Stress Reduction Relaxation Techniques for Better Health
Stress is an important part of life. It spurs creativity and motivates us. Too much, however, can be harmful. Relaxing often means vegging in front of the TV for a few hours after a long day. Though it’s easy to zone out, it’s not enough to actually lower stress levels. Practicing stress reduction relaxation techniques can help you to counter the damaging effects of stress and make stress easier to manage.
Stress Reduction Relaxation Techniques
Fortunately, there are a lot of stress reduction relaxation techniques to choose from. No single technique is right for everyone, so experiment with some of these to find out which is right for you.
Technique 1: Breathing Meditation
Deep breathing is easy to learn and something that can be practiced anywhere. Once you’ve learned it, you can even use it in almost any situation. The key to breathing meditation is to breathe from your diaphragm, filling your lungs as much as possible. This increases your oxygen supply, helping you to think more clearly and reducing tension and anxiety. Breathing meditation can be used alone or with music, aromatherapy, or in conjunction with other stress reduction relaxation techniques.
If you have advanced Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome, breathing in over 80 percent capacity or holding your breathe is not advisable.
Technique 2: Progressive Muscle Relaxation
This technique involves tensing and relaxing the muscles, one muscle group at a time, starting at the feet and working up the body. Some people skip the tensing step and simply focus on relaxing each muscle group. While this is effective, tensing each muscle group first helps you to become familiar with how tension feels in each area vs how those muscles feel when they are relaxed.
Technique 3: Body Scan Meditation
This technique involves simply paying attention to each muscle group. Simply focus on each muscle group in turn for a minute or so each, and notice any sensations you feel. If you’re thinking this sounds a lot like progressive muscle relaxation, it is, but without the deliberate tensing and relaxing.
Technique 4: Mindfulness
This technique is a little harder than the previous ones for many people. Mindfulness is simply staying in the moment and being fully aware and present in what is happening at a given moment. Judging the past and worrying about the future are both incredibly stressful. Focusing on the present moment can restore balance. You can practice mindfulness deliberately, by focusing on your breathing, a mantra, or a candle flame. You can also practice mindfulness more actively, by focusing on the moment as you go through your daily activities.
Technique 5: Visualization
Also known as guided imagery, visualization involves imagining a calming scene. However, visualization should involve more than just the visual aspect of the chosen scenario. Try to include as many of your senses as you can. If your chosen scenario is the beach, for example, try to feel the warmth of the sun on your skin and the sand beneath your feet. Try to hear the ocean waves and smell and taste the salt on the air.
Technique 6: Yoga and Tai Chi
These techniques are both a little more complicated and should be learned from a qualified teacher, though once learned, they can be practiced at home. Yoga involves a series of poses and deep breathing. The poses are designed to increase strength, flexibility, stamina and balance. Tai chi involves a series of flowing body movements that can help improve concentration, relaxation, and the conscious direction of energy flow through the body.
No matter what technique or techniques you choose, try to practice relaxation for at least a few minutes every day. The more you practice, the more easily it will become.
Finding out methods of relieving stress can be essential for your health. When the body is overloaded and encumbered with stress, it triggers a reaction from the NeuroEndoMetabolic (NEM) Stress ResponseSM structure that usually presents with debilitating symptoms that can vary, ranging from general malaise, lowered libido, medication intolerance to symptoms of depression and anxiety. The use of techniques such as breathing exercises can produce a relaxing effect for the body to help reduce stress and position the body in a better state of equilibrium and homeostasis. It is important that you manage stress effectively in your life and to supplement that with some stress reduction relaxation techniques, in order to best provide yourself with optimal health.