Relaxation can help to relieve the symptoms of stress

November 12, 2012

Relaxation can help to relieve the symptoms of stress

Did you know that learning to relax is a skill that needs to be learned to attain all of the benefits that relaxation can give? Relaxation does not remove the reason for the stress or anxiety, what it does is make you more able to deal with it. This is because you will have clarity of thought and a lot less tension. Relaxing muscles and breathing techniques are major parts of any relaxation programme. Having the ability to calm down and avoid a stressful situation is a very good attribute to have in your armoury for modern day living.

How to do relaxed breathing

A common technique to become relaxed involves choosing a regular time in a place that is quiet and with somewhere comfortable to sit. The actual process involves making yourself very comfortable, loosen any tight clothing, and sit yourself into an armchair large enough to support your head. If no chair is available, then lying down on a bed or even the floor is ok.

If you are sitting rest your arms with your hands facing upwards on the arm of the chair. If you are lying down then try to get a similar position. That is where the arms are slightly away from the body, again the hands face upwards. Make sure that your legs are straight and slightly apart, about the width of your hips is good. If you are in a chair get comfortable but do not cross your legs.

Now you are ready to begin the breathing part of the relaxation technique. Breathing steadily is at the centre of your focus. You will notice the rhythm as you breathe in and out slowly. Breathe deeply, ensuring that the lungs are filled, but don’t try too hard to fill them. It can be useful to think of you lungs as bottles being filled up from the bottom.

Always breathe in through your nose and then exhale through your mouth and breathe slowly and steadily. Rather than breathing out just let the air escape. Repeat this procedure without stopping until you feel relaxed. This can be done two or three times everyday or if you ever feel the need to calm down.

Deep muscle relaxation

If you have a little bit more free time then you could try deep muscle relaxation. You need twenty minutes for this. Deep muscle relaxation works by allowing the tension in your body to escape. It addresses different muscles one at a time tensing and relaxing to produce a feeling of relaxation.

As with the relaxed breathing technique we must find somewhere quiet and comfortable first. Before starting we must be totally comfortable, it doesn’t matter whether we lie down or sit. With your eyes shut begin the relaxed breathing exercises. Some people like to have some relaxing music playing in the background whilst going through the procedure.

When we are ready to start we begin with the face. Push you eyebrows together and then release. Do every exercise a few times. After this gently push the head forward until the chin is near the chest. Then lift your head up. Repeat this nodding motion a few times. Now we draw our shoulders upwards towards the head and then let them drop, again do a few repetitions. Then stretch your arms out from your body, reach a little further and then relax. The toes then get the workout. Very similar to wiggling all of your toes at the one time, push them away from you and then pull them back and finally the wrists and hands. Take one hand in the other and pull upwards, this stretches the wrist, fingers and hand. Change hands and repeat. Do a few repetitions of this for each hand.

When you were doing these muscle exercises you should have been breathing slowly and deeply as described in the relaxed breathing exercises. You should have been filling your lungs through your nose and releasing the air slowly from your mouth. Many people find it beneficial to do the exercises in the same order every time. Once you have finished the exercises lie quietly with your eyes closed for a while. Once you are ready, stretch and get up slowly.

All new techniques take some time to learn, this is no different, and you must persevere with deep muscle relaxation to achieve the benefits that relaxation can bring. If muscles in one area are sore or touching them does not feel comfortable then just focus on the areas that do feel good.

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