Learning to relax is something we all need to do. Life and work are stressful. Many of us go through our days with a list of tasks that never end. It is important to recharge your batteries, as even the energizer bunny will wear out. In addition, it is important for you to take care of yourself, so you can take care of others.
Teaching you how to relax is one of the many tools I teach people who are feeling stress or anxiety. We all have a baseline level of anxiety. Having some anxiety is good, as it serves as a motivator to get things done. Too much anxiety will lead to a decrease in activity. If you practice these on a regular basis, your baseline level of anxiety or stress will decrease.
Benefits of Relaxation
Heart rate reduction
Lowering of blood pressure
Decrease breathing rate
Reduces muscle tension
Slows down thought process
Keeps you calm and centered
Improves thinking and concentration
When to Use Relaxation
You can use these tools in any anxiety-evoking situation. Lets face it life is stressful. Use these techniques prior to addressing conflict, taking a test, a job interview, sporting competition, or before a speech or presentation.
Things That May Occur While Practicing Relaxation
When you first learn how to practice some of these techniques, they will feel awkward. It may be hard to concentrate, you may feel irritable or find it hard to relax. It can be difficult to sit still, as we are so used to running around and feel that we need to be accomplishing something. We are so used to doing, that be don’t know how to just be.
Common Techniques To Help You Relax
One of may favorite books is called Eight Minute Meditation by Davich. I use the meditations in this book myself, as well as teach clients how to meditate. In this book, Davich describes 8 different 8-minute meditations. He recommends that you do one different 8-minute meditation each week for 8 weeks. If you do this, you will have meditated for 2 months.
It starts with a basic breathing meditation. You can set a timer for 8 minutes and focus on your breathing. Notice the way it feels as the air goes into your lungs and out of your lungs. When you start meditating, 8 minutes will seem like a long time. Your mind will wander and that’s OK. It happens to everyone and they call it ‘monkey brain.’ When this happens gently tell yourself to go back to your breathing and just allow whatever happens to occur. It is great to do prior to bedtime to help you fall asleep.
With this technique, I talk you through an imaginary peaceful scene. It may be someplace you’ve been before, or a place you might imagine. It may be in nature, or in the home of someone special. Anyplace where you could relax and feel safe. It typically takes 10-12 minutes. Many individuals find it very relaxing, and feel peaceful and serene afterwards. Some clients have even fallen asleep when I’ve taught them this relaxation technique.
Progressive Muscle Relaxation
This is wonderful technique if your muscles are tense. When teaching this, I lead you through many of the muscle groups in your body, from head to toe. It involves tensing and relaxing your muscles. The process takes about 10 minutes.
A benefit of doing these three relaxation techniques in session is that I can record it on your phone while we are doing it. That way you have a copy of it to take home with you. Most people find it easier to follow the sound of someone’s voice, vs. doing it on their own. I can also give you a copy of the script and you can have the person of your choice record it for you. Eventually you will be able to do it on your own if you do it on a regular basis.
Everyone is different. You may like some or all of these techniques. Why not try something different to see if it works for you? If you suffer from stress or anxiety and need some help with relaxation, give me a call at 713-304-6554 and I can design a plan that works specifically for you.