Stress Reduction Techniques
Article by Sakthivel Perumal
Hopefully, you have read the above articles before proceeding to the stress techniques below. Now that you have a basic understanding, it is paramount that you practice stress reduction techniques daily.
We will cover breathing techniques and progressive relaxation in this article.
Breathing properly is the most important thing one can do to alleviate tension in the body. The basic abdominal breath was mentioned in parts one and two. Practice this daily.
Another breathing technique you can do to let go of tension is: sit in a chair and breathe into your abdomen deeply. As you breathe in, say in your mind the phrase “Breathe in peace and relaxation”. Pause for a moment before you release your breath. Breathe out from your abdomen and say “Breathe out tension and stress”. Pause momentarily before you again breathe in. Become aware of any stress or tension in your body. If you feel any tightness or soreness, this is where the stress is affecting your musculature. Visualize the relaxation coming in and the tension going out. Do this at least once a day, twice is better.
Progressive Relaxation is a technique that is done to relax all the muscles of the body. It will teach you the difference between a relaxed body and a tense one. Many people do not realize when they have tension built up in their bodies. With practice you can become very good at knowing when you are stressed out to a point where you need to take some action to release the tension.
You start from the feet and go up to the head in a progressive manner of tensing and relaxing the muscles. First start by lying on a bed or sofa. Get comfortable and tense your right foot by pulling the foot towards you, then release it and relax. Point the right foot down and hold for a few seconds, then relax. Push the heel down into the bed, hold and then release. Do the same thing on the left foot.
Now tense your right calf. Hold, hold, hold then completely relax the muscle. Repeat on the left side. Notice the difference between a tense muscle and a relaxed muscle. Pay close attention to this feeling! Contract the right thigh, hold and release. Always do the other (left) side of the body automatically, to balance out the relaxation. Now squeeze your buttocks together, hold and release. Suck in your abdomen, hold and let go. Push out your abdomen, hold, release. Arch your back, hold and let go. Take a deep breath in and hold, breathe out. Feel the tension as the lungs expand versus when they exhale.
Make sure you allow yourself enough time to feel the relaxation as you let go of the tension. Enjoy the feeling. It is a slow movement not a quick tense and release. Now clench your fist very tight and feel the tension this produces, then let go and feel the relaxation. Bend your elbow and squeeze your biceps, hold and feel the tension, now relax the biceps. Repeat the other side. Push the backs of your shoulders together and hold. Release. Shrug your shoulders up to your ears and hold. Let go! Scrunch up your face, hold and release. Smile widely, hold and relax. Frown your forehead, hold and release. Push your head into the pillow and then relax. Remember to breathe!
Now drop your jaw and completely relax your entire body, totally. You should just sink into your bed and feel like mush! You may feel a warm, tingly feeling all over. Enjoy! Let go and be deeply relaxed. Breathe! What a feeling!! This is true relaxation! Do this before bed and it will help you fall asleep.
A quicker version of this progressive relaxation technique if you want to relax but are short on time, is to tense and relax both sides of the body at the same time ( both feet, then both legs, then both arms, etc.), instead of just doing one side of the body and then the other. Do this technique daily!
If you can master the above techniques you will be well on your way to recognizing the relaxation response. When you are at work and feel tension in your back or neck, tense up the area then let go a few times. Stretch and release. This will help you get through the day without developing headaches or sore muscles.
Next month you will read more techniques you can use to get you to a level where you can better deal with the stress in your everyday life. Be happy!For more info please feel free to visit my web site at http://www.thehealthwealthhappiness.co.uk. Thank you.
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