Relaxation Techniques to Manage Stress
Relaxation techniques give us an actionable way to manage stress. Its not enough to just know what stress is and to want to reduce it so that we can live happier, healthier lives. We need to take action to reduce our stress.
By learning different methods of relaxation then we have an actionable thing we can do the next time we feel stress creeping in. Being able to take action allows us to have more control over our emotions.
So, what are some different relaxation techniques?
This technique is used to take control of your thoughts. If your thoughts are spiraling out of control and you find yourself worrying into a high stress level, then you must force yourself to change your thoughts to be positive and constructive.
Affirmations are simply thoughts we are having, a sort of dialogue within ourselves. The problem is that when we are stressed, we are generally using negative affirmations, or thinking negative thoughts. If we take a moment to change our self-talk, we can change our mood and our lives! We can do that using Positive Affirmations.
You think to yourself, or say out loud, positive and uplifting statements. Here are some examples:
-Life is filled with happiness and endless opportunities
-I believe I can accomplish my goals, and so I will
-I am in control of my own life and happiness
It is important to always be aware of what is going on in our minds. Our minds are very powerful and both positive and negative thoughts can be life altering.
Negative thoughts tend to be even easier to accept therefore resinating into our subconscious mind and becoming more powerful.
We must train ourselves to fill our mind with positive thoughts, and do our very best to believe them - not just go through the motions, but really believe what we are speaking. That is how this relaxation technique will work best.
Visualization is similar to positive affirmations, in that you are using your thoughts in a positive and constructive way. However this time, rather than manipulating our self-talk to our advantage, we are going to actually visualize a more peaceful, relaxing, or happy environment.
For example, lets say you feel most relaxed when you are at the beach. During your visualization exercise, you will want to picture the beach as though you are there in that very moment. Take yourself to the relaxed state by being aware of what makes you feel relaxed.
Maybe its the sound of the waves crashing into the land in a rhythmic order. Hear the waves. Maybe its the soft breeze on your warm skin. Feel the breeze.
During visualization you will want to use all of your senses to picture, feel, smell, and hear everything in the environment you are trying to visualize.
Do this exercise until you can feel your body relaxed and your thoughts focused only on what you are visualizing. Then take some time to enjoy this relaxation technique.
Muscle relaxation is a way of taking your mind off of whatever is causing you stress, and focusing it on your body in an effort to relax your body. My favorite technique of muscle relaxation is to tense and relax my muscles - one at a time.
So, start with your toes. Feel your toes and squeeze the muscles in your toes for about 10 seconds. Then completely relax them for another 30. Repeat this one time and move up your body until you get to your head and neck.
These are a few examples of relaxation techniques. There are other common techniques such as Yoga, and Meditation. The important thing is to find something, or a number of things, that work for you,
use some form of relaxation techniques whenever you are feeling stressed.