing stress, because we can do them anywhere, anytime—and they work quickly to calm and focus our minds. The simplest approach is deep breathing, an easy stress reliever that also has numerous benefits for the body, including oxygenating the blood, which in turn “wakes up” the brain and relaxes the muscles. A key to deep breathing is using the abdominal muscles. As you inhale, allow the belly to expand, which will help the diaphragm to more fully descend and make room for the lungs to be completely filled with air. Don’t force it; take your time until deeper breathing becomes easy and natural.
- Progressive Muscle Relaxation
- Guided Imagery
- Creative Visualization
- Friendship and Community
- Personal Care and Affection
- Positive Speech
- Tracht Gut (Think Well)
- Journaling, and Keeping a Gratitude Notebook
- Learning Daily and Attending Torah Classes
Read more on how to practice these 13 relaxation techniques for a calmer life here.