How Are Relaxation Techniques Helpful in Managing Stress?
Stress is bad for both your body and your mind. Mastering relaxation techniques for stress can aid in improving your overall health and wellness.
A stressed mind lacks the ability to focus, which means you’ll struggle to achieve success. Some stress can also open you up to more stress as the pains of the world pile onto you. Creating a routine of using relaxation techniques will help you manage the stress in your life to keep it from becoming too much for you to handle.
Learn the impacts relaxation techniques can have on stress in your life, the benefits of relaxation techniques.
How Relaxation Techniques Reduce Stress
Let’s face it, life can be stressful. It’s full of to-do lists, deadlines, challenging personalities to work with, and the pressure to balance work and life.
As thoughts of failure consume us, we get more stressed.
“What if I don’t turn in that assignment on time?”
“How can I make it to my child’s soccer game while meeting the expectations to maintain my home and complete life’s necessary tasks?”
“What happens if my loved one doesn’t recover from the illness they are facing?”
Life’s many questions and uncertainty can become too much, leading to unsurmountable stress, anxiety and gloom.
But with the right relaxation techniques, you can move away from what-ifs, clear your mind, and focus on what you can accomplish.
Relaxation techniques reduce stress in the following ways.
- Lowering your heart rate and blood pressure to decrease your physical response to stress
- Improving your sleep to clear your mind to problem solve, increase working efficiency and more
- Increase your confidence so that you believe you can accomplish all that you need to in a day
- Improve your mood and concentration abilities so you can stay positive and focus on your goals
- Reduce frustration, which distracts you from the task at hand and makes it more challenging to accomplish your goals
- Eliminate anger to provide a levelheaded response to stress triggers
- Reduce chronic stress to improve overall wellbeing and health
Impact of the Brain on Wellbeing
Your brain sends and receives chemical and electrical signals to your entire body. If your brain isn’t in a good state, the rest of your body will suffer. That’s why reducing stress is so important.
The brain handles these important bodily functions.
- Decision making
- Processing your senses
- Understanding spatial relationships
- Interpreting pain and touch
- Understanding language
- Smell recognition
- Body temperature
- Melatonin release and sleep patterns
- Hunger and thirst
- The flow of hormones throughout your body
- Blood supply
If your brain is overwhelmed with stress, it can’t govern the many aspects of the body as it should. This will impact your quality of life in so many ways, including relationships, success, critical thinking and so much more.
The state of your mind will directly impact the kind of day that you have. A bad day is often characterised by immense stress and an inability of your mind to control your emotional responses to events.
You might not recognise it in the moment, but stress is likely impacting your perception of everything.
Mental Stress Relaxation Techniques
There are many different relaxation techniques, and each person will respond differently to various techniques. Here’s an overview of a few ways you can integrate relaxation into your daily routine to start reaping the benefits of this important activity.
1. Progressive Relaxation
Using progressive relaxation, you tense a group of muscles while breathing in. Then you relax that muscle group as you breathe out. You must go through the muscle groups in this order.
- Wrists and forearms
- Biceps and upper arms
- Eyes and nose
- Cheeks and jaw
- Mouth area
- Back of the neck
- Front of the neck
- Lower legs
Once you’ve physically relaxed all these areas of the body, you won’t feel anxious or stressed. And slowly, you’ll find yourself relaxing these muscles of the body throughout the day and not just during your relaxation sessions. You’ll also be able to identify when a group of muscles are tense so that you can go through the relaxation procedure to remove that tension.
2. Autogenic Training
This relaxation technique trains your body how to respond to various verbal commands. Using verbal commands, you’ll instruct your body to relax by lowering blood pressure, heart rate and body temperature while controlling your breathing.
Autogenic training includes six exercises to relax your body. It can take up to six months to master this form of relaxation and you’ll need to practice it frequently to master it. Experts believe that autogenic training works a lot like hypnosis in that it trains the body to respond to something.
3. Guided Imagery and Visualisation
Creating a vivid image in your mind can aid in stress reduction. You’ll place yourself in an attractive and peaceful setting.
Many times, people practice guided imagery and visualization alongside muscle relaxation or massage to achieve even greater stress relief. The benefit of doing these techniques together is that you’ll associate the imagery with the sensation of total body relaxation. That way, you can engage in only imagery to achieve total body relaxation thanks to associations.
Guided imagery helps distract your mind and redirect your attention. That way, you are no longer focused on the source of your stress and can focus on more productive and relaxing things.
When done well, guided imagery can place you directly in the scene of the place being described. It removes you from your current stressful location to put your mind and body at ease.
While it might sound easy, this is a challenging relaxation technique to master because it requires a calm, comfortable space and ridding your mind of everything else.
During biofeedback therapy, electrodes attach to your skin to feed information to sensors and signals shown on a monitor.
You’ll see the impacts stress has on your body, including high heart rates, muscle tension, high blood pressure and faster breathing. Seeing the impacts of stress and your feedback to them can aid you in controlling your response.
A therapist will help you practice relaxation techniques to change your bodily responses to stress.
During self-hypnosis, you’ll absorb yourself in an experience and provide positive suggestions to help you relax and achieve your goals.
You won’t need to work with a therapist to do self-hypnosis, but because of that, this can be a more challenging relaxation technique to master. Once you do master it, you’ll have greater power over your thoughts and reactions to outside factors.
This relaxation technique often goes along with muscle relaxation techniques as you’ll need to have a fully relaxed body to engage in self-hypnosis. During your relaxation sessions, you’ll introduce suggestions to yourself that will help you overcome fears, be successful or rid your life of addictions.
6. Breathing Exercises
Understanding how your breath changes when you are relaxed compared to when you are stressed can aid you in managing stress. Engaging in breathing exercises will help you change the way your body reacts to stressful situations.
These exercises are simple for engaging in first thing in the morning or as you’re going to bed in the evening. It’s an extremely effective way to rid your body of stress as it sends messages to your brain to calm down. In turn, your brain sends messages to your body to stop reacting to stress.
Reducing Stress and Living the Life of Your Dreams
Living mindfully can have a huge impact on your life. You’ll go from being stressed and wondering why you can’t succeed in life to being accomplished and living the life of your dreams.
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