Chronic stress can lead to many physical and mental health problems including, but not limited to, high blood pressure, cardiovascular diseases such as heart attack and stroke, ulcers, depression, and anxiety. That is why it is so important to find ways to reduce or relieve your stress. One such method includes learning relaxation techniques.
Here are some relaxation techniques that you can implement to help deal with your stress:
1. Learn to Live Life in the Present
• When you are under stress, it is often hard to shut down your thoughts. Unfortunately, these thoughts tend to stray to past events or future ones of worry and anxiety.
• Instead, try living in the present. This is what young children do. A good way to live in the moment is by learning to see the world the way children do. They take the time to notice details, and do not feel the pressure to rush through life.
• As an adult, you can apply this same way of thinking by living part of your life through the eyes of a child. Take the time to notice a beautiful sunset when you drive home from work, or to enjoy a favorite song like it's the first time you've heard it. Pay attention to the warm sun on your face, and the scent of the flowers on the trees.
2. Find an Enjoyable Activity
• Everyone is different, so it can take some time to determine what that activity is. Basically, you want to find an activity that completely takes your mind off the stresses of the day while you participate in it, and keeps you in a relaxed state after the activity is finished.
• Examples of activities may include crafts such as painting, beading, or scrapbooking, martial arts programs, yoga, curling up in your favorite chair and reading a book, and so forth.
3. Practice Visualization
• This involves thinking about something that calms and relaxes you. For example, close your eyes, and think back to your vacation at the beach. Imagine you are there, what the water looks like, how blue the sky looks, how warm the sun feels, and how relaxed you feel.
4. Do Muscle Relaxation
• It's important to be able to tell the difference between tight, unrelaxed muscles and ones that are relaxed. This is where muscle relaxation can be beneficial. Start either at your head or at your feet. For example, begin by tensing the muscles in your face and scalp for ten seconds, and then relax for a minute. Be sure to pay attention to what tension versus relaxation feels like. Next, move onto your neck, and continue downwards until you reach your feet.
5. Take a Few Steps Back
• When you begin to recognize stress symptoms, learn to take a step back for a moment. Go somewhere quiet for a few minutes where you can do some deep breathing, and pull yourself together.
• You may also want to perform some positive self-talk, meaning you remind yourself that you can deal with whatever is causing you stress at the moment. Remind yourself of all the good things in your life, and think about what means most to you. This can bring some immediate relaxing thoughts and perspective on the situation.
• If you have a busy job dealing with people all day, it can be relaxing to find a quiet place to eat your lunch while closing your eyes for a few minutes. This can recharge your batteries, and result in a relaxed mood when dealing with people for the rest of the afternoon. Just make sure that the quiet place is not your office desk where you see work staring back at you.
In summary, many relaxation techniques can be employed to deal with stress. Many of these techniques can be used for home and/or work.
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