Relaxation Tips For You!

Domenica Esparza

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We all know the stress that college puts on us students. Some of us may think that we just need to deal with it, BUT there are relaxation tips that can help relieve majority of that stress.

The University of Michigan Health System has a website dedicated to supporting student mental health, called CampusMindWorks. Included below are five tips to deal with stress and relaxation.

1. Time Management Skills. Doing this will allow you to have extra time to relax with whatever activities make you happy. If you manage your time wisely you will know what to do and when to do it, and you can manage to squeeze in time to relax. This will allow for success with school work and your mental health.

2. Laugh more often. Whether this means watching comedy shows, funny YouTube videos, or surrounding yourself by new people, laughter is a great tension reliever.

3. Breathing Exercises. Doing this can be beneficial when feeling overwhelmed or when you are getting ready to tackle a big task. The website gives detailed directions on how to go about the breathing exercises:

“Place one hand on your abdomen right beneath your rib cage. Inhale slowly through your nose, drawing a deep breath into your lungs. Your chest should move only slightly, while your stomach rises, pushing your hand up. As you exhale, just let yourself go and imagine your entire body becoming loose and limp. It should take you twice as long to exhale as it does to inhale. Practice three times per day for two to three minutes.”

4. Muscle Relaxation. A lot of tension builds up in the muscles. Taking the tip to examine your body and to listen to what it is telling you can be helpful. It is recommended to visit each area of the body from head to toe, “paying attention to individual areas where tension exists. As you pause at each area, tense and relax each muscle, trying to release unnecessary tension. Spend a few more minutes on those areas that seem to be holding the most tension.” You can also google exercises to do for certain muscles that tend to build most muscle tension around.

5. Mindfulness. Focusing on the now instead of the past or future will allow you to be aware about yourself. This involves caring for yourself, your health, and living in the moment. It is recommended to, “…pause, take a breath and notice what you are experiencing. Your experiences may be pleasant and worth savoring. But even if they are unpleasant, you will be better able to cope if you face your experiences directly and strive to live in the moment.”

The University of Michigan Health System also recommend to practice mindfulness through meditation. Follow the directions below to do so:

  • Find a comfortable position.
  • While focusing on your breathing, allow your thoughts, feelings, and physical sensations to flow over you, entering and leaving your awareness at their own pace. Recognize each sensation, but then let it fade away, allowing the next thought or feeling to enter your mind. Continue to acknowledge each sensation, then let it go.
  • You will likely find that your mind is very busy with thoughts—some pleasant, some unpleasant. Each time you notice that your mind has wandered, gently and without judgment shift your awareness back to your breath.
  • It can be most helpful to practice mindfulness for 30 minutes a day until you become comfortable with the technique.

Visit http://campusmindworks.org for more information on any positive mental health tips or information.