There are many different ways in which you can incorporate relaxation techniques into your personal development, which can help you reduce your anxiety and stress levels. It’s not simply about physical relaxation either as it’s equally important to relax your mind as well as your body if you want to feel the true benefits of relaxation therapy.
Many people choose to do both together simultaneously whilst other people will practice different disciplines such as meditation, yoga or tai’chi to help them relax. Here are some basic relaxation techniques to get you started and if you find that they help you, there are many other different ways you can teach yourself how to relax.
Physical Relaxation Techniques
Physical relaxation techniques can really benefit you, especially when you’re in a stressful situation or a ‘fight or flight’ mode and they can also help you if you’re under pressure to perform a certain task. Deep breathing is probably the simplest and most well-known and practised relaxation technique. All it involves is to take a deep breath in, hold it for a few seconds and then exhale slowly. If you’ve never tried this before, doing this in sets of about 10, you’ll really start noticing how much calmer you feel.
Sometimes your muscles will feel tense and Progressive Muscular Relaxation or PMR is very good for relaxing your body. The idea behind it is to tense up a group of muscles until they are contracted as tightly as possible until you reach a point where you cannot tense them any further. Then, simply hold that posture for a few seconds and then let those muscles relax naturally. You should then find that you can relax those muscles even more, which heightens your sense of calmness.
It’s important that you clear your mind of any other of life’s stresses and worries and just concentrate on the relaxation of each muscle group, however, if you want to feel the true benefits of this technique, which can also be used in other situations where you might need to handle your nerves as well as in bedtime situations when you’re experiencing difficulty in getting to sleep.
No amount of physical relaxation therapy will do you much good if you’re unable to relax your mind too. Here, it’s all about retraining your brain to react differently to stressful situations and here are some of the most prevalent issues which stop people from letting their brains relax and what you can do to conquer them.
Stop Making Mountains Out Of Molehills
If you tend to get stressed out at the smallest of things that are unexpected or if you feel like you’re overloaded, it’s important that you train your mind to truly see the situation for what it is. If it’s something you can deal with at the time, deal with it but if it’s not, don’t make a mountain out of something that can be dealt with on another day. Simply make a note of it and deal it with when you have time.
Choose To Be Happy
Many people’s problems with stress and anxiety tend to result because they’ve conditioned themselves that their life is always going wrong and that nothing good ever happens to them or they think that things are always “simply too good to be true”. All this is negative conditioning and if you think negatively, you’re going to inevitably attract negative things to you. However, by simply making a conscious decision to switch that around and only think positively and to tell yourself that you deserve to be happy, you’ll be surprised at how much easier and more fun life becomes.
Choose Positive Experiences
Most of us have been guilty of negative thoughts and behaviours at some time or other. You may have thought you enjoyed a bit of office gossip at the expense of somebody else or you tend to be the type of person who always criticises others and complains. To be like this means that stress, anxiety and unhappiness is never going to be too far away. So, if you want to change this, you need to consciously change your behaviour and attitude towards things that are going on around you and to how you relate to people.
Instead of gossiping or worrying about whether your so-called ‘friends’ are gossiping or whinging about you, why not take the decision to change your friends and to surround yourself with people who are supportive of you and who have a good level of self-esteem and optimism in their life. Listen to music that inspires and uplifts you and take up things like meditation to help you relax.
Ultimately, there is not really a case for thinking that some people get more stressed out than others or that some people can’t manage their emotions and reactions to potential stressful situations without lashing out or ‘losing it’. In reality, stress is only the result of your own reactions to certain events or issues and you have the power to change those. Relaxation techniques and its various related disciplines alongside your own conscious efforts to change and to forge a less stressful and happy life for yourself will help you achieve that.