The modern world has brought new challenges to our brain, programmed over thousands of years of evolution for an environment relatively new to it. Sitting in an office, many of the self-learned emotional responses are sometimes not the most appropriate, so in this case the mental strategies that help, teach and make us learn to respond differently are very appropriate. In this post we are going to review several tips and relaxation techniques to improve the mental state in our daily life.
There is an unwritten saying that if you control your breath you will control your mind. In fact, it’s scientifically proven that changing the way you breathe can change the brain’s neural activity. This axis of connection between breathing and the brain has its basis in the fact that by changing the way we breathe we achieve a different balance of gases (oxygen and carbon dioxide) in our blood, and in fact this is the basis of many practices and techniques that are hundreds or thousands of years old, such as yoga or meditation. For example, breathing calmly and gently in times of stress can help us to relax, just the same way that short, quick breaths in and out help the brain to become metabolically active and to concentrate. The latter technique is used by athletes on a regular basis (and even unconsciously) to optimize their focus.
Diaphragmatic breathing to enhance relaxation
A breathing technique aimed for relaxation is called diaphragmatic breathing, where there is less use of the ribcage and more of the abdominal area. This is the type of breathing that babies do, as they breathe using more of their belly compared to an adult. Practicing diaphragmatic breathing consciously several times a day can help us relax.
Meditation and mindfulness
Meditation goes far beyond simple relaxation strategies. Meditation has its origins in ancient Eastern practices that are over 2,000 years old, and is nothing more than paying attention to the mind and what is within it. Meditation seeks to pay attention to thoughts, sensations and emotions consciously but without entering into judgments about them. There are apps that help you to start meditating actively and for periods of time as short as 5 minutes, so there is no excuse not to start now.
Massages can also help us to reach a state of total mental relaxation, depending on our needs. We always recommend sensitive massage or if you are looking for more group stimulation, erotic massage for couples can be a good way to escape.
Since yoga uses mental and breathing relaxation techniques based on what we saw at the beginning of the article, it is a highly recommended practice for physical and mental relaxation. Within yoga there are different branches or varieties, and therefore it is necessary to focus on practicing one that is oriented towards mental relaxation rather than the physical part.