For many relax is synonymous to sit watching TV doing nothing after a stressful day. However, this does not help to reduce the effects of stress. To effectively combat stress, we need to activate the response of natural relaxation of the body, which is achieve through the practice of relaxation techniques like deep breathing, meditation, rhythmic exercise or yoga.
Certain level of stress is necessary for life: to awaken the creativity, to encourage learning and the survival. Stress becomes dangerous when it disrupts the healthy state of balance to the nervous system needs.
Unfortunately, excessive stress has become an increasingly common feature of contemporary life. When stress factors unbalanced nervous system, relaxation techniques can help us restore balance to produce the response of relaxation, a State of deep calm that is the polar opposite of the stress response.
When stress increases the nervous system is overload with chemicals that prepare the body for fight or flight, so that the same response to stress that can save us the life in emergencies where you need to act quickly, can be very damaging when it is check constantly by the tensions of everyday life. The relaxation response holds this high State of readiness and leads to the body and mind to a State of equilibrium.
There are various relaxation techniques can help the nervous system to find the balance by producing the relaxation response. Learn the basics of these techniques of relaxation is not difficult, but it takes practice. Most experts recommend practicing relaxation techniques between 10 and 20 minutes minimum to relieve stress.
There is a relaxation technique in particular that is best for all. When choosing a relaxation technique, you should consider each one’s specific needs, preferences, their physical condition and the way to respond to stress.
o Deep breathing and meditation
Deep breathing is a simple, but powerful, technique for relaxation. It is easy to learn, it can be practiced almost anywhere and provides a quick way to have high levels of stress under control.
Deep breathing is the cornerstone of many relaxation techniques and can combined with other elements of relaxation such as aromatherapy and music.
Breathe deeply from the abdomen; get as much air as possible is the key to deep breathing. Deep breathing allows you to inhale more oxygen, and the greater is the amount of oxygen minor is inhale is the tension and there is less feeling of anxiety and shortness of breath.
To take a deep breath, sit comfortably with your back straight and placed a hand on your chest and the other in the stomach. Breathe through your nose and feels like the hand you have on the stomach is lift. The hand that is on the chest should move very little. Then, exhale slowly through your mouth, pushing the air as much as you can while you get the abdominal muscles. The hand on your stomach should move in to exhale, but your other hand should move very little. Continue by inhaling through the nose and exhaling through the mouth.
If you find it difficult to breathe as well as he sat, try to lie down on the ground. Put a small book on your stomach and try to breathe so the book rise as you inhale and lower when you exhale.
o Progressive muscle relaxation
Progressive muscle relaxation involves a two-step process in which must be tighten and systematically relax different muscle groups.
With regular practice, progressive muscle relaxation offers an intimate familiarity with what tension and relaxation to feel them independently in different parts of the body. This knowledge helps to detect and counteract the first symptoms of muscle tension that accompanies stress. In addition, as the body relaxes the mind relax.
Deep breathing with progressive muscle relaxation can combined to get an extra level of stress relief. If you have any muscle, problems you should consult a physician before practicing of relaxation.
Different paths can followed to practice progressive muscle relaxation. Most of the people who are practice this technique begin with feet and are progressively advancing to the face.
It is important to have comfortable clothes that do not tighten and remove your shoes to get a relaxation complete. Start breathing slowly and deeply to remove the maximum possible voltage and concentrate. When you are ready / a, start by putting attention on one foot to feel it completely. Contracts the muscles of the foot as possible and keep contraction while you count to ten, and then relax it.
Concentrate on feeling is, see how is that foot after feeling the prolonged contraction. Keep your concentration while you breathe slowly and deeply a few seconds. When ready make the same thing with the other foot, progress continues by groups muscle up the face.
o Body scan
The body scan is similar to progressive muscle relaxation only, instead of tighten and relax the muscles, just focus on the sensations in each part of the body.
o Mindfulness or mindfulness
Mindfulness or mindfulness is the ability to remain aware of what you are feeling at this time both internally and externally. To stay calm and focus on the present moment must bring the nervous system back to a State of equilibrium. Mindfulness can applied to activities such as walking, exercising or eating, but the most common is to apply it to meditation.
To apply mindfulness must consider some points to get key focuses attention.
A quiet environment. Choose a place where you can relax without distractions or interruptions.
A comfortable position. Make yourself comfortable, but not lie down.
A focal point. This point can be internal – a feeling or a something external or imaginary – scene – a flame or a significant word or phrase that is repeated throughout the session-. You can focus with the eyes open or closed. You can also choose to focus on an object in your environment to improve your concentration.
An observer, non-critical attitude. Do not worry about distractions that go through your mind or think about the fact of doing it right or wrong. If thoughts intrude in your relaxation session, you cannot fight against them. Instead, gently turn your attention to your focus point.
The display is a variation of the traditional meditation requiring that use not only the sense of sight, but also the sense of taste, touch, smell and ear. When used as a relaxation, visualization technique involves imagining a scenario in which you feel at peace, and with total freedom to let go of all tension and anxiety.
To practice visualization should find a quiet and relaxed place. Beginners sometimes you fall asleep during a meditation of the display, so if you have not done so it is never best you do it sitting / to.
Close your eyes and let your worries disappear. A quiet music helps a lot in these cases. Imagine that you are in a place of rest, the one you want. You have to see it, smell it, hear it, and play it. The display works best if many sensory details are incorporate as possible, using at least three of the senses. When viewing, select the images that you attract to you, regardless of which more or less attractive to others. No one else is on your mind, so feel free to choose. Leave your own images to move into your head and feel everything that you bring: smells, sensations, sounds, etc.
Enjoy the sensation of deep relaxation and let you wrap as you slowly explore your resting place. When you are ready, gently open your eyes and the present without rushing.
o Yoga and tai chi
Yoga combines specific positions with deep breaths. In addition to reducing anxiety and stress, yoga can also improve flexibility, strength, balance, and resistance. Practiced regularly can strengthen the response of relaxation in everyday life. To avoid injury it is learn attending group classes or hiring a private tutor.
Tai chi consists of carrying out a series of movements that flow slowly, each at their own pace. These movements emphasize the concentration, relaxation and circulation aware of vital energy throughout the body. Although relaxation techniques, rooted in the martial arts, tai chi, currently practiced primarily as a way to calm the mind, condition the body and reduce stress. As in Mindfulness, tai chi practitioners focus on your breathing and keep your attention in the present moment. Tai chi is a safe, low impact option for people of all ages and fitness levels, including older people and people recovering from injuries.