We all look for ways to counter ‘fight or flight’. Without necessarily being aware of it, we try to escape from the unpleasant feelings of stress and find some relaxation by going to the pub or to the gym, or chilling out in front of the TV. Other common stress relievers many utilize are drinking or smoking. None of these in reality will help you in the slightest.
There are so many better options for you.
If you want to reduce stress and anxiety you need to adopt relaxation techniques.
By relaxing deeply once a day for 15-20 minutes, you will soon notice how much better you feel.
A relaxation technique is any activity that helps a person to relax; to attain a state of increased calmness; or otherwise reduce levels of anxiety, stress or tension. Relaxation techniques can help to decrease muscle tension, lower the blood pressure and slow heart and breath rates, among other health benefits
Today, let me offer you a wonderful relaxation technique.
Sit in a chair with a solid back. Now let your shoulders and arms relax into a comfortable position. Now focus on your body, how it feels, and see yourself releasing all the tension in your muscles. Work your way up from bottom to top.
Feel the tension leaving your feet, ankles, calves, knees, thighs, chest, arms and neck.
Now loosen your jaw and face. Feel every muscle relaxing across your entire face.
When you feel your body at complete rest, now follow these steps.
- Be aware of your left toes, one by one, from the little to the big toe, the sole of the foot, the heel, the ankle, the top of the foot and back again to the toes. Move the mind from your left ankle up your leg to the knee, becoming aware of the calf muscles, your shin bone, your knee joint, then downward, feeling the relaxation and regeneration of each part. Imagine the flow of a gentle current, along the leg, upward as you inhale and downward as you exhale. Repeat a few times. Move your mind up your thigh from your knee to your pelvis, and down again. Be aware of the muscles, bones ligaments and joints, as you inhale and exhale freely. Repeat along the right leg.
- Be aware of the rise and fall of your abdomen, as you inhale and exhale. Feel the muscles relaxing and being re-generated.
- Be aware of your buttocks, your lower and upper back. Move your mind along the spine upward and downward, feeling the regeneration of the discs, joints and the spinal cord.
- Be aware of the movement of your chest, feeling the relaxation and re-generation of the muscles. Place your awareness in your left lung, then the right lung.
- Be aware of the fingers of your left hand, from the little finger to the thumb, the palms, the back of your hand and wrist. Move upward along your forearm, from the wrist to the elbow, and downward towards the wrist. Repeat with your upper arm. Do the same with the right arm.
- Be aware of your throat and neck, the back of your head, your jaws, your cheeks, your chin, your lips and nose. The inside of your mouth and nose, your left eye lid, the same with the right eye, your left and right eyebrow, your forehead. Relax it.
Move to your left and right temple, your left ear and inside it, the same with the right ear, then the top of your head. Feel the coolness of your breath inside your head, as you inhale. Detach your mind and lie peacefully for about five minutes.
Heaviness – Now awaken the feeling of heaviness in the body, become aware of heaviness in every part of the body, imagine yourself sinking into the floor, every time you breath out feel your self sinking further in the floor.
Lightness – Now awaken the feeling of lightness in the body. A sensation of lightness and weightlessness in all the parts of the body. Imagine your body feeling so light that it seems to be floating away from the floor, with every out breath your body is feeling lighter.
Take deep breaths in and out… in and out… listen to your heart beat… become aware of your eyelids and feel them blinking quickly and notice that you have a strong desire to close your eyes… allow your eyes to close and feel a deep sensation of relaxation.
In a few seconds, you will imagine your favourite place of relaxation… a deserted beach, a
Now… just imagine that you are standing on a balcony… and there is a long set of stairs in front of you… leading down from this balcony… there are strong stairs… with wide steps… and a handrail on each side… the stairs are well lit… and you can see them clearly…
In a few seconds’ time… you can count down from 10 to one… and with each descending number between 10 and one… you will take a single step down the stairs… and with each descending number you will become more and more calm, more and more relaxed… each step down from the balcony will take you deeper and deeper… into your wonderful state of relaxation… and as you slowly descend these stairs… you are going to experience a sense of ever-deepening relaxation… throughout your entire body…
You will feel the stairs under your feet and when you eventually reach step one, you can pause and wonder where you might go next… again you feel very tranquil and this tranquility is accompanied by a sense of anticipation… you will then step off… and when you do so… you will find yourself in your favourite place of relaxation… and enjoy… this beautiful place…
Close your eyes and imagine a calming and peaceful, beautiful exotic desert island. Now see yourself there. See yourself loving your time there, resting and at total peace. Take your time, feel, see and hear yourself walking around your island. See the miles of sandy beach all around you, feel the sand on your feet, and hear the waves moving in and out of the shore. Stay here for as long as you can, say 10 to 15 minutes.
To take yourself out of your relaxing place in a gradual manner, simply count up slowly from one to ten, on reaching the number eight, open your eyes, and at the number 10 you will be fully awake and alert. As you stand up, have a stretch and notice how good you feel.
The key to the use of relaxation techniques is to regularly build them into your lifestyle. The more you do them the more effective they will become.
Just try this relaxation technique yourself for 1 week. If it doesn’t help you, then stop.
If you don’t try it, you’ll never know what you’re missing.