Stress doesn’t just affect us on an emotional level. It can also have a serious physical impact as well. Being stressed can exacerbate virtually any health problem. This includes serious health issues such as heart disease, depression, alzheimer’s, and gastrointestinal problems.Luckily, there are steps that we can to reduce our stress levels. Using these relaxation techniques you can improve your quality of life and reduce your propensity for illness. Here are some of the best ways for you to relax the next time you are feeling stressed.
Stop For A Minute
Next time you are caught up in a stressful situation stop what you are doing and take a break. If possible move away from the place where the stress is occurring and find a quieter a place where you can be alone for five minutes or so. Even the step of removing yourself from the place that is causing the stress can be helpful. Once you have found somewhere quiet, take a few breaths and work on some of the other relaxation techniques detailed below. Give yourself the time that you need to work your way through these relaxation techniques.
When we become very stressed one of the first things that happens is that our breathing changes. We started breathing in short, shallow breaths. We can actually change our emotional state, by changing the way that we breathe. With deep breathing exercises the key is to breathe deeply from the abdomen rather than through your lungs. When you breathe from the abdomen rather than from your chest you take in more oxygen. The more oxygen your body receives the less stressed you will feel.
To start the breathing exercise sit with your back straight. Place one of your hands on your chest and the other one on your stomach. Start by breathing in through your nose. As you do this you should notice that your stomach is rising. If you are doing this breathing exercise correctly the hand that is placed on your chest will be moving very little. After you breathe in, exhale through your mouth and force out all of the air while at the same tightening your abdominal muscles. Continue the breathing exercise by taking in air through your nose and then out through your mouth.
Visualization are another useful technique that you can use to remove yourself mentally from the stressful situation that you find yourself in. When you have found somewhere quiet where you can be alone start by closing your eyes. If you are feeling worried observe these concerns and then allow the thoughts to drift away. In this exercise you will be imaging your restful place. You want to try and see it in your “minds eye” in as much detail as possible. This includes all of the sights, sounds, feelings and smells. Examples of a restful place might be a warm, sunny beach or a boat on a deep blue lake.
When you are in your restful place allow yourself the time to really absorb the experiences of being there. For example you might listen to the sounds of the waves lapping against the beach, or feel the hot sun against your sun or smell the salty air coming off the ocean. As you are using your visualization technique you might find that you are losing track of time. You may also feel slightly stiff, yawn or experience slight muscle movements. These are all perfectly normal experiences and part of relaxing.
Making Relaxation Part Of Your Life
You will get the best results from your relaxation exercises if you make them a regular practice in your life. This means setting aside some time each day to use these techniques. Many people find that a 10 – 30 minute session first thing in the morning helps to establish a healthy pattern for the rest of the day. Practising in the morning also has the advantage that other activities will not get in the way.
You can also practice your relaxation techniques while you are doing other activities. For example you can practice your visualization technique while you are commuting to work on the bus or train. While you are waiting in the grocery line or washing the dishes you can use your breathing exercises.
Also try to observe the ways that you are already trying to relax yourself. This might include zoning out in front of the television or having glass of wine or beer after work. Instead try and replace these approaches with more the more mindful relaxation methods detailed above. By making relaxation techniques a regular practice you will find that you are calmer and feel a greater sense of balance in your life.
Life is always now.
– Self Help Robot