How to Relax Your Mind & Body while Blogging

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How to Relax Your Mind & Body while Blogging

I want to introduce you to a way to create a calm oasis within your body and mind in the midst of today’s hectic world, where stressful events are virtually unavoidable. When stress is spiralling out of control you will benefit from learning at least one relaxation technique. This will reduce the effects of stress on your mental and physical health, and help you enter a more calming state of mind, no matter where you are or what is going on around you.

Progressive Muscular Relaxation can bring you into balance by deepening your breathing, reducing stress hormones, slowing your heart rate and blood pressure and relaxing your muscles. You can reap the benefits of including a regular relaxation technique into your daily routine.

This is one of my favourite techniques, and I feel one of the most important in your armoury against the effects of stress. I have found this Relaxation technique a tremendous way to calm body and mind, and has proven incredibly effective in helping many of my clients to experience a less stressed state. You will also find it benefits you in all areas of your life. My suggestion to you is make the time for Relaxation, set aside time for it every day. It will make a world of difference.

Many blogger are often putting themselves under intense pressure. Sometimes the pressure to post regularly gets too much. It’s so easy to get stressed by our expectations, wanting to blog every day, and having extremely high expectations of the feedback we will receive.

I personally feel like I need to be blogging 3/4 days a week so that I remain significant, keeping my current readers and commenter’s visiting my blog. The more I get into blogging, the more obsessed I become with my viewing figures and comment numbers. When I see a drop, I feel the stress welling up inside of me.

Many bloggers I speak to work late into the evening trying to get a post written. They smoke cigarettes, drink red bull, and pour coffee down them to just keep them going. They keep looking at their watches, see the minutes ticking away. Sometimes the words just don’t flow. Stress oozes through them, but they dare not leave their keyboard. They keep thumping the keys hoping what they are typing is working.

When you don’t make the time for relaxation, your stress remains unhindered, creating higher and higher levels of stress hormones within your body; your blood pressure rises; your memory declines, as does the healing processes in your body. Without bringing time for relaxation, you will suffer from physical, emotional and mental stress.

So a relaxation technique is essential if you are to reach your true potential and enjoy a feeling of wellbeing and relaxation rather than feeling overwhelmed. Relax deeply once a day for 15-20 minutes. Even if you can’t manage every day, you will soon notice how much better you feel and how much more capable you are when following this method.

When you reach the point that your brain is becoming cloudy, the words aren’t flowing, just stop. Take 10 to 20 minutes out. Try Progressive Muscular Relaxation. Let it get your mind and body up and ready to finish that blog off. Hey you never know, this may be the post that doubles your readership.

I truly believe, you can’t afford to find excuses for not adopting relaxation time into your life. It needs to come part of your lifestyle. Once it has become a regular habit, you will never stop, because the results you’ll see will leave you in no doubt of the benefits of doing this simple exercise.

A Relaxation technique is any method or activity that helps a person to relax; to attain a state of increased calmness; or otherwise reduce levels of anxiety, stress or tension. Relaxation techniques can help to decrease muscle tension, lower the blood pressure and slow heart and breath rates, among other health benefits

Benefits

There are so many benefits of using a relaxation technique, here are just a few:

  • Advances rest, healing and recovery
  • Calms your mind
  • Develops coping skills
  • Enables you to think more clearly and perform well even when under pressure.
  • Guards you against mental health problems
  • Helps memory and learning
  • Improves immune system
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Reduces tension in your muscles
  • Relieves your emotional state
  • Returns your body back to normal after the effects of the fight-or-flight, stress response on your body.

Progressive Muscle Relaxation is a combination of deep breathing with the intentional contraction and relaxation of muscles to bring about relaxation. It’s a very simple technique, where you first tense a muscle, tightly contracting it, keeping it under intense tension for a short time. Then you relax your muscle normally, and then consciously relax the muscle even further.

A good way of demonstrating this is:

Make a fist, and clench your hand tightly as possible for a few seconds. Then relax your hand, followed by intentionally relaxing it again so that it is as slack as possible. You will experience a deep relaxation in your hand.

The technique:

You will relax your muscles through a simple two-step procedure.

1. You intentionally tense a specific muscle.

2. You deliberately discontinue the tension and let the tension flow away as you relax the muscle.

You are going to do one sequence of tension and one of relaxation for each muscle.

Tip

Throughout this exercise you will be alternately tensing a muscle and then relaxing it. By doing this your muscle will be much more relaxed than it was at the start of the exercise. Concentrate your attention on how the muscle feels at all times, feeling the reduction in tension after relaxation.

Keep your breathing natural throughout. Hold the muscle tension for 10 seconds… 1000, 2000, 3000, 4000, 5000, 6000, 7000, 8000. 9000, 10000. Do the same for muscle relation.

Progressive Muscle Relaxation Technique

Choose a quiet place where you will have a minimum amount of disturbance.

Sit in a chair, get comfortable, while keeping your back straight and upright to prevent your mind from becoming lethargic or drowsy.

Now stay very still and quiet, with no distractions around. Your body should be comfortable and relaxed.

Partially close your eyes, leaving them only slightly open to allow enough light in to keep your brain alert in order to avoid sleep mode to set in.

Turn your entire attention and focus to your breathing. Allow yourself to breathe naturally. Don’t try to adjust your breathing. Don’t consciously try to make any changes. Just let yourself breath. Keep observing your breath.

Breathe in through your nose, hold it for a second, and then slowly breathe out through your mouth. As you take each breath out, feel yourself going deeper and deeper into a state of relaxation. Breathe in and out, in and out. Relax

Empty your mind of all its thoughts. Just let it quieten down. Let your thoughts gradually quieten down.

Sense your body as a whole, including the places where it contacts the surface of the seat. Notice how your body feels at this precise moment. Observe which body parts feel tense and which ones feel relaxed.

Concentrate on your breathing, hold this focus for a couple of minutes.

Take a deep breath in. Then a full breath out. Keep these going for a minute. Deep breathe in. Then a full breath out. Notice any sensations in your nostrils. Sense the feelings as you breathe in through your nose and then out through your mouth.

Take a deep breath in for the count of three, 1001, 1002, 1003. Tense as many of the muscles in your body as you can for the count of three, 1001, 1002, 1003. Now exhale by pushing out all your breath, and relax all the tension you can feel for the count of three, 1001, 1002, 1003. Feel how great it is to be relaxed.

Now you are going to work through your muscles one by one. Tensing each muscle group. Let go slowly, feel the tension drain away, and blood flowing freely, keep breathing.

Forehead – Start by wrinkling, tightening your forehead into a frown, tense it up. Hold for 10 seconds. Let the tension build. Now release. Say ‘Let go’ and relax. Focus on the relaxing feeling for 10 seconds. Let the tension flow out of your body.

Eyebrows – Now raise your eyebrows as high as you can. Hold for 10 seconds. Let the tension build. Now release. Say ‘Let go’ and relax. Focus on the relaxing feeling for 10 seconds. Let the tension flow out of your body.

Eyes – Now open your eyes as wide as you can and stare at a point on the ceiling. Keeping your head still little by little move your eyes to the right as far as they will go, then return back to centre. Then little by little move your eyes to the left as far as they will go, then return back to centre. Now squeeze both eyes tight shut. Hold for 10 seconds. Let the tension build. Now release. Say ‘Let go’ and relax. Focus on the relaxing feeling for 10 seconds. Let the tension flow out of your body.

Mouth – Now turn your attentions to your mouth and open your mouth as wide as possible. Hold for 10 seconds. Let the tension build. Now release. Say ‘Let go’ and relax. Focus on the relaxing feeling for 10 seconds. Let the tension flow out of your body. Bring your lips tightly together. Hold for 10 seconds. Let the tension build. Now release. Say ‘Let go’ and relax. Focus on the relaxing feeling for 10 seconds. Let the tension flow out of your body.

Teeth – Now clench your teeth together tightly. Hold for 10 seconds. Let the tension build. Now release. Say ‘Let go’ and relax. Focus on the relaxing feeling for 10 seconds. Let the tension flow out of your body.

Tongue – Open your mouth wide, and extend your tongue out as far as you can. Hold for 10 seconds. Let the tension build. Now release bringing it back into your throat resting it at the base of your mouth. Say ‘Let go’ and relax. Focus on the relaxing feeling for 10 seconds. Let the tension flow out of your body.

Jaw – Close up your jaw muscles tightely, press together bringing your back teeth clasped together. Hold for 10 seconds. Let the tension build. Now release. Say ‘Let go’ and relax. Focus on the relaxing feeling for 10 seconds. Let the tension flow out of your body.

Chin – Drop your chin down toward your chest slowly. You will feel the tension in your neck and shoulders. Hold for 10 seconds. Let the tension build. Now release. Say ‘Let go’ and relax. Focus on the relaxing feeling for 10 seconds. Let the tension flow out of your body.

Face – squeeze up your face making a scowl and hold it there. As you squeeze together your eyes, mouth and nose let the tension build. Hold for 10 seconds. Let the tension build. Now release. Say ‘Let go’ and relax. Focus on the relaxing feeling for 10 seconds. Let the tension flow out of your body.

Hands & Arms – Make a tight fist with your right hand, really clench it. Hold for 10 seconds. Let the tension build. Now release by extending the fingers. Say ‘Let go’ and relax. Focus on the relaxing feeling for 10 seconds. Let the tension flow out of your body. Lift your right arm up to about the height of your shoulder, and extend it fully out. As you bend your hand back at the wrist and keep your arm stretched. Hold for 10 seconds. Let the tension build. Now release your arm and let it drop slowly down at your side. Say ‘Let go’ and relax. Focus on the relaxing feeling for 10 seconds. Let the tension flow out of your body. Now raise your right lower arm from the elbows to fingers, keeping the upper arm still, make your bicep muscle tense, bulging. Hold for 10 seconds. Let the tension build. Now release drop your arm limp back to the side of your body. Say ‘Let go’ and relax. Focus on the relaxing feeling for 10 seconds. Let the tension flow out of your body. Lift your right arm straight up, and bend it backwards at the elbow, feel your tricep muscle, contract the muscle more. Hold for 10 seconds. Let the tension build. Now release drop your arm limp back to the side of your body. Say ‘Let go’ and relax. Focus on the relaxing feeling for 10 seconds. Let the tension flow out of your body.

Repeat for other side: Now make tight fist with your left hand,, really clench it. Hold for 10 seconds. Let the tension build. Now release by extending the fingers. Say ‘Let go’ and relax. Focus on the relaxing feeling for 10 seconds. Let the tension flow out of your body. Now lift your left arm up to about the height of your shoulder, and extend it fully out. As you bend your hand back at the wrist and keep your arm stretched. Hold for 10 seconds. Let the tension build. Now release your arm and let it drop slowly down at your side. Say ‘Let go’ and relax. Focus on the relaxing feeling for 10 seconds. Let the tension flow out of your body. Now raise your left lower arm from the elbows to fingers, keeping the upper arm still, make your bicep muscle tense, bulging. Hold for 10 seconds. Let the tension build. Now release drop your arm limp back to the side of your body. Say ‘Let go’ and relax. Focus on the relaxing feeling for 10 seconds. Let the tension flow out of your body. Lift your left arm straight up, and bend it backwards at the elbow, feel your triceps muscle, contract the muscle more. Hold for 10 seconds. Let the tension build. Now release drop your arm limp back to the side of your body. Say ‘Let go’ and relax. Focus on the relaxing feeling for 10 seconds. Let the tension flow out of your body.

Neck (lateral) – Keeping your shoulders relaxed and straight, turn your head slowly to the right, as far as you can. Hold for 10 seconds. Let the tension build. Now release, return to centre. Say ‘Let go’ and relax. Focus on the relaxing feeling for 10 seconds. Let the tension flow out of your body. Then turn your head slowly to the left, as far as you can. Hold for 10 seconds. Let the tension build. Now release, return to centre. Say ‘Let go’ and relax. Focus on the relaxing feeling for 10 seconds. Let the tension flow out of your body.

Neck (forward) – Drop your chin down toward your chest slowly. Hold for 10 seconds. Let the tension build. Now release, raise up your head. Say ‘Let go’ and relax. Focus on the relaxing feeling for 10 seconds. Let the tension flow out of your body.

Neck (Back). Now tensing your back of neck by stretching your head up as if your chin could touch the ceiling. Hold for 10 seconds. Let the tension build. Now release. Say ‘Let go’ and relax. Focus on the relaxing feeling for 10 seconds. Let the tension flow out of your body.

Shoulders – Curl your Shoulders back and up towards your ears. Hold for 10 seconds. Let the tension build. Now release. Say ‘Let go’ and relax. Focus on the relaxing feeling for 10 seconds. Let the tension flow out of your body.

Chest – Now tighten your Chest Muscles. Hold for 10 seconds. Let the tension build. Now release. Say ‘Let go’ and relax. Focus on the relaxing feeling for 10 seconds. Let the tension flow out of your body.

Back – Push the small of your Back towards whatever surface you are sitting or lying on. Hold for 10 seconds. Let the tension build. Now release. Say ‘Let go’ and relax. Focus on the relaxing feeling for 10 seconds. Let the tension flow out of your body.

Arch your spine, tighten it from top to bottom. Hold for 10 seconds. Let the tension build. Now release. Say ‘Let go’ and relax. Focus on the relaxing feeling for 10 seconds. Let the tension flow out of your body.

Stomach – Suck in your stomach tight as far as you can, as though you were preparing to take a punch in the stomach.. Hold for 10 seconds. Let the tension build. Now release. Say ‘Let go’ and relax. Focus on the relaxing feeling for 10 seconds. Let the tension flow out of your body.

Buttocks – Tense the butt tightly, clench your Buttocks together and try to raise pelvis slightly off surface. Hold for 10 seconds. Let the tension build. Now release. Say ‘Let go’ and relax. Focus on the relaxing feeling for 10 seconds. Let the tension flow out of your body.

Legs – Lift your right leg, while you tense both your thigh and calf muscle and pull your toes in toward you. Hold for 10 seconds. Let the tension build. Now release let your leg back down. Say ‘Let go’ and relax. Focus on the relaxing feeling for 10 seconds. Let the tension flow out of your body. Now, point your toes and curl them under on your right foot. Hold for 10 seconds. Let the tension build. Now release. Say ‘Let go’ and relax. Focus on the relaxing feeling for 10 seconds. Let the tension flow out of your body.

Repeat for other side: Now, raise your left leg, while you tense both your thigh and calf muscle and pull your toes in toward you. Hold for 10 seconds. Let the tension build. Now release let your leg back down. Say ‘Let go’ and relax. Focus on the relaxing feeling for 10 seconds. Let the tension flow out of your body. Now, point your toes and curl them under on your left foot. Hold for 10 seconds. Let the tension build. Now release. Say ‘Let go’ and relax. Focus on the relaxing feeling for 10 seconds. Let the tension flow out of your body.

Now lift both your legs together, tightening both your calf and thigh muscles as you point out your toes straight ahead as far as you can. Hold for 10 seconds. Let the tension build. Now release let your leg back down. Say ‘Let go’ and relax. Focus on the relaxing feeling for 10 seconds. Let the tension flow out of your body.

Whole body – Clasp your feet and fists. Draw your shoulders up. Squeeze in your jaw and face. Now at the same time contract your entire body. Hold it for as long as you can until you feel your body tremble. Then say ‘Let go’ – let yourself go…

For the next couple of minutes, go over in your mind all your muscles. Sense how each muscle feels throughout your body. Experience how relaxed and rested each muscle feels. Sense the restfulness that you now feel from having released the tension in your muscles.

Close your eyes. In your mind see yourself peacefully lying on a beautiful sun drenched beach. Safe and at peace. Repeat to yourself, ‘I am in a relaxed state now… my legs are relaxed… my buttocks are relaxed, my thighs are relaxed, my abdomen is relaxed… my back is relaxed, my arms are relaxed, my shoulders are relaxed , my jaw is relaxed , my face is relaxed and my eyes are relaxed… I feel no tension.

Take a long deep full breath, 1001, 1002, 1003, 1004, 1005. Now hold this for a count of two, 1001, 1002, and now let out all the air feeling any remaining stress just float away

To bring yourself out of this relaxed state, start to count slowly from one to ten. 1 … 2 … 3 .. 4 … 5 … 6 … 7 … 8 … now open your eyes, 9 … 10 … You now feel fully awake and totally alert. Stand up, stretch out, and feel great.

This simple technique will not only improve your physical well being, but will improve your mental state by reducing stress, anxiety, irritability, and depression. Trust me here this is a MUST DO for your stress management tool box. This is an awesome technique.

Give PMR a shot ! It only takes a few minutes out of your day; and the rewards of enhanced recovery, better muscle control and the ability to more effectively manage stress are well worth the investment.

So next time you seem to get stuck in mid flow on your blog, review your time management plan and take 20 minutes out. Do this exercise. Then get back to blogging. It really will help.

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About the author: Larry Lewis
My name is Larry Lewis, Health & Wellness Life Coach, Founder of Healthy Lifestyles Living, contributor to the Huffington Post, recently featured in the Sunday Mail Newspaper and somebody who went from being an owner of a chain of gyms and fitness fanatic, to a visually impaired overweight and incredibly sick person. Read about my illness to wellness story.
6 Comments
  1. Corinne Rodrigues March 16, 2011 at 4:30 pm

    Larry – This is so useful. I’m going to try it and let you know how it works for me. Thanks, dear friend.

    • LarryLewis March 17, 2011 at 10:23 pm

      Thank you Corinne. Definetely let me know how it is for you. Want you to also know your blog articles sure inspir me too. We will have to start a self love life coach society.

  2. Yogasavy March 16, 2011 at 4:50 pm

    Thank you! great advice and wonderful exercises to help relax….. am on my way

    • LarryLewis March 17, 2011 at 10:21 pm

      Thank you Yogasavy, it is a wonderful exercise for relaxation. i swear by it.

  3. Rhyme Me a Smile March 16, 2011 at 5:09 pm

    Great advice! I promise to try it out. 🙂 We bloggers are definitely stressers. I’m dumping that coffee down my throat now. 🙂

    • LarryLewis March 17, 2011 at 10:20 pm

      Give it a try Rachel it’s awesome. Let me know how it goes for you. By the way, i’m going to make a confession here on my blog, i love GUINNESS. So love the limerick on your blog

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