Relaxation techniques are important for business, is something I strongly believe. I’m on a journey to significantly improve my skills at relaxation and continuous practice of those skills. My first step is to collate together various ideas, plans, articles, concepts experiences of things I do to relax, or when I need to relax. I’m attempting to ground this in things that have worked for me.
I believe relaxation techniques are important for business as a business owner, it means I am more resilient at times of stress and I am able to make clearer and more thoughtful decisions. It also carries wellbeing into my personal life and vice versa.
But more important is that I’m embedding this in our company ethos, to ensure that employee wellbeing is of paramount importance. Holistically if someone has a terrible day at work it is going to affect their home life and visa Versa. So I believe it’s important that relaxation and mindfulness is a very important life skill that can be learned and perfected.
I think I’m just at the beginning of my journey. After a couple of months of learning meditation, I’ve seen some improvements in various aspects of my life, and an increase in my ability and resilience to deal with stressful situations.
I’m trying to be more empathetic to others, and I believe that meditation helps with this too.
My current ideas and thinking about how to practice better relaxation hygiene are as follows :
1. Regular mindfulness will reduce stress and keep me relaxed. It will make me more resilient to stress.
2. Regular physical activity (exercise) will be a good antidote to stress, even if it’s just a 15-minute walk outside.
3. Learn to lean into all sorts of emotions/stressors – and don’t force them away – but allow them to be, and pass or blow over.
These are the top three things I’m planning on doing to improve my skills at relaxing, and being more resilient to emotions I used to be almost allergic to!
1. Learning to meditate. For this, I’m using the app ‘10% Happier’ – which has a set of courses and daily meditations that I’m following. And continue to meditate for 10-15 minutes per day.
2. In extreme situations – carry out thought records, or cathartic letters (that are NEVER sent), or ‘boxing the chimp’.
3. Regular exercise (at least one piece of exercise a day is the target).
Articles & references
Some good articles I’ve found on this journey are as follows, I hope these are useful to you on your journey:
1. Meditation techniques – https://bit.ly/2jzsb8c
2. Mindfulness resources – https://bemindful.co.uk
3. Meditation relaxation is opposite to “fight or flight” – https://bit.ly/2kov5Sp
Some of the mental models of concepts I now have and believe in for my relaxation technique(s) are as follows.
1. Relaxation pathways – are brought about using meditation. That is the reduction of anxiety, reduction of stress chemicals. And then the releasing of relaxation chemicals into the bloodstream.
2. Anxiety and stress reduction can come by doing through records. Thought records are something I’ve written about before. If you don’t know what they are try googling for ‘CBT Thought Records’. They have the power to take anxiety from 8/10 to 3/10 in 5 minutes of writing. And it is a process whereby you vent your automatic negative thoughts. Label and categories the thinking errors, and then for each one write a rational and empathetic response using your own self to come up with these counter-arguments.
3. Regular physical activity – e.g. walking or running. For me I’ve learned, that is is doing these activities regularly that helps. I don’t like to run just to reduce stress, I want to run for enjoyment and just for the fun of it.
Experiences of relaxation
Here are some of my experiences of relaxing recently. In fact here is my top 10 recent experiences relaxing:
1. SPA days/weekends and massage always put me in a zen-like state!
3. Swimming in the ocean under the sun.
4. Being with lovely company, in the sun, with a beer and good book 😀
5. Going for a meal with a close friend and having a good chat and laugh.
6. Popping round my parents as a surprise and being treated to a lovely lunchtime meal!
7. Hot tub – always time in a hot tub; with or without prosecco!
8. A good espresso martini and a portion of olives in a good cocktail bar – with or without company!
9. Doing to a mind map of everything going on in my head causing me to be anything but relaxed.
10. Tidying and organising! Tidy up that messy cupboard, or pile of paperwork that needs sorting. Not necessary fun, but it can be very relaxing!
What took me on this journey to meditation was that I kept getting stuck in stress and anxiety and feeling not very relaxed. This was continuous activation of the ‘flight or fight’ pathway. I discovered through research that there is an equal and opposite pathway brought about by meditation. And on this journey, I’ve found this remarkably powerful for maintaining resilience and coping under stressful situations. I hope you find some of this useful.
Tell us about your experiences and relaxation techniques.