Relaxation prepares your mind for learning
When the learner feels relaxed and in control, the cortex is fully functional and thus higher-level, more meaningful learning is possible” This “encourages creativity, analysis, synthesis, planning, problem solving and complex decision-making.
— Caine and Caine 1991 quoted in Howard (513)
Howard later describes the importance of relaxation in problem solving. He first suggests “Sleep… as a good break between the data collection and solution aspects of problem solving.” But he adds that “If sleep time is not available, simply engage in a relaxing activity.” (654)
Relaxation also improves your health. It reduces high blood pressure, strokes, heart attacks, ulcers and other digestive problems, poor sleep, and depression. It also strengthens the immune system, keeping you healthy.
For students, relaxation helps you focus on your work, makes it easier to understand, and improves your memory. In addition, it improves your attitudes and makes you happier. All of these tend to improve your ability to make better grades.
There are many techniques for relaxation. This young woman has chosen meditation. There is actually no reason to sit in certain postures. Just sitting and enjoying the beauty of her surroundings would help her relax.
Other simple ways of relaxing include the following:
1. Relaxation begins with healthy eating habits, getting plenty of sleep, and doing regular exercise Start there.
2. Listen to soft, instrumental music. Some people find classical music most relaxing. Find the music that works for you. Listen to sounds from nature, the falling rain, the waves against the shore, the music of birds.
3. Do something you enjoy. Watch a good movie, watch a funny program on television, or just hang out with friends. Spend time with people who are funny. Laugh a lot. Laughing helps you relax.
4. Try meditation. You don’t need lessons. Find a quiet and comfortable place to sit, away from any interruptions. That means turning off your cell phone. As you sit quietly, you can think about the beauty of nature. You can think of all the things you are grateful for. You can remember times you have been happy and relaxed. You can picture yourself as intelligent, confident, friendly, generous, happy, … all the things you want to be. Never expect to be perfect. Perfectionists are never satisfied.
5. Use deep, regular breathing. This can be done anytime and anywhere. Do this before or in the middle of class, or even during a test.
The time to relax is when you don’t have time for it.
— Sydney J Harris
6. Take a long hot bath or even a shower and feel how the warm water is dissolving the tenseness in your body.
There may be quite a few things that a hot bath won’t cure, but I don’t know many of them. –Terri Guillemets
7. Relax your body by tightening your muscles and slowly allowing them to relax. As your muscles relax, let your whole body and mind relax.
8. Spend time with a pet, yours or someone else’s.
9. .Go for a walk. As you walk enjoy the scenery. Walk along a beach, river or lake. Walk through a wooded area or park. Let the beauty, the calm, and the peacefulness become part of you.
10. Visualize. Think of a beautiful place where you have been or where you would like to go. Imagine many details about this place. How does each item look? What do you hear, smell, taste, or feel. Relax as you enjoy this mental getaway. If you picture it many times, you can return there when you feel the need to relax, such as during a test.
11. Take pictures of beautiful places that help you relax or find pictures (perhaps from magazines). Place them on your wall and take time to look at them regularly. You can also tape pictures inside a notebook to meditate on before class or at other times when you need to feel calm and relaxed.
No matter how much pressure you feel at work, if you could find wats to relax for at least five minutes every hour, you’d be more productive. — Joyce Brothers
12. Use self-talk. Begin by speaking aloud when you are alone. Later you can do this mentally. You might name the things that are causing you to feel tense. For example: “I failed my first math test. But I went for tutoring, I studied much harder, and I understood every one of the homework problems, so I really don’t need to worry.”
12. Try not to be a perfectionist. While you should set high goals, they should be realistic. When you are not reaching those goals, be kind to yourself. Don;t beat yourself up for failing a test. Adjust your goals and daily schedules to be more realistic.
13 Learn to be patient. If you are in a traffic jam, if you are standing in a long time, if a friend is later tan expected, use the time to meditate, to think about what makes you happy, to appreciate time to simply relax. Being upset about having to wait will not help. It only makes you tense and upset.
14. If a friend, your parents, or even a professor is rude or overly critical, do not let this upset you. Try to be understanding. Perhaps they are having a difficult day. They could be worried about something. Do not let their bad attitude upset you. You are in control of your emotions. You might thank them for sharing their opinion or advice, smile, and wish them a good day.
15. Forgive yourself when you make mistakes, when you didn’t do as well as you hoped. And forgive the mistakes if others
Inner peace can be reached only when we practice forgiveness. Forgiveness is letting go of the past, and is therefore the means of correcting our misconceptions.
— Gerald Jampolsky