Relaxation assists your body and mind to be calm and at peace, this helps to relieve anxiety, stress and depression. Stress is the emotional and physical response to challenges and changes in life has been shown to be a major problem to human beings regardless of class, religion, gender or age. When you are stressed the body responds by activating the fight or flight mechanism.
This results in the body releasing hormones that increase your heart and breathing rate. At the same time the muscles tense in preparation for escaping or confronting the threat. Relaxing your body and mind helps to stop the production of the stress-related hormones as well as easing you back to a state of calmness.
Most relaxation methods help the body and mind to relax while others focus on one or the other. Relaxing the mind involves quieting the mind in order to lead you to peace and calm.
Calming your mind not only makes you feel better but also helps you to think clearly especially in stressful situations. On the other hand relaxing the body helps to release the tension in the muscle.
The following are ways to relax your body and soul:
Progressive muscle relaxation
Progressive muscle relaxation is a simple psychological method that has been known to assist people to relax their mind and bodies within a very short period of time. The technique focuses on tensing and relaxing each muscle group. It is among the methods used to help people suffering from conditions such as anxiety disorders and depression.
Progressive muscle relaxation can be used anytime a person feels tense or worried. One of the popular approaches of this method involves tensing and relaxing muscles in the toes and gradually working your way up to your neck as well as the head. Progressive muscle relaxation has been scientifically proved to be very effective especially for people who suffer from insomnia if practiced every night at bedtime.
The method involves forming mental images to take a visual journey to a peaceful situation or place. During the visualization process you can use as many senses as possible including touch, sound, smell and sight. You can choose to imagine relaxing at a beach and think about things such as the sound of crashing waves, the smell of salty water and the warmth of the sun on the body. Loosening your clothes, closing your eyes as well as sitting in a quiet place will also help you to take the visual journey to help with the relaxation process.
The term autogenic refers to something that comes from within. This technique involves using body awareness and visual imagery to deal with stress. During the autogenic process you are required to repeat suggestions or words in your mind to relax and reduce muscle tension. You can choose to visualize a peaceful setting and proceed to focus on controlled, relaxing breathing to slow down your heart rate.
Studies show that daily meditation can alter the brain’s neural pathways making you more resilient to stress. Meditation is quite simple. You just need to sit up straight with both feet on the floor, close your eyes and focus on reciting a positive mantra. Place one hand on your belly to sync the mantra with your breathe and let distracting thoughts float by like clouds.
This involves placing a warm heat wrap on your shoulders and neck for about 10 minutes. Close your eyes and relax your upper chest, back muscle and neck. Remove the wrap and use a foam roller or tennis ball to massage away the tension.
Talking or writing
Writing and talking about the things that worry you helps you to feel less lonely and helpless. According to Mindfulness Mavericks talking can be more beneficial when done through phone counselling by experts in the field.
In a study published in the American Medical Association, researchers looked at people suffering from asthma and arthritis, conditions known to be highly sensitive to stress. The researchers realized that participants who were asked to write or talk daily about their pain and fears had fewer episodes of their illness unlike those who did not.
Worrying about one thing at a time
Studies have established that women worry more than men. A study of 166 couples who kept a stress dairies for 6 weeks discovered that women tends to feel stressed more frequently unlike men since women worry more in a global way.
A man might fret about something specific such as the fact that he has been passed over for promotion, a woman will worry abstractly about he job, the well-being of every member of her extended family and her weight. To help you reduce anxiety effectively, keep your anxiety focused on real immediate problems and ignore imagined issues or problems over which you have no control.
The above are just a few of the various relaxation techniques that can be highly effective in helping you deal with burnout, stress and anxiety. Other relaxation methods include breathing exercises as well as going on a health retreat.