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Mental relaxation and brain exercises

From a couple of recent topics (as well as suggested by @Myvo ), I feel that a lot people here can benefit from a routine mind exercises which strengthens the practitioner's focus, give them a great way to relieve stress as well as give them a confidence boost etc etc.


Have you ever congradulated yourself after remembering a phone number? Or make your self grin after remembering a vivid memory of something good happened to you. Maybe you have experienced a brief period of time which you became extremely focused and completed the task you wanted to finish. All those things listed above could be really strengthened, replicated or even improved!


I started memory training about 6 months ago, with the intention of strengthening my memory ability to remember better as well focus better. After a while i realized i would remember things like poems, songs, and other things the old me couldnt even imagine to accomplish. This actually gave me a very high confidence boost. 


After research further into the subject, I realized there are techniques out there that can be used to relieve stress, improve concentration, increase mental acuity. and the best thing about it is


It only takes around 5 - 10 minutes a day of routine practice (more if you want, but only if it doesnt tire you out)


If you are interested in giving it a go, google would be your best friend! For example, if you are looking for mediation, then visualization + mediation would be a good combination  to search. (Magazines, books, online health sites)


There are some cautions I must give from personal experience. If you are just starting, DO NOT push yourself. If you are getting tired or stressed when you are trying to picture something, then walk around relax. This is not a thing that can be rushed. It requires you to be patient and take it slow. 


Re: Mental relaxation and brain exercises

Hey @lovin each day


Awesome to see this post up and running! You're definitely right that a lot of people here could benefit from finding out some tips on handling anxiety.


Unfortunately, I've had to remove your link in accordance to our community guidelines, since it aimed to provide professional advice like an anxiety "test" and how to find a "cure". I do agree on the research side of things - professionals are in a more suitable position to help you out. And taking your time (!) is a HUGE factor in this too! But there are definitely different, credible sources out there to help each other out when we're feeling stressed, anxious and upset.


Here on R.O, we've got our factsheets such as relaxation traininghow to be more mindfulhelping a friend with anxiety, and 9 tips to improve your wellbeing. They all provide some practical, hands-on tips to handling anxiety and catching a breath. There's also mindhealthconnect created by Aus Gov, where you can find apps, online programs, and online communities to support you too. In celebrating Men's Health Week this week, check out Relax the Manly Way (and its sequel hereSmiley Happy). 



What are some general tips or activities do you have for others who are struggling with relaxation? 


My top 5 would be: 

  1. Colouring in Smiley Tongue
  2. Sitting in a quiet/private space (like your room) and listening and dancing to music
  3. Doing some guided meditation using Smiling Mind
  4. Watching a movie or doco (the stranger, the better)
  5. Writing it out (I find that writing helps you slow down, instead of racing ahead)
Stay excellent

Re: Mental relaxation and brain exercises

Hey @lovin each day! Thanks for sharing your experience with relaxation techniques. You have obviously taken a big interest in ways to relax the mind and got some exciting results for you. That's awesome. It is definitely helpful to get a range of different methods under our belt and your insights will help a lot of people here.


I agree with @Myvo on using Smiling Mind but find a big walk clears my mind and eases any worries the best. If that doesn't do the trick I use a modified version of the progressive muscle relaxation that Myvo also linked to.


Do you find physical methods of relaxation also work for you?

Re: Mental relaxation and brain exercises

 Yes, @Kit, a good work out always helps me sleep.


The phrase a healthy body promotes a healthy mind is very much the truth. If you can get a couple of hours of work out or exerciese a day and still have the energy to finish the workload after, then that's my dream scenario. The problem I am facing is that a lot of times I was restricted to the desk and work. I can't really find the time to actually shake down and move around properly. 


Also, i would like to point out a few things about mind trainig. One of the main things I got from mind training (in my case memory training)  is not just relaxation but also focus. It is very useful later on when you want to focus on relaxing. It might sound oxymoronic to put focus and relaxing next to each other but relaxation of the mind very much requires the mind to ditch everything else, draws on a blank or whichever technique you want to apply and stay there until you feel comfortable to come back out. I have had times where i tried to relax but the stress just stays in my mind and I ended up more frustrated. Also, sometimes it is hard to relax if the environment doesn't offer the usual quietness


Another good benefit from this is self confidence. There was a time when I often read about imagery training from successful athletes. It took me a while to realize what they meant by that. When a clear focused mind imagines the imagery of success, it pictures out possible scenerios on how you can succeed, (like how a tennis player can score a point). Similarly in everyday life, picturing yourself completing a daunting task is also a good point to start on. 


There are a lot more, but I am only familiar with a few and others I really didn't look into or practice with. I hope this helps explaining what I am trying to say


(@Myvo oh sorry about the link haha, I forgot about the title, that page had a lot of good concise basic techniques which was what i tried to show, not the anxiety part...)

Re: Mental relaxation and brain exercises

(sorry about the rumbling above, i will just keep it short now and answer the question xD)

What are some general tips or activities do you have for others who are struggling with relaxation?

1. countering it with a frustrating activity I want to do (like doing everything with my left hand)
2. Read a fiction that's completely different to my world
3. Listen to 80s music (yes... I love the 80s)
4. carry my dog around
5. Play some non stressful games

Re: Mental relaxation and brain exercises

I love these threads as relaxation is something most of us don't get enough of Smiley Happy @Myvo colouring and mindfulness are awesome (and can also be done together, hehe)


I wanted to add that I find going for a walk is amazing at clearing my head and helping me calm down/focus. Plus you reap all of its physical benefits too.


Another thing that helps is doing silly mental exercises like counting back from 100 in multiples of 3 or 4. (100, 97, 94, 91 etc...) It gives my mind something to focus on and is a distraction from whatever's worrying me.


No human being, however great or powerful, was ever so free as a fish

Re: Mental relaxation and brain exercises

That is a cool technique @lokifish! Distracting and a little challenge Smiley Happy

Re: Mental relaxation and brain exercises

I find reading a good motivational book always leaves me more empowered than before and helps me stay positive. Does anyone have a favourite inspirational memoir/guide etc.?

Re: Mental relaxation and brain exercises

great thread @lovin each day ! I particularly liked your tip about carrying your dog around.


I feel like animals almost always make me feel a bit better. Even youtubing them!



I'm a fan of the Smiling Mind stuff too @Myvo. It really helps having someone guide you through it, especially when you're just starting out. 

Re: Mental relaxation and brain exercises

haha that was more of a physical challenge really. My kelpie is around 25 kilos last time i weighed him. So carrying him around the house is back breaking after a few minutes xD