Whether you work in an office, a retail store or at home you are subject to stressful situations. Nagging bosses, whiny customers and antsy children all provide their own unique emotional challenges, and it can be difficult to find effective ways to relax your mind from stress.
A whole industry has arisen to help relax your mind from stress: there are copious amounts of pills, stress relief devices and soothing environmental enhancements available commercially. But here is the good news, you don’t need any of these. All you need is a few minutes of time to yourself and a part of your brain you may not have intentionally used since you were a kid: your imagination.
Your imagination is the most powerful tool you have to help relax your mind from stress. The imagination allows us to interact with the world in ways that would be impossible physically. So listed below are several imagination engaging techniques that will help you relax your mind from stress.
Imagination Engaging Techniques That Will Help You Relax Your Mind From Stress
Introducing the Absurd
One of the best ways to relax your mind from stress is to make yourself laugh. The positive effects of laughter have been well documented by science in recent years. It allows you to release tension, and can even have physiological pain-relieving affects, which would be great for the headache you walked away with after that awful meeting with the regional manager.
A good way to give yourself a quick laugh without a complicated build up is to just add a small element of absurdity to your environment. Does your co-worker the cubicle over have a long neck? What if he was actually a giraffe in disguise? Or maybe he isn’t in disguise and everyone is just too distracted to notice. You will be surprised how much more you relax your mind from stress when the sources of your stress seem so foolish.
This may sound ridiculous (and it is, but that is the point, after all) but it is a tried and true technique that performers and public speakers have used for centuries. The old advice about imagining your audience naked invokes the same effect as the suggestion above. The idea of a naked audience is so silly that it makes them far less intimidating. That regional manager would hardly be intimidating if he was dressed like a pirate, or wearing jean short shorts. Adding these little non-sequiturs to your day can keep a smile on your face and really help you relax your mind from stress.
Another similar imaginative indulgence would be to lash out at your stresses in some over the top way, in your own mind of course. Did someone just cut you off on the highway, why not crush their car into a cube with the telekinetic powers you just acquired? It doesn’t have to be violent, of course, but you can find that this imagined catharsis helps you to relax your mind from stress.
Practice Immersive Imagery
This is more of a meditation technique, but by snagging just a few minutes alone, you can practice this effective technique to relax your mind from stress. The idea is to immerse yourself in an imaginary environment where you are safe and in control. This is very much like when a therapists tells you to go to your happy place. For many this place may be a beach, a forest, or some other natural setting. In other cases more exotic environments may be desirable, like under the sea or the antarctic.
The key to performing this exercise correctly is to engage as many of your senses in the experience as possible. The visual imaging is the easy part. Can you smell the salty sea air or the earthy smell of the forest? Can you feel the warmth of the sunshine, or the cool, soft breeze? You need not be alone in your imagined paradise, you may be surrounded by friends or family or exotic beauties- whatever most pleases you and puts your mind to ease will relax your mind from stress.
Don’t be afraid to really indulge your megalomania when you practice this technique. The more creative you can be in the creation of your escapist fantasy world, the better the distraction it will be. You may be a noble hero in the world you retreat to, or a terrible overlord with servants waiting hand and foot upon you. There is no better way to relax your mind from stress than to take complete control of your environment, even if it is only temporary.
This technique works to sooth your spirit your for two reasons. Stress is frequently associated with place, and allowing yourself to flee from that place allows you to dislocate yourself from the sources of tension, even if only for a short time. It also gives you access to a realm where you are in control, there is no one to criticize you, and no one to remind you of your inadequacies, real or perceived. This is the same effect we feel when we read or play video games, both of which are documented to be effective ways to relax your mind from stress.