5 Relaxation Techniques For Stress
Most people opt for a quick nap or binge-watch their favorite shows on Netflix to escape stress. While approaches like these are great at diverting your mind from the present, unfortunately, they fail to completely flush out stress.
To save your body from the damaging effects of stress, you need a more effective solution that can nip the problem in the bud.
Below are five relaxation techniques for stress to help you effectively alleviate and reduce stress. So let’s get started!
1. Deep Breathing
You may often find yourself in stressful situations while surrounded by the crowd. Deep breathing is an easy yet helpful relaxation technique that you can implement to tackle stress without drawing any attention to yourself.
Here’s how you can practice this technique:
- Sit in a comfortable position with your back straight. Place one hand on your stomach while the other lies on your chest.
- Start by slowly breathing in through your nose. If the hand on your stomach rises, you’re already doing a great job.
- Gradually exhale as much air as possible through your mouth while your abdominal muscles contract
- Repeat the steps as the hand on your stomach moves out while exhaling and moves inwards while inhaling. Make sure to count while you practice deep breathing to keep your mind occupied.
Listening to music or surrounding yourself with calming scents to enhance its effectiveness.
2. Progressive Muscle Relaxation
In some cases, stress can get trapped in your muscles, causing physical tension in those areas of your body. Progressive muscle relaxation is a remarkable way to relieve stress while calming your mind and body.
Before we begin, consult your doctor if you have a history of back problems, muscle spasms, or any injuries these exercises may provoke.
Here’s how it works:
- Wear loose clothes, remove your shoes, and sit comfortably.
- Slow breathe in and out for a few minutes.
- At your own pace, start by bringing your focus to your right foot and concentrate on the way it feels for a few moments.
- Gently tighten the muscles in your right foot, squeezing it until you count to 10.
- Slowly relax your foot and see how the tension flows away, leaving your foot feeling light and loose.
- Relish the relaxed state for a while and keep breathing slowly and deeply.
- Now, divert your attention to the left foot and repeat the same steps for muscle relaxation.
- Move to your upper muscle groups one at a time, contracting and relaxing them as you proceed.
- Remember only to engage the muscles where you feel the tension.
Did you know that the scenarios you imagine have the power to influence the way you feel? Visualization is a relaxation technique that puts this into effect to eliminate stress. The key here is to imagine a happy place that makes you feel at peace.
You don’t just have to imagine a setting but dive into the deeper details of that place, such as the things you can smell, feel, hear, see, and taste. For instance, if you’re visualizing yourself at a beach, here’s what your vision can look like:
See the sun as it sets over the water.
- Hear the songs of the birds.
- Smell the aroma of the wet sand.
- Feel the cold waves as they touch your feet.
- Taste the salty air.
While you’re lost in imagination, savor the feeling of your stress drifting away as you go deeper into your restful place. It’s okay to sometimes lose track of time and experience heaviness in your limbs, yawning, and muscle cramps. These are all normal responses.
Meditation works wonders for your body, and stress management is a prime benefit. It is similar to visualization, but instead of focusing on your imagination, you get engrossed in the real world.
Here’s a basic meditation technique:
- Sit in a quiet place and play calming tunes in the background, or light a scented candle to enhance the serenity of your surroundings.
- Sit comfortably with your back straight.
- Close your eyes and find a point of focus. It can be anything from the rhythm of your breaths to a meaningful quote, word, or phrase you can repeat while meditating.
- If your thoughts intrude, don’t fight them. Instead, just get back to your focus point without any judgment.
5. Create Artwork
Artwork can have a meditative effect on your mind and body. You don’t have to be incredibly talented for this technique to work.
Simply grab your colors, paints, or markers and unleash your creativity on a blank piece of paper. Whether drawing, coloring, or painting, the goal is to create a pathway for stress reduction.
This brings us to the end of exploring the five relaxation techniques for stress. Remember that finding the best match for yourself from the abovementioned list requires experimentation and practice. Ultimately, it’s all worth it if you wish to manage the cannonballs that life throws at you healthily.