Relaxation is essential for anyone who’s interested in managing stress. And while relaxation enhances peace of mind, it also decreases the wear and tear on our minds and bodies from the challenges and hassles of every day life.
Whether your stress is spiraling out of control or you’ve already got it tamed—everyone can benefit from using relaxation techniques. Unfortunately, relaxation oftentimes takes a back seat in life’s busy-ness.
Most health professionals—alternative, complementary, traditional, and integrative—encourage their clients to use relaxation techniques.
A relaxation technique is something that refocuses your attention to a calm awareness. It doesn’t matter which relaxation method you choose, what matters is that you engage in the practice regularly so that you can reap the many benefits:
– Slowing your heart rate
– Lowering blood pressure
– Slowing your breathing rate
– Increasing blood flow to major muscles
– Reducing muscle tension and chronic pain
– Improving concentration
– Reducing anger and frustration
– Boosting confidence to handle problems
There’s a wide brushstroke of relaxation techniques:
In your mind’s eye you might imagine a peaceful place and then focus on controlled, relaxing breathing, slowing your heart rate. Use as many senses as you can. For example, if you imagine yourself at the ocean, think about the smell of salt water, the sound of crashing waves, and the warmth of the sun.
Another method is to start by tensing and relaxing the muscles in your toes and progressively working your way up to your neck and head. Tense your muscles for at least five seconds and then relax for 30 seconds, and repeat.
Other relaxation techniques include, yoga, tai chi, listening to music, exercise, meditation, and self-hypnosis.
The moment you feel stress symptoms sneaking up on you, make a conscious effort to practice a relaxation technique. If you nip it in the bud, it can prevent stress from spiraling out of control.
What was the most recent relaxation technique you used?
“Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.”
– Laurie Buchanan
© 2010 Laurie Buchanan – All Rights Reserved.