Self-Administered Relaxation Techniques to Fight Off Daily Stress

by Percival J. Meris on August 7, 2009

Relaxing to Relieve Stress

IF YOU ARE FEELING STRESSED OUT, THE BEST THING TO DO IS TO RELAX. Some people just do not know how to conquer their tensions and relieve stress when attempting to relax. If you want to live well, the art of relaxation is one thing you need to learn. “Relaxation means releasing all concern and tension and letting the natural order of life flow through one’s being” says Donald Curtis, a prolific Science of the Mind speaker and writer.

Why You Should Relax

Too much stress brings about a condition known as ischemia. Ischemia is a local deficiency of blood supply produced by vasoconstriction or local obstacles to the arterial flow. With unresolved stress, this condition could lead to heart attack.

Relaxation prevents this condition by normalizing the blood pressure. Additionally, it gives the body’s immune system time to recover after being suppressed by stress hormones. Finally, relaxation slows down the hyperactivities in the brain’s limbic system, the seat of emotions, responsible for this stress feeling.

Programmed Self-Administered Relaxation Techniques

A simple self-help system of relaxation include the following techniques:

1. Yoga. This Eastern program of personal development incorporates the relaxation techniques of body poses, methodical breathing, and meditation in one system. You could play some soothing music as you practice Yoga. Create your own quiet spot in the house that you can use as haven to withdraw from the turmoil of everyday life. Practice your yoga there.

Learn Yoga from a competent instructor or by self-study with the aid of a professionally authored book. If you cannot find one, you can download A Beginner’s Guide to Yoga and Meditation. Just click on this title.

2. Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR). There are two steps in the self-administered PMR procedure:

a. deliberately tensing different muscle groups of the body, and
b. releasing the induced tension by consciously relaxing these muscles.

Start the process from the lowest part of your body (feet), moving upwards till you reach your head. Visit http://www.guidetopsychology.com/pmr.htm to get a more detailed instruction on how to execute this exercise.

3. Specific techniques, such as listening to soft music or meditation, have been presented as part of a bigger exercise, the Yoga (see #1 above). They can, however, be practiced separately and independently.

Casually Self-Administered Relaxation Techniques

While in the middle of the hustle and bustle of everyday living, you may not have the opportunity to practice the programs above. What can you do in the meantime in order to bring about relaxation? Here are some techniques:

1. While waiting in queue, you can do deep breathing without being obvious to the persons around you. Increased oxygen intake will keep you refreshed.
2. At work that requires you to sit all day, you can move around from time to time. Blood flow will make you feel more alert.
3. During idle moments, such as riding (not driving) a vehicle, let your imagination flow in daydream. Think of an experience that makes you happy and calm.
4. Smile and laugh on several occasions. Exchange pleasantries with friends, or tell and listen to jokes often. You may not realize what miracle humor can do to your disposition.

Not Recommended Self-Administered Relaxation Technique

The use of drugs may not be as safe and effective as the other relaxation methods. Choose this as your ultimate option, when natural techniques do not work for you. Use this only when prescribed or administered by a trained medical professional.

Other (Non Self-Administered) Relaxation Techniques

The recommended relaxation techniques are not limited to what are presented above. In adopting a particular focus, this article has limited itself to the presentation of self-administered techniques. Go and look for other techniques that do not fit into this particular focus. Examples are massage, hypnotism, and biofeedback. These are best administered with the participation of another person.

Find out what techniques are best for you, and incorporate them into your lifestyle. Dr. Joyce Brothers, a noted psychologist, says: “No matter how much pressure you feel at work, if you could find ways to relax for at least five minutes every hour, you’d be more productive.”

Being always in the state of relaxation brings about remarkable benefits to your health and happiness. You simply cannot afford to go on with your life, constantly being bombarded with stress. Sooner or later, it will take its toll on you. What is important is that you are able to bring yourself into the relaxation state anytime by choosing techniques that you are most comfortable with and can do regularly.


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