Relaxation Techniques that Lessen the Effects of Stress
If you are looking for a better quality of life, then you just might want to explore some great relaxation techniques. This is a great way to deal with anxiety, no matter what the source of your stress might be.
Relaxation techniques can help you to better cope with just about anything from relationship issues, health issues and issues in the workplace. The best part is that you can learn how to do these relaxation exercises on your own and bring about an improved sense of balance in all areas of your life.
- When we are stressed we do not think clearly. Our perception is skewed and usually causes the most negative thought processes to occur. When this happens the adrenaline is activated and this causes the body to go into fight or flight. The body can actually become en-trained in this kind of response. Practicing the options in this article can “re-train’ your body to respond differently to typical stresses.
It may take some time for this to occur so keep consciously using these techniques until you flip into these as a ‘auto-response’ anytime something seems to rattle you.
It’s no wonder that sleep deprivation is used as a form of torture. There is nothing quite as awful as tossing and turning, trying to sleep but simply not being able to. Fortunately there are relaxation techniques for sleep that can help you get that much-needed rest. One of these techniques is:
- Using your breath. Close your eyes and focus your attention on your natural breathing pattern. Feel the air enter your nose or mouth on the inhalation, fill your belly and lungs, and exit on the exhalation.
- Visualize the breath on your inhalation, filling your body: your forehead, neck, shoulders, arms, belly, etc. Visualize any tension from these areas being released on the exhalation. Repeat until you feel relaxed and sleepy.
- Remember that any of the other relaxation techniques below could help you to relax and fall asleep.
Relaxation techniques are a fantastic way to reduce the degree of anxiety that you experience. It’s important to keep in mind that relaxation techniques might not be able to cure anxiety completely.
However, they will definitely lessen its impact and improve your ability to cope.
Some relaxation techniques for anxiety include:
- Focused breathing. Close your eyes and focus on your breath. Breathe in slowly and deeply through your nose. Hold your breath for a few seconds and then slowly exhale through pursed lips. Continue breathing in this manner until your breathing is calm and controlled.
- Counting. Use the focused breathing technique until your breath is under control. Then slowly count backwards from 5 to 1 (silently or out loud). Once you reach 1, start again at 5.
- Positive affirmations. Start with the focused breathing exercise. Then think of positive and happy thoughts and affirmations: I am calm and happy, I let go and trust, I am strong and capable, etc. Repeat these to yourself. Continue to repeat these affirmations until you feel your anxiety and negative thoughts subside.
- Asking Power Questions is extremely effective. A few samples are: What would it take for me to feel calm and relaxed right now? What is another way for me to perceive what is I think I see? What would it take for me to see this through the eyes of peace and love?
Progressive relaxation techniques
Progressive relaxation techniques are a great way to lessen the physical effects of stress and anxiety. In addition, these are also ideas that you can try lying in bed if you are struggling to fall asleep.
- Gradual relaxation. Lie on your back with your arms loosely at your sides. Close your eyes and focus on breathing slowly and deeply. Focus your attention on your feet. Imagine them feeling heavy, weak, and warm. Then shift your attention to your lower legs and do the same. Continue moving up your body in this manner, up to your scalp. Repeat the entire process.
- Muscle relaxation. This is a variant of the above technique. It has one important addition. When you focus on a muscle, tense that part of your body as much as you can for 10 seconds. Then release the muscle and feel it relax. Repeat the process (from feet to scalp) several times until all your muscles feel tired and relaxed.
There are many variants when it comes to guided imagery relaxation techniques. All of them are based on using emotive images as a means of promoting relaxation.
Some examples are:
- Visualization. Close your eyes and focus on your breath. Imagine that you are somewhere where you feel completely relaxed (this will be completely subjective). See this place in detail – all the colors, shapes and textures around you. What smells and sounds delight your senses? How do you feel here? Allow yourself to be completely enveloped in the sensory details of this relaxing place.
- Convert negative thoughts. Be conscious of all your thoughts and stressors. When a negative thought or stressor enters your mind, close your eyes and slow down your breathing. Visualize the stressor as an object: give it shape, color, texture, etc. Then imagine something relaxing coming along and removing the stressor. Shift your attention to the relaxing image and continue to breathe slowly and deeply.
- You can also download audio guides that will take you through relaxation techniques based on imagery.
In conclusion, remember that all these relaxation techniques are not simply about helping you to feel calm. These types of exercises have actually been shown to help alleviate both the mental and physical effects of stress.
Depending on your exact circumstances, you might also need to consider other positive coping mechanisms that you could employ, alongside these techniques, to reduce the levels and effects of stress in your life. This might include Life–Changing programs such as those found at www.ultimaterelationshipacademy.com or finding a good therapist or coach to help you with the underlying causes of your stress.
No matter which relaxation techniques you choose to employ, you need to practice them on a regular basis, ideally daily. Practice them until it is second nature, and then the truly powerful results will become evident.
Author: Esateys Stuchiner
Esateys (pronounced Ee sáh teez) is an International Life Transformational Speaker, Author, Master Facilitator, Life Coach and Expert in the Human condition. She is a Nationally and Board Certified Nurse Practitioner. For over 30 years, she has practiced, taught and lectured extensively in the allopathic and alternative medicine field.
Esateys is known for her groundbreaking work in the areas of personal empowerment and health restoration using mindset and inner connection as the catalyst for all change.
Esateys describes herself as the ‘Architect of the New You’ and has dedicated her life and professional career to helping her clients create “New Beginnings” by facilitating self empowerment, economic freedom and restored health.
For more information, go to esateys.com.