Brief Relaxation Techniques
Relaxation techniques are a direct and effective method to prevent the negative effects of stress on our health. It can reduce tension and arousal, replenish our body and increase energy.
You can do these techniques almost anywhere and anytime. They are simple and take about ONE minute of your time. But they can make a GREAT difference in how you handle stress. Try them!
Close your mouth. Breathe in slowly and as far as you can through your nose, without straining yourself. Breathe out slowly and as far as you can, through your mouth, similarly without straining yourself. Do this for one minute and stop and breathe normally. When you breathe, breathe in from your stomach and not from your chest.
Fingers, Shoulders, Jaw Â– Relax!
Sit comfortably. Take in a deep breath through your nose and hold it for as long as you can. When you cannot hold your breath any longer, let it all the way out, and breathe normally. As you breathe out, focus on: Fingers loose, shoulders dropping or sagging, and jaw hanging slack with teeth slightly apart. Just remember: "Fingers, shoulders, jaw" as you breathe in and breathe out and focus lightly on relaxing these 3 usually highly tensed areas.
Muscle Tension and Release
Tensing your muscles and then releasing them provides great relaxation. Tense your muscles one area at a time. Starting with your toes, take a deep breath and hold it as you curl your toes downwards away from you for about 4 or 5 seconds, then let go all at once. Do not ease off - let go all at once! Feel the tension leave your bodyÂ….aaaah! Next tense your other muscle areas as stated below:
Â· your thighs by squeezing the muscles in your thighs all the way down to your knees,
Â· your buttocks by tightening them,
Â· your hands by clenching them into fists,
Â· your arms by drawing your forearms up toward your shoulders and 'making a muscle' with both arms,
Â· your jaws by opening your mouth so widely that you stretch the muscles around the hinges of your jaw, and
Â· your eyes by closing your eyelids tightly shut..
Focusing on body processes can help calm mental activity, which in turn can result in physical relaxation. With your eyes closed, shift your attention to the tip of your nose. As you breathe in, become aware of the air entering your nostrils. As you breathe out, be aware of the sensations of air passing back out. Do this several times and continue to focus your awareness on air coming in to and air going out from your nostrils.
Mini Mind Vacation
We can all picture a place where we are totally relaxed. With your eyes closed, take a moment to visualise an ideal place to relax. You can make it any place, real or imagined. Use all of your senses to experience this mini vacation in your mind. For example, see yourself in comfortable clothes and feeling comfortable, hear pleasant sounds, see beautiful scenery and coloursÂ….aaaahÂ…you feel so relaxed! Take a mini-vacation at this ideal relaxation place of yours for 15 seconds or so whenever you need to relax.