Stress Relaxation Techniques
By Randi Morse
When you experience stress your body is flooded with hormones. It doesn't matter if it's a minor stress, like a slight mix-up at work, or a large stress, such as dealing with a relationship ending. We tend to carry around small stresses throughout our daily routine, but sometimes all those small stresses pile up into a problem that is so big, you start to have a physical reaction. Your heart might pound, your breathing might get faster, and your muscles might tense up. This is known as the stress response and one of the best ways to combat it is with the relaxation response. There are a number of relaxation techniques that you can use to help calm your body and mind.
Breathing focus is one of the simplest, and most powerful, techniques that you can find. It involves taking long, deep breaths, something that is also called abdominal breathing. Close your eyes and focus on breathing in and out slowly. Try to focus your thoughts only on your breathing; sometimes counting as you inhale and exhale can help keep your thoughts on your breaths.
If you are someone who has a great imagination, guided imagery could be exactly what you need to help you battle back stress. With guided imagery you will close your eyes and imagine a soothing, peaceful place. Imagine somewhere you feel calm and safe and happy. You may even want to download an app that has sounds that connect to your chosen happy place. If your mind drifts to the beach, for example, the sound of ocean waves can help bring you further into your imagination.
This technique goes along with the breathing focus technique I mentioned earlier. Once you've managed to take some deep breaths, start focusing on your muscles. Start from one end of your body or the other. So you'd start at your toes and remind your body to relax the muscles. You'd then move up to your calves, then your knees, and so on, consciously relaxing each muscle in your body as you think about it.
If you find yourself getting overly stressed, try one of these techniques. You can even preempt any stress by using a stress relieving technique every day to help rid yourself of any stress, no matter how small, you gathered during the day.
To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Phoenix, Ariz.