It’s difficult to relax when you feel tense. Just think about it: when have you ever seen someone tell a stressed-out person to relax, and that actually work? Making yourself relax when you are tense and stressed out can seem like an impossible task. But it doesn’t have to be. Believe it or not, you can use natural relaxation methods in order to get yourself to relax when you need it most. This article is going to discuss those strategies at length with you. We strongly encourage you to practice some – or all – of these strategies as soon as you can! This is especially important if you are having trouble sleeping at night because of your inability to relax.
Creating a Naturally Relaxing Environment
Natural relaxation starts with setting up the right environment. Is very difficult for the majority of people to go from a high-energy, high-stimulus state of being to feeling relaxed and ready for bed at the drop of a hat. You have to transition there gently, and you have to make use of every tool in your toolbox in order to do so. One of the best ways to do this is to alter your environment in a way which favors relaxation.
Start in the bathroom by taking a warm bath shortly before bed. If you don’t have a bathtub, you can get similar results with a hot shower. Decorate your bathroom with aromatherapy candles or scent diffusers to infuse the area with a relaxing aroma. Exposing yourself to the hot water and steam will quickly elevate your core body temperature; once you get out of the bathroom and you start to cool off, it will send a biological signal to the rest of your body that it is time for rest. Your body will naturally start to relax as a result.
The next thing you need to do is create the perfect sleeping environment in your bedroom. This involves a few simple but important steps such as:
- Turning up the AC
- Turning down the lights
- White noise or other relaxing ambiance
The reason you should turn up your AC or otherwise somehow make it cooler in your bedroom is the same reason you should take a warm shower or bath before bed: to lower your body temperature. The human body naturally relaxes itself when the temperature drops because that’s what our circadian rhythm has been trained to do for tens of thousands of years. Furthermore, you should keep the lights low and as natural as possible. Electronic light, especially light from TV screens, computers, or cell phones, can disrupt your body’s ability to produce melatonin (the sleep hormone). Lastly, if you can’t relax at night because you are distracted by racing thoughts, some gentle white noise is a great way to distract yourself. The noise can give your brain something else to focus on so that your body can relax and you can drift off to sleep.
Relaxing a Stressed-Out Mind
Unfortunately, a little white noise and hot water isn’t always enough. Sometimes your body – and your mind especially – are so stressed out that you need to take things to the next level. This is especially true if most of your tension is in your head. Emotional stress releases hormones in your body which trigger a fight or flight response – and this is the worst thing you can do to yourself right before bed! But don’t worry. We have some great tips to help you take your mind off your stress and relax so that you can get better quality sleep.
- Exercise daily. Do you know why children sleep like babies, literally? Because they burn off all their excess energy by playing and staying active all day. As an adult, you probably don’t have as much energy to burn; the amount of exercise you need to sleep better could be something as simple as an after-dinner walk around the neighborhood. But it can help take the edge off of your restlessness.
- Herbal tea. Herbal teas usually contain plant compounds which boost levels of free-flowing GABA in the brain. GABA is a neurotransmitter with a strong link to helping people feel calm and relaxed. It certainly won’t have the negative side effects that a prescription sleeping pill or anti-anxiety medication would.
- Journaling. Bullet journaling is all the rage these days – and for good reason! Purging stressful thoughts from your mind right before bed is a great way to alleviate some of your daily tension. If laying awake at night worrying about tomorrow is a problem for you, then starting a journal is a great idea.
- Practice mindfulness. Meditation isn’t just for hippies anymore. Mindfulness meditation is a simple yet effective way to find inner peace amongst the chaos of everyday life. There are plenty programs you can get for free online or through a smartphone app which can help you release tension by counting your breath or utilizing other mindfulness techniques.
Be Patient With Yourself
Whether you have just recently started to have trouble sleeping or whether you’ve been struggling for a while, it’s important to be patient with yourself. Don’t beat yourself up if you try one or more of these tips and they don’t work immediately. They probably won’t, and that’s okay. It doesn’t mean the advice is bad, and it certainly doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with you. The longer you’ve been struggling to get better sleep, the longer it may take and the more work you may have to put into utilizing these tips for better rest. But if you stick with it, you can get some pretty spectacular results.
While you are incorporating this advice into your new nightly routine, we strongly suggest that you switch over to a natural herbal sleep aid. We know of one in particular that has wonderful ingredients like melatonin and hops extract which naturally relax your body before bed. But the important thing is to figure out what works best for you. The more natural your sleep becomes, the better it will be for your overall health and wellness.