Physical Relaxation Techniques

Physical relaxation techniques help you handle the effects of flight and fight response in your body and lessen muscle tension. This should be done if your mind is already not performing clearly and efficiently especially if under pressure. Some techniques for physical relaxation include deep breathing, progressive muscular relaxation and relaxation response.

Deep Breathing

Deep breathing is the simplest method of relaxation but is very effective. Deep breathing is a main element of almost all relaxation techniques ranging from yoga to Zen meditation and also to calm someone down. It can work together with other relaxation techniques such like progressive muscular relaxation, meditation and relaxation imagery in reducing stress. It is very simple, all you need to do is take several deep breaths and relax while breathing and that's it!

Deep breathing activities is a way to relax, thus, when done frequently, can provide relief from symptoms of stress that may result in high blood pressure, depression, stomach problems, headaches, anxiety and many more; deep breathing cures stuttering, anxiety disorders, and hyperventilation. A regular deep breathing is therapeutic and can be a way of life if done regularly.

Progressive Muscular Relaxation

This is useful to relax the body when muscles are tense. The plan is to tense your muscles until they are contracted tightly. Keep it in an extremely tight condition for a while and then loose the tight muscles normally. Continue relaxing your muscles even more to feel more relaxed as possible. It is good to tense the muscles first than to relax it immediately so that you would be able to feel the relaxing feeling better than doing it right away. An example of doing this practice is by tightening your clenched fist for a while. Loosen your hand after the severe tightness and then relax it even more to get the feeling of deep relaxation in your hands. Aside from the hands, progressive muscular relaxation can also be done on face, arms, chest, abdomen, and legs. This technique has also been proven effective for hypertension, insomnia, and ulcers.

The Relaxation Response

This technique is derived from the name of a book. It was released on 1968 at Harvard University by Dr. Herbert Benson. He made several experiments from different common meditation techniques ad he recognized that the various techniques can really control the flight or fight response and can reduce stress. Immediate responses include slowed heartbeat, deep relaxation, increased skin resistance and reduced oxygen consumption. Following these steps can make a great effect on you:

  • Sit comfortably and quietly
  • Close your eyes
  • Relax your muscles from the feet working upwards.
  • Concentrate on your breathing
  • Breathe in and breathe out. You may count your breath to avoid distraction. Count loudly to keep your mind working.
  • Continue doing this for ten to twenty minutes.

Another way of doing this technique is to think of imaginary images or thoughts as an alternative to counting your breaths.

These three techniques are effective in reducing managing flight and fight response and relaxing your body. These can be done to control tense nerves before an important presentation or performance or reduce general stress.

Like mental techniques, physical relaxation techniques are effective for one's health and relaxation. As a matter of fact, combination of physical and mental techniques is very effective to relax the mind and body.

Other techniques for physical relaxation include:

  • Autogenic training. This is a 15 minute session that allows you to visualize set of relaxation images usually in a comfortable position like lying down or sitting. This is usually done in the morning or evening to alleviate stress.
  • Meditation. This is done by focusing deeply the mind or consciousness into something that will eliminate stress and worries. It has proven to be effective on reducing pain and stress in individuals as well as on metabolism, brain activation, hypertension, blood pressure, respiration and heart rate.
  • Zen yoga. This implies a basic principle that breathing, stretching and body movements are for everybody regardless of health, fitness or age. It helps you being aware of the present condition in your environment.
  • Self-hypnosis. This is good for people who are stressed and has low self-esteem. This helps them relax and boost self-esteem.

Meditation is known stress reducer. Contact to find out more about how meditation can take away chronic stress.

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