What is Relaxation?
Many of us think of relaxation as doing nothing, being idle, or “vegging” out. But relaxation is not really being inactive—it’s a state of freedom from anxiety and tension.
We live in a fast-paced world and we constantly experience information overload. Thanks to technology and the economic times, our lives are full of stress. This is hardly new information. But, why is this a cause for concern? The constant pressure to achieve, to perform, to outdo the competition leaves our bodies in an almost constant flight-or-fight response mode. Adrenalin levels are constantly high. This is like running a car’s engine at full throttle all the time: not good for the health of the engine. Like the engine, our bodies and minds need a breather.
Stress causes wear and tear on your body. Hypertension, headaches, muscle tension, ulcers, rapid heartbeat and a weakened immune system are the common results of long-term stress. Some experts even believe that diseases like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and certain types of cancer are directly related to stress.
Relaxations techniques help counteract the harmful effects of stress. Natural ways to relax give your body a chance to rest, an opportunity to calm. Blood pressure drops. You even sleep better. Relaxation improves mood and productivity because your mind and body have had a chance to rejuvenate. There are many ways to relax when stressed.
These are effective ways to relax.
The best ways to relax are the ones that work for you. For example, a fast game of handball is relaxing for one person and stressful for another in the same way that playing chess relaxes one person and stresses another.
These relaxation techniques can get you from highly stressed to calm in fifteen minutes or less. The key here is finding what you love to do, so you can feel happy and release all the tension built up inside you.
Meditation is one of the best ways to relax, but it’s not as easy as it seems. In fact, some people never learn to meditate effectively. This is because it is very easy to get distracted while meditating. However, when done correctly, just a few minutes of meditation first thing in the morning or at the end of the day can do wonders to ease anxiety. Medical research has shown that this natural relaxation technique alters the brain’s neural pathways and makes your body more resilient to stress. If you are having trouble meditating, consider working with a meditation coach.
When things get too stressful, try deep breathing. Step back and take a five-minute breather. Focus on your breathing. Close your eyes and put your hands on your lap. Inhale slowly and deeply through your nose. Hold as you slowly count to ten. Then, slowly exhale through your mouth. Deep breathing works because it counters the physiological effects of stress, slowing the heart rate and lowering your blood pressure.
Resist the urge to dwell on the past or worry about the future. Learn to live in the present moment. Go for a walk. Pay attention to relaxing things around you like the sun shining on the flowers, how the air feels on your face, the sounds of the birds. Savor each experience of the senses. Spending time in the “now” focuses your senses and relieves tension.
You’ve Got a Friend
Engaging in social activities is one of the best ways to relax and ease stress. Have lunch with your friends or meet for an after-work drink regularly. Get caught up. Complain to one another. Share what’s going on in each of your lives. Your strong connection gives you a fresh lease on life.
Get the Kinks out of Your Body
From the extremities in, relax each area of your body. Start from your toes and work your way up to your scalp. Shake out the tension. This is one of the best ways to relax when stressed.
Massage away Tension
There’s nothing like a professional massage to relieve tension. However, you can also get good results with a self-massage.Place a small sack or neck ring filled with wheat in the microwave to heat. Wrap it around your neck or place sacks on your shoulders for ten minutes. Close your eyes. Relax your face, neck, shoulders, and back muscles. Remove the hot ring or sack. Use a tennis ball or foam roller to massage away stress. If you have a mate who is very good at massage, ask for his/her help. It’s one of the great ways to relax when stressed.
Bubble away Your Troubles
One of the best ways to relax when you are stressed is a warm bath with aromatherapy. Place a few drops of a relaxing scent in the tub and breathe in the steamy fragrance. Good calming scents include: lavender, chamomile, bergamot, sandalwood, mandarin, jasmine, vanilla, rose, and lilac.
The best thing about the relaxation techniques mentioned above is that they are all natural. You don’t have to take any medication or worry about possible adverse effects. Practice these natural relaxation techniques to keep stress at bay.