Taking an entire day of relaxation has been a tall order these days. Some people have to spend thousands of dollars on a luxury spa weekend or an out-of-town trip just to escape from the damaging effects of stress on their lives. But not all people have the same privileges. Those who have a tight budget settle by simply flopping on a couch while watching TV.
But these techniques have very minimal effects on reducing stress. To fully relax, you need to activate your body’s relaxation response. It is where your body goes on deep rest by lowering the blood pressure, slowing down breathing, and bringing your mind and body back into balance. All these things are possible only if you know the proper relaxation techniques.
Relaxation therapy is a great technique to allow your body to relax voluntarily. It also helps in reducing physical and mental tension. So if you want to receive the relaxation you need, try these simple relaxation techniques and say hello to a stress-free lifestyle.
1. Deep breathing exercises
Deep breathing exercises are a simple yet powerful de-stressing technique. It is relatively easy to learn, and you can try it almost anywhere, whether you are at home or work. By merely making full, cleansing breaths, you can counter the adverse effects of stress by lowering the blood pressure and heart rate.
You can start by taking a five-minute break and focusing on your breathing. Inhale through the nose and let your breath begin in your abdomen, and work its way up. Repeat the process while exhaling through your mouth.
But if you are suffering from cognitive issues, doing this technique might be difficult. Before you try this exercise, seek help from a healthcare service that offers cognitive behavior therapy. Doing this relaxation technique will not be enough if you don’t take initial steps in addressing issues related to anxiety, depression, and other behavioral problems.
Also known as guided imagery, visualization is a form of traditional meditation involving your imagination. Visualization works best if you are in a calming setting, such as a garden, beach, or any quiet location that will allow you to focus. An audio guide or soothing music can also help if you find it challenging to form visual images.
Your visual journey starts once you felt at peace and free from all negative feelings, such as anxiety and tension. To fully relax, try to include as many senses as you can, such as touch, sound, sight, and smell. You can also create a visual space by imagining that you are on the beach shore. Think about the sound of crashing waves, the heat of the sun touching your skin, and the smell of saltwater.
There is no doubt that the health benefits of massage can do wonders to your body by reducing stress, easing muscle tension, or relieving pain. But there is no need to spend money to enjoy the benefits of a spa service. By practicing self-massage, you can also enjoy the advantages of complete relaxation.
While at work, devote a few minutes to massage yourself. You can also try it before sleeping. Don’t forget to use massage oils or scented lotion to create smooth, gliding strokes against your body. Self-massage can only take about five minutes. You can try different combinations of strokes to relieve all muscle tension. ;
4. Mindfulness meditation
This technique has become an increasing trend in relaxation therapy. Even celebrities, psychologists, business leaders, and other public personalities are hopping on this trend. Mindfulness relaxation means switching your focus to the present instead of worrying about the past and the future. It enables you to feel fully engaged in everything that happens around you.
Like other relaxation techniques, mindfulness can reduce stress, depression, anxiety, and other negative feelings. This type of therapy can be difficult to practice, especially if it is your first time. There will be moments when your thoughts keep wandering back to your worries. But if you make it a habit and use helpful tools to help focus your attention, it will be easier to let go of your thoughts and focus on the present.
5. Muscle Relaxation
This technique involves a two-step process, where you slowly tense and relax each muscle group. As you begin, you become fully aware of every physical sensation throughout your body.
Through regular practice, your body gains intimate familiarity between tension and total relaxation. In times of stress, your body will react to the first signs of muscular tension by slowly switching to full relaxation. Muscle relaxation works best if you combine it with other techniques, such as deep breathing. But before you try this technique, consult a doctor first, especially if you have a history of muscle problems.
As you learn the different relaxation techniques, it will now be easier to manage the physical manifestations of stress. The moment you start to feel tense, you can make a conscious effort by practicing a relaxation technique to prevent further stress symptoms. You don’t have to try all of them. If one doesn’t work for you, try other techniques. What is important is you take initial steps before stress entirely consumes you.