Relaxation benefits are endless; from improving health to fostering emotional connectivity, it seems as though relaxation is the optimal state of humanity. Most people don’t realize how beneficial relaxation can be for work, often associating it with leisure time instead. When you discover how to incorporate relaxation into even your most active times, your performance can reach new heights. This article details how you can boost your focus, performance, and productivity through relaxation and various relaxation techniques.

1. Overcoming Fear and Limitations

Relaxation enhances performance and productivity by activating a state where you are not under the constraint of expectation, pressure, and deadlines in your process. Working under these conditions leads to stress, which reduces your ability to focus, perform, and be productive by over-stimulating your sympathetic nervous system. To be able to fully concentrate on the task at hand, it’s best to let go of the “what ifs” and doubts that fill your mind and become distractions and move into a state of deep chill. By activating your parasympathetic nervous system, you slow down your brain wave activities, naturally enhancing your concentration, communication, and problem solving abilities. As you relax, the burden lifts and you’re able to enjoy your work with ease.

Technique: Breathing Exercises

Woman doing pranayamic breathing exercise

Research shows that breathing at a steady pace enhances your ability to concrete. When breathing rhythmically, noradrenaline in your body increases. This neurotransmitter gives you increased concentration, alertness, and motivation. Taking a few minutes to focus on your breathing will lead to you finding your sweet spot for concentration, performance, and productivity.

There are many different breathing techniques to try out there, we recommend learning some the basic pranayama yogic techniques to boost health and overall wellbeing.

2. Cultivating the Energy to Stay Sustainable

Working on overdrive inevitably leads to burnout. Relaxation can help you to discover the steady pace that works best for your energy level, which will change daily. By finding this rhythm, you will be able to boost productivity because you enter a state of flow. Additionally, managing your energy allows your performance to be at its peak because you have adequate mental, physical, and emotional energy to sustain your endeavors. Research shows having a routine leads to more creativity and productivity at work, so be sure to incorporate your daily relaxation time to check in with yourself and enhance your performance.

Technique: Humor and Laughter

A wonderful way to keep your energy sustained through the day is with humor. A recent study showed people who watched a funny video had more focus when trying to complete an impossible puzzle than the control group that simply watched a relaxing but not funny video. Humor promoted working both longer and harder, demonstrating their concentration. Relax by doing something that makes you laugh and you will be ready to give your all afterwards.

We’ve been told that laughter is the best medicine. In some cases it indeed is as laughter seems to activate the relaxation response which in turn makes us more calm, cool and collected to face the rest of the day..

3. Being Fully Present and Embodied While You Work

When you are relaxed as you work, you are present with both your body and mind. Stimulating your senses helps you to remain focused on the task at hand. Your motivation and productivity increase as you attune yourself to the sensations of your body and honor its needs. Taking breaks to tend to your physical needs is a wonderful way to restore your mind too, as they are intimately linked. Relaxation helps to ease off the cravings that come from boredom, or pesky stiff neck feeling when you’ve become too rigid. As you give your body the relief it needs, your level of productivity is enhanced.

Technique: Daily Exercise

Daily exercise, especially when done in nature, is one of the most effective ways to boost your concentration. Taking a quick walk refreshes your mind and rejuvenates your energy. Simple yoga poses and stretches also can boost your energy level naturally if you start to experience a dip in your energy level. Relaxing physically through exercises is regenerating for your mind, which ensures you are giving your best performance.

Being present is key to doing anything well and effectively. Sometimes latent and subtle tensions are stored up in the body and the best way to relieve them is through regular exercise.

4. Waiting For Right Timing To Take Action

Relaxation enhances performance by waiting for the right time to take action. Productivity isn’t simply a race to get as much done as possible. The timing and flow of when to take action is just as important. Stress can give the illusion of haste and hurry as the only measure of success, however peak performance happens when taking actions aligned with the present moment. Working in a relaxed state creates the space to pause before rushing ahead, which often only leads to errors in need of a do-over. Being relaxed helps you to sense into what needs to be done urgently and what can wait so you schedule your day accordingly and move in accordance with your energy level.

Technique: Listening To Music

young woman listening to music

Having music on in the background as you work can help you to find your flow. Research has shown that listening to music, nature sounds, and white noise helps to increase concentration. Pick something soothing that makes you feel at ease to set the ambiance of your setting. The rhyme of the music will subtly guide your working process too.

Consider getting your own meditation bowl, chime, bell or gong to really work on your focus and meditative awareness.

5. Flexibility To Change Patterns and Open To Possibilities

Relaxation helps you to be more flexible and open to new ideas. Becoming stuck in a rut is a surefire way to lower your productivity and performance. Innovation requires adaptability and being in a relaxed state makes you more prepared to try something out of the box. Changes to your schedule or minor setbacks may feel like an annoyance when you are stressed, but with a relaxed attitude you are better able to see the possibilities that emerge when things need to be rearranged. This also can make you perform better with others in a team setting because your flexibility demonstrates your ability to acknowledge the needs of others and act accordingly.

Technique: Daydreaming

Daydreaming, or zoning out, may seem like a counter-intuitive relaxation technique for boosting concentration, productivity, and performance, and it certainly isn’t the best to do at certain times. This is why it is a good technique to do at points during the day when your concentration is waning and you have the free time to indulge for a few minutes. Studies have shown that people tend to their tasks better when they daydream at times when their concentration is not required. Taking a break, letting your mind solve a different problem, or doing your imagining while you’re alone can make you more present, productive, and focused when your full attention is needed once again.

Although day dreaming is great and can be used both recreationally and for specific purposes, you shouldn’t overdo it. Just as using your imagination is important so is being down to earth and fully present to the immediate things in your surroundings.

6. Cultivating Commitment To Your Work

Relaxation helps you cultivate the commitment to your work for the long haul. Stress is considered to be one of the main factors that leads to low performance and commitment from people at work. While living in a relaxed state is a very rewarding lifestyle, it also requires discipline to maintain. This cultivated discipline is what can be applied to your work ethic as well. In the long run, maintaining your relaxation will lead to greater productivity, performance, and commitment towards what you’ve invested in.

Technique: Meditation

Sitting woman meditating in a white/grey room

Meditation helps to train your mind to relax. By intentionally clearing the mind, a relaxed state of calmness can replace your wandering thoughts. Most people who have tried meditation know it isn’t as easy as it seems to find quiet and stillness, but practiced over time it has all types of wonderful physical, psychological, and emotional benefits. Research has shown meditation and mindfulness increases attention, focus, and memory. Strengthening your mind and discovering how to find inner peace will help to boost your performance over time.

Meditation can and does mean many things. A daily meditation practice where you incoporate your favorite meditation techniques can be used for many different things, but also for and unto itself.