Relaxing is something many people, especially college students don't have time to do. It's hard to find time in our busy schedules to sit down and push the stress away.
I feel like I am constantly on the go. I always have somewhere to be or an assignment to turn in before 11:59 p.m. Finding time to relax is hard for me. I found that I was always tense. My shoulders especially were always rigid because I was so used to being in stressful situations. When I was in these situations, my whole body would tense up. I had been living in that tense state most of the time.
I spoke to a counselor about my stress and asked how I could manage it better. She told me that guided meditation helps a lot. She also suggested something called "progressive muscle relaxation." This is basically like guided meditation, but instead of the speaker telling you to clear your mind and lay still, they tell you to tense each part of your body at a time and then to let go of the tension, while relaxing into a comfortable position. It also helps you focus on your breathing so that you calm down.
I thought the idea of it sounded strange and I didn't understand how tensing up muscles and then relaxing them would help anything, but then I tried it. I can honestly say it was life-changing. I tried it for the first time one night after a busy week of exams. I was so stressed out and anxious that I couldn't sleep. I went to YouTube and searched up a video on it and closed my eyes as it played. I followed along and immediately started feeling calmer. My heart rate slowed down and I finally felt at ease.
This video helped me incorporate muscle relaxation techniques into my everyday life. Sometimes when I'm out somewhere and I notice that my posture is stiff, I'll tense my muscles for a few seconds, and then I'll let go of the tension. Doing this has helped decrease my stress levels a ton. I am finally able to relax a bit more when I am in stressful situations.
Progressive muscle relaxation is something I definitely recommend to anyone who feels tense and is looking for a way to relax. Guided meditation is also great for when you want to clear your mind of any worries or fears.
Check out this video if you want to start your relaxation journey today!