Comments: 141 • Responses: 47  • Date: 

Dr_Spaghetii20 karma

So how do i relax?

JessCross8 karma

The two main tools I teach are Guided Meditation and Relaxation Videos (ASMR). Each person is different so there are probably several other techniques that would work for you as well. I find meditation and relaxation recordings are the quickest and most readily accessible guided relaxation techniques. Have you found anything that works well for you?

Nimble71258 karma

I wished any of these worked. Meditation especially is completely out the window. I can't clear my mind for more than about 5 seconds before it's jumped to something else and I don't realize it. ADHD is fun...

Realistically, the only things that help me "relax", are typically high adrenaline activities that help me focus.

JessCross6 karma

Have you tried guided meditation? It doesn't ask you to clear your mind but to follow a visualization. For you it might be running or something like that, and that is ok. You have to find what works for you.

Nimble71256 karma

DOOM WADS + Music.

I'm.not sure if this is what you mean, but video games certainly do this for me. The higher the action, the more relaxed both my mind and body seem to become. It's like my brain is occupied with so much stimulus, that it isn't desperately searching for more. I like to call this relaxed state "the zone". It just sucks when you can't hit this relaxation consistently and when you want to.

JessCross3 karma

I think that is a problem most people face. Guided visualizations are the only relaxation techniques I have found that work well on the go for me, otherwise it is more of a process. Glad you have something though.

katashscar1 karma

Can you recommend some relaxation recordings? Are there any good apps I can download?

JessCross2 karma

Do you have spotify? This is a good ASMR playlist: https://open.spotify.com/user/nuttymcfreak/playlist/6VkvagqI83lDLphQ4dYGGf

RancorHi58 karma

What are your thoughts on cannabis? And any particular strains you recommend for relaxation?

JessCross14 karma

I am not puritanical about it but I don't recommend it personally. I worked in substance abuse for many years and just found some marijuana aficionados with worse memory loss than heroin addicts and often more lethargy. Better to find a technique you could use at work if needed.

andrewmoriarty3 karma

Is sleep directly related to how relaxed you're feeling? If so, would you have any advice on how to feel relaxed as you try to fall asleep?

JessCross6 karma

I think some people can fall asleep when they are exhausted but not necessarily relaxed. For those of us who have difficulty sleeping I find breathing techniques, progressive relaxation and meditation help. A trick I use, is that I have very vivid dreams and often I can kind of put myself back into a dream I recently had...as long as it is one I want to relive. I remember it in as much detail as possible and I tend to be asleep within minutes.

makorunner3 karma

I used to get panic attacks fairly often, often enough to be prescribed xanax to help my symptoms. Do you have any suggestions on natural relaxation methods to just improve basic function? I'm also single/broke so I don't really have access to any kind of partner stress relief, massage or otherwise. Also meditation on the whole frustrates me, as I feel like I'm spending time where I could be productive and I'm just impatient to a fault.

JessCross0 karma

Have you tried ASMR? It has made all the different for me and as long as you have internet it is free (just have to watch some adds sometimes). This one has no adds if you want to try it, it has a guided meditation too, if you don't like that try one that is more massage based: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_cQJv7O45y4

Ronnsuss1 karma

I'm having a stressful week so I gave the link a view/listen over lunch hour. You asked for feedback on the "relaxing sounds" at the beginning: The rustling paper sounds were anxiety producing .... Not relaxing for office workers.

JessCross1 karma

Ok, good to know. Different people have different triggers so I try lots of things. Thanks.

PSi_Terran3 karma

I heard some people say that meditation is as easy as just counting your breaths. What does guided meditation involve? Is it more effective?

I have another question. Officially I have ADHD although I'm totally sold on the diagnosis. How can I use meditation to increase mindfulness in day-to-day life?

JessCross8 karma

Meditation can be that easy and mindfulness meditation is wonderful for finding a way to center yourself. For someone with ADHD or just an overactive mind (many of us) I think guided meditation is a good place to start. You are lead through a story and that gives you something to focus on. There are many out there, some are really simple if you have difficulty visualizing. Here is one of mine: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BbPljbGQGk0

Wu-TangJedi3 karma

My mother passed away recently, and since then I've been plagued by all kinds of panicky fears. I'm afraid to drive, I feel like I might pass out behind the wheel which makes me even more afraid to drive, my heart beats weirdly sometimes, which makes me anxious even though I've been to a doctor who took blood work and did scans to prove nothing is wrong with me cardiovascularly. And I constantly have a knot on under my sternum of that feeling like something is wrong, which never really goes away and makes me feel like breathing is super uncomfortable.

When I focus to meditate, those things just get worse, not better. I've mediated through some weird ailments before, with fantastic results. But this stuff is just completely next level. How can I really sooth this stuff if the only salve I have kinda makes it worse? Medication is out of the question for me as well, as I'm in addiction recovery, and would really really really really really really not wanna chance opening up that can of worms again.

Any advice?

JessCross2 karma

Sounds like panic attacks and they are really common. Have you tried ASMR or guided meditation recordings? They would give you something else to focus on than you breathing. Also talking to a counselor about panic attacks would help if you have that option. Here is one of my ASMR/Guided Meditation videos but there are lots more out there if my voice doesn't work for you:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_cQJv7O45y4

Wu-TangJedi1 karma

I actually am sensitive to ASMR, and when I can get my body to do it (or yawn) I begin to feel much better. I will give you video a try as soon as I can!

JessCross1 karma

I listen to them at work, especially when I have a tedious task and even if I don't have ASMR all the time, they keep me nice and relaxed.

Wu-TangJedi1 karma

Just listened to it while getting my car serviced at the dealership and it was delightful experience. I have to tell you this- I've never seen your face before, ever. After the video was complete I I checked out your page and saw you for the first time, and it's exactly who I saw during the mediation when you had me visualize a guide!

JessCross1 karma

Wow! That is awesome.

JessCross2 karma

I also wanted to say, I'm so sorry about your mother. I jumped right into answering the question but I did read that, and I'm sorry for your loss.

OhTheHueManatee2 karma

I have a very hard time relaxing. Even when I'm having fun I wouldn't say I'm relaxed. I've tried meditation (of all different types), videos, music and a lot of other things. The only time I ever feel relaxed is listening to music in a hot tub and even then it takes like an hour to achieve then doesn't last long before brain starts bombarding me with shitty thoughts/feelings. What would you recommend I Try that could help?

JessCross2 karma

Ugh, that is really tough. Have you tried doing small relaxation exercises throughout the day? I don't think many of us reach "totally relaxed" for very long during the day but if we can at least bring down our stress levels a bit throughout the day it makes things less overwhelming. Have you tried ASMR videos? I know I recommend it a lot, but for people who have tried a lot of other things it is often one they don't know about.

OhTheHueManatee1 karma

I don't know any relaxation excerises. What kind are there? I've never heard of ASMR videos until your post. I'll check them out when I'm off work tonight. Most of my inability to relax seems to be that if my mind isn't directly occupied it worries about things. What's a good way to weaken worries?

JessCross2 karma

Breathing exercises are good (you can just type that into YouTube) also progressive relaxation where you tighten certain muscle groups and then relax them. There are lots of cognitive behavioral techniques that are great for reducing worries. I have no affiliations with it but highly recommend this book and it goes over several techniques: https://www.amazon.com/Relaxation-Reduction-Workbook-Harbinger-Self-Help/dp/1572245492

APlebeianProboscis2 karma

First thought when scrolling down my feed: A relaxation specialist?! Must be the new euphemism for a prostitute!

Welcome to reddit!

JessCross4 karma

I know, and there are some escorts that use it. Not an escort though, just found teaching relaxation is what I do best.

Tsilon2 karma

I'm highly introverted and need a lot of recharge time after socialization/expending mental energy just thinking. Usually I nap or read, but this is very time consuming, and I expend the acquired energy very quickly. Do you know if there is a faster way I could recharge and gain energy without taking up so much of my time?

JessCross3 karma

Meditation hands down. I am an introvert as well and need a lot of downtime. For me, even a 5 minute meditation makes a world of different. I have some really short ones on Spotify if you want to try them: https://open.spotify.com/album/3m1ZPYYqVpc1tZiDfpB6md

alienman232 karma

I've had severe anxiety since I was young which has been exacerbated by my military service. I was in Hurricane Katrina ground zero when it happened and particapated in the Iraq War. So I already had problems then went into some severe situations and now its out of control. The only things that calm me down are Cannabis and Alcohol and Breathing exercises. I understand why I have anxiety from the military stuff but how do I deal with the anxiety that has always been there that I don't know where it comes from?

JessCross1 karma

I think for those of us with generalized anxiety it is important to put in place regular activities that reduce stress, so if breathing exercises work for you, make sure they are a regular part of your day. Also if you have a therapist through the VA ask them for some CBT techniques. Talking to a therapist about the additional anxiety that isn't trauma related.

Scribe_Gerald2 karma

How would you suggest someone gets into meditation if they have a lot of trouble keeping their mind clear and focused?

I really, really want to get into it, but once I get into a comfortable position and quiet down my mind just wanders. It's like I'm finally setting some time to relax and just think about everything. Hopefully you can help!

JessCross1 karma

Guided meditation all the way. My mind is really active too and guided meditation has been the best start for me. You can try this if you want: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BbPljbGQGk0

littlemonsterpurrs2 karma

I was hoping you could speak to the physical relaxation side? I don't have trouble relaxing mentally (barring specific stressors) but otoh my muscles never physically relax. The only times my body ever really does are when I drink or take opiates. I metabolize alcohol really quickly, so the relaxation from drinking lasts about 10-15 minutes and I can't drink enough to keep it going without becoming ill. And opiates feel SO. GOOD. that I never allow myself to take them unless I'm in severe pain (i.e. a bottle I was prescribed for dental work has lasted 3 years and I still have some left). I have fibromyalgia, costochondritis and some other musculoskeletal issues, and being able to truly get my muscles to just let go would be... just peachy.

JessCross1 karma

Have you ever done progressive relaxation? Here is a pretty good definition: https://www.anxietybc.com/sites/default/files/MuscleRelaxation.pdf As a Massage Therapist, I am always going to recommend that too. I also do 10 min of yoga every morning.

charizard_721 karma

Should I smoke weed every day?

JessCross-1 karma


Axcalibur1 karma

I'm a wrestler that gets too wound up during matches. Is there a way to practice clearingnmy head and improving focus in a situation where someone is trying to rip my arm off?

JessCross2 karma

I think it might be really important for you to focus your thoughts on not getting your arm ripped off.

imsureyoumeantwell1 karma

I have a job that requires me to approach people in a retail environment and basically find people interested in improving their homes with PV solar panels.

This gets to being difficult for a couple reasons, the first being that I've spent the greater part of my life with rather debilitating social anxiety.

I've improved to the point of being fairly comfortable in most social interactions, but approaching a lot of people in a sort of "cold call" scenario still gets to being so difficult that I'll sometimes spend entire days without ever reaching that comfort level where I can interact as myself and not feel like my brain and body are being flooded with stress hormones.

My biggest difficulty is that initial coming out of my shell and feeling a like an accepted part of the environment around me.

Do you have any tips that might help improve my ability to function in a confident, outgoing manner, even in the face of some people being rather opinionated or even sometimes just jerks about the product Im offering? Which is something I genuinely believe makes a difference in people's lives as well as for the planet and economy.

JessCross2 karma

Try some sales podcast or videos. I like Marie Forleo and Pat Flynn, they mostly focus on online business but I think it might help steer you in the right direction for sales. People are out there looking for what you are selling, and if you don't put yourself out there they will miss out on it. There will be jerks, but what about the people who just need more information and not necessarily a hard sell. It is really just two people talking, you just happen to know a lot about solar panels. Listen to the business experts though and I think that will help.

imsureyoumeantwell1 karma

Thanks, though I think maybe I focusted too much on the sales aspect of my situation.

It was more of a question on how to basically reset while feeling stressed at work. I'd love to be able to jump into work without having lots of heavy thoughts kinda dragging me down like having my feet stuck in mud. But either way thank you. I noticed a couple other social anxiety related questions after posting this, I'll read your responses to those.

JessCross1 karma

Try something like this: https://open.spotify.com/album/0v1ymxze6z3hM9AwhPtnUO It is quick and easy to remember and I do it every morning. I have a lot of other quick ones that are easy to do on your own in Spotify.

Tmenges1301 karma

How does one know when they are truly relaxed?

JessCross1 karma

I think when you are no longer worrying about the past or the future is a good working definition.

seanjenkins1 karma

What is the strangest question someone has asked you?

JessCross2 karma

For a guided meditation to help their muscles heal from weightlifting.

isahammyasandy1 karma

Is a hamburger a sandwich?

JessCross3 karma

I would say Yes! Something in between two pieces of bread = sandwich. Can't think of an exception off the top of my head.

PSi_Terran1 karma

A hot dog.

JessCross6 karma

One piece of Bread!

uniqueusernamechoose2 karma

Came here for relaxation, made 3am sammich instead.

JessCross2 karma

Sorry, I promise I didn't start it...

Produkt1 karma

What if you fold a regular piece of bead in half and fill the center with normal sandwich contents? For example, turkey, mayo, tomato, lettuce, cheese but only one slice of bread folded in half?

JessCross1 karma

technicality, but I think unless the bread breaks in half it is maybe a pocket?...

AuntyVillain1 karma

What do you recommend for someone with PTSD or other anxiety disorder when traditional methods fail? I am too hyperviglent to relax!

JessCross1 karma

I would need to know what you have tried, but again I would recommend ASMR which many people haven't tried. Try something like this, don't think about how weird it is, just watch and see if it helps you relax: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xgw_0DupDzg

quartertopi1 karma

Ok, i'll be that guy. Was there ever someone who asked for a "happy ending"?

JessCross3 karma

No, I set my boundaries with massages pretty clearly and any inappropriate behavior has been addressed before it got to that point.

BabiesLOVEclowns1 karma


JessCross1 karma

What kind of acid...?

BabiesLOVEclowns2 karma


JessCross2 karma

Then we used to call the back pain - feeling strychniny

DerpThePoorlyEndowed1 karma

Is relaxation quantifiable? How do you personally measure it?

JessCross2 karma

For me, it is the amount of time I spend thinking about things that make me anxious and that I generally can't control... That is my working definition for me.

pnw_smalls1 karma

What's your opinion of ASMR?

JessCross1 karma

I love ASMR and it has totally changed my life! Honestly I think it triggers the oxytocin hormone that helps people relax, that is just a lay theory though.

Grumpy_Shat1 karma

Have you ever tried to relax? It is a paradox!

JessCross1 karma

I know, but you can do the things that help you relax...

wheresmyface1 karma

What are your thoughts on flotation therapy?

JessCross1 karma

I think it is really interesting but I have not tried it. I think if nothing else it give you a set time to relax without interruptions but I can't yet talk about the other benefits it may have. I need to get to the local place sooner rather than later and try it.

Fluke891 karma

What are your thoughts on Sensory Deprivation Tanks? I spent 60 minutes in one last week and walked out the most relaxed I've ever felt.

JessCross1 karma

I have not done one, but I would really like to try it. I have found a place nearby that I mean to try.

Fluke891 karma

I highly recommend it. I think that it can help with meditative practices and learning to ignore outside stimuli while meditating.

JessCross1 karma

I will make it a treat here soon.

lonestellastate1 karma

You mentioned ASMR in an earlier reply, is it something only some of the population experiences? I've ever felt the tingly feeling people associate with it. The closest I've come is during massages there are certain points in my back that give a tickling sensation. Am I just oddly ticklish or is that an ASMR response?

JessCross1 karma

I do think it is something most people experience but you have to find the right trigger for you. If you felt the reaction on the back of your head that might have led to a shiver, that was probably ASMR. I encourage you to try different videos and you may need to find what works for you. Here is a massage one of mine: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xgw_0DupDzg

lonestellastate1 karma

Interesting, thank you for the reply! I haven't experiences any shivers from your video so far, but it was incredibly comforting to watch/listen to, I'm a little jealous of your clients. You seem very warm and personable :)

JessCross1 karma

Thanks so much.

JessCross1 karma

Try some other ASMRtists too as you may just have other triggers.

Lint0071 karma

It's definitely not something most people experience. If you have it, it's incredibly easy to recognize and you will know that you have it because you will have been triggered by various things--or maybe only one thing--throughout your life.

JessCross1 karma

I do think some people have it but have kind of lost it or forgotten about it. I used to have it as a kid when others would play with my hair but other than an occasional haircut that doesn't happen much as an adult so I kind of forgot about it until I found ASMR videos.

LustigerLeo1 karma

What is your opinion on isochronic/binaural beats/sounds?

I find them very helpful from time to time, especially to fall asleep.

Though, many people think it's something esoteric or so.

JessCross1 karma

I have tried them and to me they are distracting but I do know they are helpful for many people. Honestly, I think if they work for you they are a great, easy to access relaxation technique.

Weed_vs_Football1 karma

How do you feel about the use of psychedelics and/or fasting during meditation, and how it effects it?

JessCross2 karma

I think there may be a place for controlled psychedelics but I don't really think it is relaxing. I also think as part of meditation it is just overkill. I have tried fasting for a few days on a few occasions and I don't find it helps with my meditation. In fact, I often have my mind drawn to how bad I feel when I'm fasting. I do fast for 16 hours every day and I don't find that effects my meditations.

corp_drone1 karma

What's the most stressful thing about being a relaxation expert?

JessCross3 karma

Having to pretend I don't get stressed...