Relaxation techniques for stress management

woman-sittingBy: Wendy Owen

There are three main types of relaxation techniques you can practice when you feel upset and stressed out. If you practice them regularly, they will become part of your lifestyle and you may find yourself habitually more relaxed as a result.

This article contains a breathing relaxation technique and an autogenic relaxation technique. Part 2 will have a Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) exercise to release negative thoughts and situations and a progressive muscle relaxation technique too.

Because of the mind/body connection, exercises to relax the body will also flow through to the mind. A lot of the stress we feel is due to our resistance to certain feelings, or emotions. Try to relax and let the feeling flow through you. Sometimes just by doing this the feelings will tend to dissipate on their own.

So let’s begin. Find a quiet empty room for 15 to 20 minutes and take the phone off the hook.

Breathing Exercise:
Do this lying down if possible, arms by your side and legs uncrossed. Loosen any tight clothing. If you can’t lie down, sit and make yourself as comfortable as possible. This exercise will calm and energize you.

Take a couple of deep breaths, roll your eyes up and let them close. Concentrate on the effects of your breathing on your body. As you breathe in your stomach rises, as you breathe out your stomach falls.

Be aware of the life energy in your body, as you breathe in imagine this energy circulating throughout your body. As you breathe out, mentally say the word “peace” in your mind.

Thoughts will attempt to distract you. Rather than trying to force them out, acknowledge them then imagine them just floating out of the back door of your mind. Go back to concentrating on your breathing.

Continue until you feel relaxed. Then gently arouse yourself keeping the feeling of relaxation with you.

Autogenic Relaxation Exercise:

You can do this one sitting or lying down. Loosen any tight clothing and make yourself comfortable. Take a deep breath, hold for the count of three and exhale slowly. Repeat a couple of times. Let your eyes close.

Imagine lying on a deserted beach, you can hear the gentle waves breaking on the sand. In the distance there is the sounds of seagulls. The sun is shining on your left arm making it warm and heavy. Concentrate on how warm and heavy your left arm is feeling.

Now the sun is moving over to your right arm and making that warm and heavy too. Go through the same procedure with your left and right leg, your head and neck and your stomach.

Finally focus on your whole body. Feel how warm and heavy your body is. Let your body sink down into the bed or chair. Stay in this relaxed state for a few moments before gently arousing yourself. Take the calm relaxed feeling with you for the rest of your day.

PS. If you have trouble sleeping, these relaxation techniques will definitely help!

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7 Thoughts on “Relaxation techniques for stress management

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