Relaxation techniques are essential in today's hectic world. Do you prefer a day at the beach or in the mountains? If you can't get away, use one or more of the following ways to relax.
Get an extra massage. When you relax with massage, you let go of muscle tension, worry, and mental confusion. If you slow down and relax, you can more easily tune into your feelings and encourage your body and mind to let go of stress and tension.
Practice focused relaxation. Sit comfortably or lie down with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Support your neck with a pillow if you prefer. Scan your body, noticing where you feel tension or discomfort. Breathe slowly into these areas. Imagine relaxation flooding into the areas of discomfort. Begin by practicing ten minutes once a day.
Meditate. Try this relaxation technique: Silently repeat a word that has little emotional meaning for you, such as "one." Give it your full attention. When other thoughts or images come into your mind, ignore them and return your focus to the unspoken word. Don’t strain or try too hard. Simply let your mind keep coming back to your chosen word again and again as thoughts pass through your mind.
Practice abdominal breathing. Sit up straight, eyes closed, with a hand on your belly. Inhale slowly through your nose. Exhale completely, squeezing the belly tight. Begin by practicing for 5 minutes at a time. Try it when you feel anxious or can’t sleep.
Soak in a hot bath. Add several drops of essential oils such as lavender or ylang-ylang for relaxation. Another relaxation technique is to just soak your feet. Add Epsom salts to a bathtub or basin of warm water and enjoy!
Take a warm shower. As the water rushes around your neck, drop your neck forward and stretch it from side to side. Then circle your shoulders slowly under the hot water.
Use autosuggestion. Frequently repeat a suggestion to yourself such as "Shoulders free" or "Neck relaxed." Repeat the suggestion, but don’t try to do anything except say the phrase. The suggestion plants an idea that may gently support muscle relaxation.
Take a yoga class or get some yoga DVDs. Many people find yoga to be an effective relaxation technique.
Listen to relaxing music or CDs with nature sounds.
If one relaxation technique doesn't work for you, try another technique. If none of your efforts at stress reduction seems to work, talk to your doctor about other options.
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