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Relaxation Techniques For Stress Relief

By Expert Author: Davis Walker

Unfortunately, stress has become an increasingly common characteristic of contemporary life. Stress is harmful when it becomes overwhelming and interrupts the healthy state of equilibrium that your nervous system needs. A variety of relaxation techniques can help you bring your nervous system back into balance by producing a relaxation response. When you are choosing a relaxation technique, you must consider your preferences, specific needs, fitness level and the way you tend to react to stress. A right relaxation technique for stress relief resonates with you and fits your lifestyle. In many cases, you may find that combining different techniques will provide you with the best results and keep you motivated.

1) Breathing: All relaxation techniques are mainly about breathing more deeply with relaxing the muscles. This skill needs to be learned and it will come with practice. To improve breathing and relaxation Yoga and tai chi are both good forms of exercise. You must practise deep breathing regularly and in a quiet place where you won’t be disturbed. Wear lose clothes and make yourself feel completely comfortable. Good relaxation always starts with focusing on your breathing. You must breathe in and out in a regular rhythm and slowly as this will help you to calm down. Follow these steps:

• Fill up your lungs with air, without forcing.

• Inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth.

• Breathe in slowly counting from one to five.

• Then let the breath escape slowly, again counting from one to five.

• Keep doing this until you feel calm. You must breathe without pausing or holding your breath.

You should practice this relaxed breathing for three to five minutes and two to three times a day.

2) Deep muscle relaxation:

This technique takes around 20 minutes. It focuses on stretching different muscles in turn and then relaxes them in order to release tension from the body and relax your mind. You might also want to play some soothing music to help relaxation. Work through these muscle groups in the same order given below:

• Face: With your fingers push your eyebrows together and then release.

• Neck: Tilt the head forwards gently by pushing chin down towards chest and then slowly lift again.

• Shoulders: Shrug your shoulders by pulling them up towards the ears and then relax them down towards the feet.

• Chest: Breathe slowly and deeply into the diaphragm so that you're using the whole of the lungs. Then slowly breathe out, allowing the belly to deflate as you exhale the air.

• Arms: Stretch the arms away from the body and then relax.

• Legs: Push the toes away from the body. Now pull them towards body and then relax.

• Wrists and hands: Stretch the wrist by pulling the hand up towards you with the fingers and thumbs, and stretch out.

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