If you focus your mind on all the evil and bad things in this world, your body will respond to this emotion, and it will consume you. There’s so much uncertainty in the world, and life is rarely perfect. The realization that your response to situations determines everything will take you further than you may think. Being mindful of these responses and finding a way of dealing with them is essential.
Stress has been associated with several illnesses including heart disease, insomnia, and chronic pain. That’s why it’s important to learn how to relax. Despite all the pressure you experience in this world, whether you are in and out of control, learn to take a deep breath and realize that the thrill of life lies in its uncertainty. There’s a prayer that says “Grant me the serenity to accept the things that I cannot change, the courage to change the things that I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.’
Here are a few relaxation techniques.
- Body scan meditation
This is a form of meditation that focuses on various body parts and tries to ease the tension in each of them. Certain habits indicate high-stress levels such as when your jaw is clenched, your tongue is at the roof of your mouth or your shoulders are raised. By releasing tension in a lot of your body parts you will be able to release the amount of stress that your body has built up. With body scan meditation, you start with your feet and work your way up. But instead of tensing and relaxing muscles, you simply focus on the way each part of your body feels, without labelling the sensations as either “good” or “bad”. You move your focus from one body part to another allowing yourself to feel each of the sensations of that particular body part.
- Breathe focus
The idea of breathing in and out has been used for years in easing anxiety and stress. It is a simple and yet powerful technique. As you breathe, you gently disengage your mind from distracting thoughts and sensations. You are advised to focus on the breathing patterns entirely until you stop to focus on being stressed. By inhaling through your mouth and exhaling through your stomach, you help the body to counter the effects of stress by slowing down the heart rate and lowering the blood pressure. 7 Positive Effects Of Meditation
- Guided imagery and visualization
There are certain images and videos that have been associated with a sense of calm and relaxation. By consuming such content you will be able to breathe easier and slower, and hence become relaxed. There are free videos on Youtube and other sites on the internet, specially designed to help you relax. For example, viewing scenes of nature has been said to reduce anger, fear, and stress and thereby increase pleasant feelings.
On the other hand, when it comes to visualization you imagine things that make you feel happy and content. By concentrating on these good things you shift your focus from the negative, and thereby leading to a relaxed feeling.
- Gratitude journal
Keeping a gratitude journal is a relaxation technique. Being grateful is one of the most underrated stress relievers. You see, stress is an indication that you are focusing on negative things. Most times these things are even perceived fears. By being grateful, we are able to realize the things that make us happy rather than those that are making us stressed. When you do this you will realize that there is so much to be grateful for, and in doing so you will stop being stressed and start to relax.
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Music is a relaxation technique on its own. In fact, there’s an entire concept of music therapy. An article on Psych Central says that as music can absorb our attention, it acts as a distraction at the same time it helps to explore emotions. This means it can be a great aid to meditation, helping to prevent the mind from wandering. Slow, quiet and classical music has been used to induce sleep given that it is associated with a sense of calm and peace of mind.
A study conducted in Mcgill University reviewing more than 400 research papers into the neurochemistry of music, researchers found that listening to music not only helped to reduce a patient’s stress, it also improved immune system function and was more effective than prescription medications at reducing patient anxiety before surgery.
Uses Of Music For Mental Health
Yoga is a mind-body practice that combines physical poses, controlled breathing, and meditation or relaxation. It is a relaxation technique in that it helps one to fight anxiety by reducing stress, lowering blood pressure and lowering the heart rate.
One of the effective methods is the corpse posture where you lie down flat, close your eyes and purposely take deep breaths with prolonged exhalation. You scan your muscles from your foot to your face and ensure that each time you exhale you are releasing tension in that body part. There are many other techniques, but one thing is for certain. The combination of meditation and flexible muscle movements helps to ease the tension in the body.
A study published in the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health concluded that there exists an indisputable connection between a person’s overall physical and mental health and the inner peace and well-being yoga is designed to achieve. Yoga suspends the fluctuations of the mind and by acting consciously, we live better and suffer less.
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- Rhythmic movement and mindful exercises
The idea of vigorous exercises does not exactly sound relaxing, but certain exercises help a person to relax and improve their breathing patterns. Rhythmic exercises such as dancing, swimming and walking help to relieve stress and thereby creating a sense of relaxation. While doing each of these it is important to focus on our movements. For example, while dancing, focus on each part of the choreography and by doing so you shift the focus from your stress to whatever it is that you are doing. You can also take advantage of movement meditation which is a technique used in yoga.
Read these Five Simple Tips For Managing Stress