Relaxation. It’s something most of us realise we need to do more of, yet while we’re well aware of this, it’s amazing how few of us are actually succeeding in taking real time for ourselves to properly unwind.
Relaxation is extremely beneficial for rebalancing your immune system, and clearing and strengthening your mind and body. And, for those of us who are struggling with conception, relaxation is even more important.
Most would admit that taking the time to rest properly really isn’t something that we tend make the time for (we’re too busy to fit it in!). And, when questions surrounding fertility are thrown in with the already chaotic manner in which life tends to move these days, things can get a little crazy…
A common reaction is to continue to feed off of and buy into that busyness. We bury ourselves in a whirlwind of madness, and become consumed by activities because we’re not sure what to do with our spare time, or what thoughts might pop up as a result.
If you’re nodding your head right now, or can admit to yourself that it’s probably time for you or your partner to slow down, or that this is something you’ve been trying to avoid, read on…
As we mentioned, relaxation is actually quite valuable to those of us trying to conceive. We’ve written a blog previously on the effects that stress can have on fertility (click here for full article), but since then, we’ve realised something…
We think we’ve worked out why it is that so many people don’t, or won’t relax!
You see, although people know they should relax, few of us actually no how to. And so, here are some useful exercises you can do to unwind, and let yourself go a little…
- Focusing on your breath is one of the simplest, yet most effective techniques for relaxation, and is something that can be practiced anywhere.
- Close your eyes
- Take slow, deep breaths through your nose, counting in your mind1-2-3-4, as you do
- Pause, before exhaling through your mouth, counting mentally 4-3-2-1, pause and repeat
- After a few minutes you may wish to move your focus from counting to breathing in peace and calm, and breathing out tension and anxiety
- This is something you can do in conjunction with the above breathing exercise if you wish to reach a deeper level of relaxation.
- After focusing on your breathing for several minutes, turn your attention to breathing out tension from particular areas of your body.
- Starting with your forehead, concentrate on the area, recognising that there may be tension or negative energy built up in this area. Release this tension with five deep, slow breaths.
- Move gradually down your body to your eyes, cheeks, throat, shoulders, and so on, repeating the process at each stage until you reach the soles of your feet, feeling your belly expand and retract with each stage of breath.
- A good tip is to imagine your breath as a wave in a rising tide, with each exhale reaching a little further down your body as you let it out.
Mindfulness And Positive Accomplishment
One of the best ways to relax is to do something nice for yourself. It might be taking yourself for a gentle walk, eating one piece of your favourite chocolate, or even getting someone else to do the pampering for you, like when you take yourself off for a massage – the options really are endless – the only trick is that it can’t be something you’ll feel guilty about later! We’re trying to promote positivity here!
The key really is two things: mindfulness, and positive accomplishment.
The first part, mindfulness, is the practice of focusing fully on what it is you are doing or experiencing. So, for example, if you’re going for that piece of chocolate, pay attention to every piece of detail – the colour of the outer packaging, the sound that’s made when you open the wrapping, how it smells, how it feels between your fingers; its texture, the different swirls of flavour, its creaminess, the way it melts.
You see, this practice, whether it’s focusing on that delicious chocolate, taking in the beauty and sounds surrounding you as you stroll down the road, or experiencing sensations like touch and warmth, and smell from a massage or spa treatment enables you to focus completely on the present and appreciate every aspect of what you are doing or experiencing, without allowing space for other thoughts to creep in. (If they do, acknowledge them, and let them pass).
The second part of this technique is easy, as it comes automatically after the first! Once you have taken the time to focus on your chosen activity, spend a moment recognising how good you now feel. Recognise that you’ve taken the time out to do something that has made you feel good, inside and out. You’ll feel a huge sense of achievement which is great for your head and heart! (And your body has benefited too!)
We hope that this has been beneficial, and that it inspires you to treat yourself to something that feels good! (After all, you deserve it!)
We really do encourage you to try the above techniques, or to book in for a Spa Treatment or find another pampering activity.
Until next time, live well everyone! And remember to breathe…