Stress is a regular part of life, whether we want it or not. Life tends to throw obstacles and difficulties regardless of circumstances, and it is in our best interest to find appropriate coping mechanisms. Relaxation techniques exist for a reason: to help you reduce stress and feel better. Therefore, if you’ve been dealing with stress lately, here are some relaxation methods and techniques that you might consider adopting to feel more peaceful and practice a healthier lifestyle.
Breathing is the core of your being, and once you utilize it to work in your favor, you’ll be able to ground yourself and relieve the negative effects of accumulated stress. This is a powerful technique, however, if you’re taking deep breaths, it’s important to keep exhales longer than your inhales. That will have a positive benefit on your autonomic nervous system, thus, reducing anxiety and stress. Try inhaling at the count of four, and exhaling at the count of six to see the best effects.
Guided imagery meditation
Guided imagery meditation is a great way to feel calmer and more balanced. This technique can be combined with different breathing techniques since they are a perfect fit. For this technique, you’re meant to conjure up various soothing and pleasant images such as greenfield pastures, the sound of ocean waves, or anything else that brings you peace and serenity. If you have any such images that are personally important to you, such as fond childhood memories, then feel free to visualize that.
Body scan method
The body scan is another meditation technique that lets you scan your body from head to toe. The entire process is very soothing. Its main purpose is to find physically tense parts of your body and then relax them using a progressive muscle relaxation technique. This is also a great method for fostering awareness of the complex mind-body connection. However, if you’ve been through any medical interventions, or you suffer from chronic pain, maybe it’s better to skip this one.
Massaging tense parts of your body
The majority of us lead a sedentary lifestyle that causes issues with posture. This often causes other issues such as tight muscles, stress, and chronic pain. Massage can be extremely beneficial as it soothes the muscles and alleviates tension in the body. Using your hand to massage the back of your neck or lower back can be effective, however, using portable massage devices is a much better option. These devices are lightweight and silent which means you can take them to the office and use them every time you feel tension or discomfort.
Exercise that works for you
Physical activity is one of the most effective ways to reduce pent-up stress. It’s up to you to decide which physical activity works for you best. For example, yoga and Tai chi can be of great help as they combine rhythmic breathing and flowing movements. They’re also great if you want to learn to be more present. Being focused on the present moment can help with anxiety and panic attacks. On the other hand, there are people who prefer HIIT or other types of more intense workouts to relieve stress. There is no right or wrong, as long as your choice of exercise directly contributes to your wellbeing.
Praying as a way of comfort
Prayer can be an extremely beneficial way to reduce stress. So, the easiest way to do this is to silently repeat a prayer, a part of a prayer, or any type of affirmation while also focusing on your breath. If you’re someone who cares about religion or spirituality, this method will likely work for you. In case you’re not religious or spiritual, then repeating the “I am” affirmations can have a similar positive effect on you.
Unlike previously mentioned methods, mindfulness meditation revolves around focusing on the present moment while utilizing your own breath to guide you through the process. The most common way to practice mindfulness meditation is to sit comfortably, with your spine straight, and focus your mind’s attention on the present moment. You should avoid thinking about other things, such as daily chores or your past worries. This might be challenging at first, but as time goes by, you’ll become better at it. Mindfulness meditation will relieve your stress in the long run, and it’s considered one of the best ways to reduce stress.
Stress is often difficult to handle, and these techniques will help you feel better. Feel free to use anything that seems natural and convenient to you. Also, make sure to treat yourself kindly, and to live a healthy lifestyle that will help you become your best self.