Everyone experiences stress from time to time, you may well be stressed out right now! There’s no escaping it in the modern world. Even if you can’t avoid stress, you can easily learn some relaxation techniques to alleviate the problem.
The 3 relaxation techniques below are very easy to learn and can have a big positive benefit for your mental and physical health – let’s not forget that stress is quite literally a killer.
1. Visualization Techniques
Guided Imagery is a simple technique involving picturing a relaxing location and building it up into a complete scene by using all your senses. Find somewhere comfortable to lie or sit down, close your eyes and picture yourself in the most relaxing environment possible; like on a tropical beach, by a river or in a forest. You should use all your available senses when imagining your chosen scene. If you chose a forest for example, then try to ‘smell’ the scent of the trees and feel the springy leaves under your body, then add to it by ‘hearing’ the sound of the forest birds. When you have built up a detailed picture and relaxed in your chosen paradise, slowly come back to the real world; hopefully feeling more calm and refreshed.
2. Breathing Exercises
Ok, so on the face of it, breathing doesn’t sound like an impressive technique, after all, you’ve been doing it all your life! But deep breathing is a widely recognized and effective stress reduction technique.
Simply lie or sit down where you won’t be disturbed for a few minutes, close your eyes and place one hand on your chest and the other on your stomach. To a count of 5, take a deep breath through your nose while pushing your stomach out at the same time. Hold the breath for 5 second and then slowly let it out through your mouth, again counting to 5, and push your stomach back in. When performing the technique properly, the hand on your stomach should rise and fall with your breathing, while the one on your chest stays still. After doing several breathing cycles, you should feel refreshed, calm and less stressed.
3. The Progressive Muscle Relaxation Technique (PMR)
Finally, we’ll take a quick look at PMR or Progressive Muscle Relaxation as it’s also known. To perform this relaxation technique, you tense and relax groups of muscles in your body, starting with your toes and working upwards. Make sure you focus your attention on the sensation of tensing and relaxing your muscles – as well as being physically relaxing it can be rather like a form of meditation. Regularly practicing PMR can lead to reduced blood pressure, a slower heart rate and improved blood flow and circulation. For this reason, PMR can help you physically as well as mentally.
Try one or more of these techniques the next time you feel tense or stressed. They’re quick and easy to do and can have a dramatic effect on your well-being and general health.