Strategies to Help You Develop a Relaxation Routine
Practicing relaxation for anxiety will help you to relax your body, eliminate tension, and reduce stress. Spending as little as five minutes at a regular time each day will ensure you remember to work on making relaxation part of your routine.
Relaxation for Anxiety Routine
If you are a chronic worrier, you might feel like there is so much to do that you can’t stop for five minutes to relax.
Your excuses might be things like:
1. I can’t stop my mind from racing.
2. Meditation doesn’t work for me.
3. I have too many other things to do.
4. There are too many distractions.
5. It’s not going to help my social anxiety anyway.
6. I am afraid of people not being tense; I don’t need to learn how to relax.
Whatever your excuse is for not incorporating relaxation for anxiety into your day, you know deep down that it’s really just an excuse.
When you say you “don’t have time,” what you’re really saying is that “it’s not a priority.” When will you make yourself and your mental health a priority?
The time is now. Get started, whether you feel like it or not. Sometimes the motivation comes from just getting started. Then once you’ve developed the habit, it gets easier.
Eventually, your relaxation for anxiety routine should become automatic, so that you settle down to do it without even realizing that you are doing something to help yourself. Just like you do the laundry or wash your dishes, now you will have a habit of doing a bit of relaxation for anxiety every day.
So here is what will happen. Choose a specific time of day when you will do your relaxation for anxiety routine. For many people, this will be at the end of the day when your work and other chores are done. However, some people might enjoy doing it first thing in the morning to get the day started off in a positive way.
Now, you’re going to choose what you do for your relaxation for anxiety routine and how long you will do it. At first, it’s best to do the same thing every day, so that you make it a habit.
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15-Minute Relaxation for Anxiety Routine
Here is an example of a 15-minute routine. You can choose to do shorter or longer, just make sure you are consistent.
Practice these steps sitting in a reclined position or lying in your bed.
First, we are going to work on your breathing.
By practicing deep breathing once a day, you will train your brain to do this at other times of the day too.
You can even jump into this better breathing at any time during the day when you feel stressed about a social or performance situation.
- First, breathe in through your nose and fill your stomach with air. Count to five while you do this.
- Next, pause and hold the breath for a count of five.
- Finally, exhale slowly through your mouth while you count to five. Say a mantra while you do this such as “Peace.”
- Now, breathe normally for a few breaths.
- Repeat the deep breathing as you move into the next sections.
Now, imagine a wave of relaxation spreading through your body.
Start at your toes and slowly move through your entire body, noticing any tension and releasing it. Feel the weight of your body being pulled by gravity.
Continue this process until your whole body feels relaxed. Spend about five minutes on this step.
Visualize a Calming Image
Finally, think of the most calming serene setting you can imagine.
It’s all up to you! You could imagine you are at a five-star resort in the Caribbean sitting in a lounge chair on the beach. Visualize every detail of the scene as you continue to breathe deeply and keep every part of your body relaxed.
Imagine what you would see, hear, smell, taste, etc. Make it as real as possible in your mind. Sit with this image for about five minutes.
Then, gradually bring yourself back to the present moment. You should feel relaxed and calm.
If you find it hard to practice these steps on your own, you can always follow a guided relaxation for anxiety audio recording. You also don’t have to follow these exact instructions. Maybe you find it easier to focus on everything at once?
Breathe deep, relax each part of your body, and imagine a pleasant scene or situation for 10 to 15 minutes. Relaxation for anxiety shouldn’t feel like a chore, it should be something you look forward to!
That’s it! Make sure you keep up with this routine so that it becomes a habit.
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Here are some of my favorite social anxiety tools
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