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The 2013 Old Farmer's Almanac: Relaxation Techniques

July 31, 2013

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Feeling stressed out? If the summer weather isn’t helping, The 2013 Old Farmer’s Almanac has some exercises and techniques to help you relax!

Relaxation Techniques

Deep Breathing: Breathe from your abdomen, not your chest. Slowly take in a deep breath through your nose; you should feel your stomach expand. Then exhale slowly through your mouth, getting rid of all of the air in your lungs. Repeat until you feel calmer.

Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR): Lie down or sit in a comfortable chair. Close your eyes. Focus on your toes; tense the muscles for a few seconds and then relax them. Move on upward through your body, tensing and then releasing the muscles in each section, until all parts of your body are relaxed.

Visualization: Sit or lie down. Close your eyes. Picture yourself in a peaceful place. Think about the sights, sounds, fragrances, textures, temperature, and so forth. Focus on this place until you feel relaxed and then gradually return to the present with those peaceful feelings.

Tips to Help You Fall Asleep

Can’t sleep? Try these tips for a restful night:

  • Sleep and wake on a regular schedule. Don’t sleep late to make up for a late night. Avoid napping during the day, unless necessary.
  • Cut out the caffeine, at least after lunch. Avoid coffee, chocolate, and caffeinated sodas or tea.
  • Exercise in the late afternoon. It can help to deepen sleep stages at night.
  • Plan a relaxing routine just before bedtime. Soak in a tub.
  • Listen to soft music or do some light reading.
  • Skip the alcohol at night. Initially, it can act as a sedative, but it can disrupt sleep later on that evening.
  • Don’t drink or eat too much before going to bed and avoid spicy dinners.


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