Mindfulness may help you be present and attentive in any situation, whether you’re at work, taking a stroll, or hanging out with friends and family. Whether it was a massage therapist trying to create the scene, a well-intentioned partner offering assistance, or that one buddy who always seems to keep their cool, you’ve probably been urged to relax at a certain point in your life.

As a parent, I’m sure I’ve said it to my child a hundred times, but to no avail.

It can be a welcome gesture to be advised to unwind. On the flip side, it can be offensive. That relies not just on the specifics of the situation, but also on your level of relaxation training. Yes, the ability to calm oneself down is a learned one. There is no magic phrase or incantation that can make you feel relaxed, nor is there a “chill out” button you can press.

That’s unfortunate, but it’s also a relief in some ways. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve told myself to chill off, only to find that the admonition wasn’t working. Unfortunately, I’ve found that forcing myself to relax only makes things worse. I’ve learned techniques to gradually put myself in a state of calm, rather than anticipating to be able to switch it on and off at once. Using these methods, I’ve been able to make calm my default state of mind. That way, I can be more prepared to deal with stress if and when it arises.

Create Some Space

My first step in learning to unwind is to make some room for it. Allow me to list a few things that leisure does not entail. When you relax, you’re not in a rush or trying to beat the clock. This is not coercion, rivalry, or rivalry. If you make room for yourself, you won’t have to worry about having to do any of the following: hunt for a parking spot; rush the kids out the door; or rush to punch in at work. In contrast, here is what relaxation might resemble:

You’re taking your time getting ready for the day, finishing your tea with 10 minutes to spare, going for a walk during lunch instead of finishing up one more deliverable, and not getting worked up because you were stuck at a red light on the way home because now you have more time to listen to your favorite music.

Doesn’t that sound nice?

There are many different ways to achieve the same state of relaxation. When you give yourself the time and mental room, inspiration will strike. Just how does one go about making room? In my mind, it’s like putting borders around your actions. By delineating such edges, you create a haven where peace can flourish. If your morning is filled with meetings, you may feel pressured to get right back to work as soon as they end. Instead, try to take a breath and centre yourself.

Whether or not you need to use the loo, you can take a trip there, get up to drink some water on purpose, or just relax and tune into your body. How do you describe the feelings? How do you feel? These seemingly insignificant pauses to just be are rather significant.

Don’t Crowd Me

The importance of space to my method of unwinding is such that it requires its sub-process. After you get it up and running, you’ll have to keep it up. The world and its many demands will always want to crowd you out.

A spouse, a pet, children, expenses, a neighbour, a chatty best friend, extracurricular activities, academic obligations, mechanical concerns, and plumbing emergencies all demand your attention. The enumeration continues:

  • Simply put, life will unfold, and emptiness will go.
  • Your duty is to protect that area like the valuable resource it is.
  • Similar to when you establish good limits for yourself. It is fair to prioritise your needs and provide for them.
  • If you, like me, value time alone for rest and rejuvenation, then privacy is essential.

Utilise the Power of Your Subconscious Mind

You can use the space you’ve created as a starting point for a deeper introspective connection with yourself. Instead of being controlled by external factors like time or the sounds of a newborn or a burst pipe, you can focus on what you truly need in the now. These occurrences will still occur, but your needs will also be satisfied. Some of my go-to methods for calming my mind and body are:

  • Reducing muscle tension gradually (PMR)
  • Walking, sitting, and drinking are all part of yoga nidra, a form of restorative yoga.

The Method of Relaxing Muscles Gradually

The workout consists of tensing and relaxing every muscle in your body. You have the option of targeting individual muscles or doing the whole body at once.

  • PMR is the most effective tool I’ve found for controlling my level of relaxation on demand.
  • Yogic sleep, or nidra

This is my favourite of all time since it is, at its core, an act of giving up control. We don’t get much practice in surrendering in the modern world, but that’s exactly what yoga nidra is for. It’s like a more intense version of Savasana. Who wouldn’t want it, right?

Calming Yoga

Another common choice because of its mild nature. The goal is revitalization, not exhaustion.


This is a fantastic alternative as it is accessible to a wide audience. It’d be ideal if you could do it outside. Nonetheless, walking around the block is just as effective as exercising in the gym!

Relaxing and  Enjoying a Cup of Tea

This is the forgotten skill of taking time to savor a cup of tea or coffee.

Many Swedes engage in fika every single day, pausing their busy schedules to enjoy a cup of coffee, a slice of cake, and the company of a friend. Here’s how to make your preferred beverage:

  • Pour.
  • Have a seat.
  • Sip.
  • Wait a moment and watch the sky.
  • Refill your drink.
  • To finish the drink, simply repeat the process.
  • To take it to the next level, consider each sensation as you take a sip: the feel of the liquid on your tongue, the flavor as it settles in your mouth, and the warmth of the steam. Bring the sensuality.

Engage Your Body

While it’s true that life can be demanding, the truth is that a lot of the tension and anxiety we experience stems from our internal processes. Taking a break from serious thought, whether through exercise or light recreation, can have a profound effect. The bigger the force, the more significant the outcome.

As an example, gardening is a fantastic hobby. However, the best part is moving heavy bags of soil and a full wheelbarrow. These kinds of tasks are considered “heavy work” by occupational therapists and for good reason! The proprioceptive and vestibular systems, which control your feeling of balance and where you are in space, are stimulated, which might help you feel more at home in your body. Other excellent methods of entering your body are:

  • Yoga
  • Qigong
  • Tai Chi
  • Capoeira
  • Weight Training
  • Dancing
  • Trampolining
  • Wrestling/Sparring
  • Martial Arts

Evaluate Your Thoughts

Thinking causes a lot of tension, as was described above. The best course of action may be to enter the body and terminate the procedure. Sometimes it’s helpful to conduct some mental editing. One of my go-to methods is keeping a mental journal in which I record every thought and then sort through them to determine which ones deserve my attention and which ones may be tossed. I use the many types of cognitive distortion to sort through my thoughts and determine which are useful and which could use some editing. Among these are:

  • Extremism: seeing things in absolute terms
  • The practice of extrapolating a result to all possible cases
  • Catastrophizing: anticipating the worst possible outcome
  • Taking things personally, or personalization
  • Mind reading, or assuming you can read other people’s minds
  • Using negative thoughts as a filter
  • Negative thinking that explains away success as a random chance
  • Reprimanding or berating oneself with “should” assertions
  • Emotional reasoning entails taking one’s feelings as gospel.
  • Attributing negative qualities (such as “dumb” or “silly”) to oneself or others.
  • I simply rework the script if I see myself indulging in one of these cognitive errors.

Seems like this:

  • Remove the negative concept from your mind.
  • Taking note of the feeling that accompanied it.
  • Locating the source of the distortion.
  • Restating the idea in a more even-handed, neutral fashion.
  • Taking note of how the new perspective makes you feel.
  • The first step in this process should be to commit everything to paper. It’s a lot of information to keep straight.
  • I keep track of my ideas on a spreadsheet. You are free to make copies and make it your own.
  • Going through the motions mentally becomes less of a chore the more you do it.

Do a Weather Check

The aforementioned cognitive distortion exercise can be complemented by checking the weather forecast. By “check the weather,” I refer to a mental assessment of my emotional state:

  • Have a moment of solitude and reflection.
  • Put your hands on your body and pay attention to what it’s telling you.
  • Refrain from quick judgments or labels.
  • This kind of checking-in is a somatic practice that enhances our capacity to connect with our sensed experience.
  • Labels like “sad,” “hungry,” and “tired” originate in the mind, but the corresponding bodily experiences do not.

Follow the Path of Least Resistance

All of the aforementioned actions bring you closer to your energy state. Once you’ve made that connection, you may tune in to your energy to determine what you need at any given time. This could look like chowing down on a huge meal right after a workout to give your muscles the extra protein they crave. One option is to rest on Thursdays when you are likely to feel the most tired. You can learn a lot about what your body, mind, and soul need just by paying attention to your energy state and experiences.

Plan Out How You’ll Unwind

  • Do you ever find yourself with free time and then feel completely at a loss as to what to do with it?
  • You may make the most of the time you have by carefully curating your environment.
  • Don’t worry too much about scheduling or planning beyond the times when you know you’ll have free time.
  • Make the most of your downtime by doing things like setting the scene or keeping essential items within easy reach.
  • If you like to drink coffee and listen to music on the way to work, for example, set up your Bluetooth speaker and travel mug by the coffee maker the night before.
  • Keep Epsom salt, candles, and a face mask on hand if you find solace in a warm bath of a night. Also, don’t forget to mention that your significant other has to wait till 8 o’clock to use the loo.

Inhale, Exhale, and Repeat

The ability to unwind is more than just a talent. Inviting relaxation into your daily life is a matter of making room for it and acknowledging its value to your health and happiness. To make calmness second nature in a world on overdrive, one must put in the time and effort to develop protective habits and routines. Still, it’s vital to make room for quiet reflection and self-care.