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10 Most Efficient Stress Relaxation Techniques
- Using relaxing music or writing down your feelings is a good way to deal with stress from throughout the day
- Combing visualization with deep breathing or yoga can be a good way to combat stress and tension
- Tensing and relaxing the muscles progressively can be a nice way to eliminate some of the tension of the day
One of the most dangerous health problems most Americans face is stress. Stress-related illnesses cause more lost days from work and reduce overall productivity, as well as quality of life for millions of people. Understanding various stress relaxation techniques is important for fighting these statistics. Here are some of the best methods.
10. Soothing Music
Music can provide you with peace of mind but only if you choose the right type of music. Leave rap, rock, and heavy bass rhythms out of it. Instead find something with a more soothing sound. Instrumental music works well. Listening as you drift off to sleep is a good idea.
Stress can occur when we don’t release our feelings. Writing down these feelings in a diary or journal can give you a useful way to get them out in the open safely and without dealing with confrontations.
8. Autogenic Relaxation
This type of relaxation combines imagining a relaxing image or place, such as field of flowers, while also doing a type of physical relaxation, such as controlled breathing or progressive muscle relaxation. Many of the techniques further down the list work well when combined with the imagery.
7. Massage Therapy
Massage involves the physical manipulation of the muscles or the body’s pressure points for the purpose of relieving stress. Remember that stress causes our muscles to tense up which causes pain and discomfort throughout our bodies. By relaxing those muscles through this manipulation, your body and your mind is able to relax.
6. Tai Chi
Tai Chi is one of the most active relaxation methods because it involves a series of slow but flexible movements with your body. Often people perform these movements in a group with everyone moving their legs or arms in slow, simultaneous motion. The control helps loosen muscles but the process also relaxes the mind.
Yoga has been one of the best known and most commonly practiced stress-relief techniques for centuries. Because its popularity is returning in the United States, you can find books and videos to help you learn yoga techniques that are appropriate for your fitness level.
4. Guided Imagery
This technique involves vivid visualization. You picture some place that is very relaxing to you. And focus your entire mind on the details of that image, including all of the sensory details, such as the feel of the breeze against your skin or the smell of the blooming flowers. The more vivid the image the more relaxing the technique will be.
3. Mindfulness Meditation
Instead of allowing your mind to wander into all of the worries and stressors affecting you, try to focus completely on something you are doing at this moment. For example, if you are walking, focus on each step you take. If you are typing, focus completely on the movement of your fingers on the keys. This is a great method of meditation for stress.
2. Deep Breathing
One of the best anxiety relaxation techniques is deep breathing. When you can control your breathing, you can control all of the symptoms associated with anxiety, such as a racing heartbeat. You breathe in through your nose, hold the air in for a few moments then slowly exhale through your mouth. Combined with visualization this can be a powerful source of relaxation.
1. Progressive Muscle Relaxation
This technique involves the tensing and relaxing of the muscles in a focused and controlled way. For example, you would lie down on the bed, close your eyes, and begin by tensing up your feet, holding the tension for about ten seconds then releasing the tension. Gradually, you work up through the rest of your body doing the same thing.
The information supplied in this article is not to be considered as medical advice and is for educational purposes only.
5 Responses to “10 Most Efficient Stress Relaxation Techniques”
Great tip with the Guided Imagery. Visual Relaxation is totally ignored by so many people but it can have such a profound effect on your state of well being and relaxation. And not just focusing on relaxing images but think about what you are looking at in your everyday life? De-clutter your home, car and garden and your whole life will take on a much more rational, relaxed mellow tone.August 11th, 2009 at 5:34 am
I think it's a scary thing when we're saying that stress is one of the biggest threats to the American public's health. We all need to slow down and concentrate on our quality of life. I agree with Lee that natural approaches can be great but you really have to take the time to find out what works best for you. I have used several different techniques including visualization, yoga (although I was concentrating so hard on the poses I can't say it was very relaxing!) and breathing techniques. Taking the time out to find out what worked for me and just giving time to myself was the best thing I ever did! If anyone has any stuff for breathing techniques I'm always willing to hear!July 31st, 2009 at 3:59 am
Progressive Muscle Relaxation works well. It takes a bit of time but can release lots of tension before going to bed and help give you a good nights sleep. Exercise is great too! Not just yoga, but good old fashioned running, cycling - outdoorsy stuff. It clears the mind and the feel good factor afterwords is great! If anyone wants any tips let me know?July 30th, 2009 at 8:59 am
Wow, what a great list! The progressive muscle relaxation sounds interesting. I used to suffer with insomnia for years as I just couldn't wind down after work. The best investment I ever made in myself was just taking the time to figure out what worked for ME. Rainforest sounds work so well for me and have really changed my life. I feel so refreshed now when I wake up after a proper night's sleep. Has anyone tried autogenic relaxation? Sounds interesting?July 30th, 2009 at 6:43 am
What a wonderful set of very helpful suggestions. And the list could even be longer. I think each person has an inner "key" when it comes to stress relief that is unique to them. One thing will not work, even if it shows success in others. So every person should really come up with their own specialized visual aids and "triggers", if that's what you want to call them. But natural approaches, like breathing, visualization, and the low-impact exercises are all beneficial ways to reduce anybody's stress.June 15th, 2009 at 11:42 pm