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Effective Relaxation Techniques For Stress

One of the curses of the modern world is the very fast pace of life. Technology has allowed us to do many things much more efficiently; unfortunately, it is also throwing much more at us in a 24 hour period of time. This can great an enormous amount of stress. Stress itself can have significant negative health consequences due to the chronically heightened level of the stress hormone cortisol in our body. If stress has become a problem for you, then there are several relaxation techniques for stress that you should consider trying.

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The most well known relaxation technique for stress is meditation. Just 15-30 minutes a day can do wonders for restoring your mental balance. While there are a wide variety of meditation techniques, one of the most simple is to simply site down in a chair, progressively relax each part of your body, and focus on clearing the mind. Focusing on one point in your body like the top of the forehead can help in this process. You might have trouble at first, but with practice you will be able to go longer without chatter from your head interrupting your meditation.

You might not always have time to meditate when you encounter some seriously stressful situations during your day. When this happens deep breathing can be a great way of relieving stress. You only need about 5 minutes. Simply clear your mind and take a deep inhale, pause briefly, and then a deep exhale. Do this while focusing your mind on your diaphragm going up and down. This should help to lower your heart rate and clear your mind a bit.

For those who want a much deeper state of relaxation, hypnosis is a great way of relieving stress. During this process, a hypnotist will induce an extremely relaxed state. Then he can implant suggestions to your subconscious that can reinforce the state as well as increase your levels of calm when you are not in hypnosis. While seeking out a qualified hypnotist gets the best results because they can modify the induction based on visual clues relative to your relaxation, there are also a lot of hypnosis states that are reasonably effective. These can be used in the convenience of your own home whenever you want.

For those looking for a much higher tech way to relax, brainwave entrainment is one of the most effective ways to get into a relaxing state. In this technology, earphones are put on and electronic sounds are played in both ears. The frequencies will be slightly off and the difference will be picked up by the brain, which will try to mimic it down to a lower mental frequency associated with deep relaxation. These sounds are often referred to a binaural beats, and can even be accompanied by synchronized light glasses to enhance the effect.

Stress can be a silent killer. Do not let the modern world adversely effect your health by jacking up your levels of stress. Use some of the above relaxation techniques for stress to restore balance in your life.

How Guided Imagery Relaxation Techniques Work and Why

Guided imagery relaxation techniques are an effective form of meditation that can help you to clear your mind, relax, and focus on the things that are most important to you. It is easy to learn how to use guided imagery to relax, and you can get a good meditation session in as little as 15 minutes.
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The easiest way to think of guided imagery meditation is as if it was daydreaming. In fact, in many ways it is like a vivid, conscious daydream. Once you master this meditation technique you can try it during your lunch break or once you get home from work, and you’ll find it works incredibly well for staying fresh and clear minded.

To use guided imagery relaxation techniques, sit down in a comfortable chair, or lie down on your bed. Use deep, diaphragmic breathing, and close your eyes. Focus on breathing slowly and imagine you are breathing in peace, and expelling all of your stressful thoughts with each outward breath.

Once you are feeling relaxed, try to imagine yourself in a peaceful place. Think of whatever makes you happy. That could be a river, a woodland, or a beach. Pick a place that has meaning to you, and think happy thoughts. Focus on how the place makes you feel. Imagine the scents, sights and sounds, and soak up every happy, relaxing moment. Imagine yourself actually being there, and focus on how good that feels. Treat this meditation session as a little holiday, and spend as long there as you want. When you are ready to let the meditation session end, start counting backwards from twenty to one, and tell yourself that you will feel happy and alert once you come around.

Some people find that ambient sounds help them to focus on their relaxation better, so they would play a CD of seaside sounds if they wanted to imagine a trip to the beach, or a woodland track for a meditation session in a forest. Others find the sound distracting. Choose what works best for you. If necessary, set an alarm so that you don’t doze off or end up getting lost in your meditative world. Once you have gotten used to the relaxation part of guided meditation, try visualization techniques that may help you to become more successful in your day to day life. The power of positive thinking should not be ignored.

What is The Relaxation Response?

The Relaxation Response is a book about meditation that was written by Herbert Benson and Miriam Z. Klipper in 1975. The book went on to become a bestseller, and is frequently recommended by clinical psychologists as a valuable self-help title for their patients.

relaxationBenson is a Harvard Physician, and he believes that the book can help people to understand Transcendental Meditation and the health benefits that it provides, which include several physiological and psychological benefits, such as reducing blood pressure.

Benson recalls that some people from the Transcendental Meditation movement visited his medical school in the 1960′s, and asked to have their claims about meditation tested. Benson went on to become a supporter of the movement, and in his book he describes the steps required to activate a part of the brain known as the parasympathetic nervous system and bring about the stress-reducing benefits of meditation.

Why Meditation Matters

The relaxation response helps to calm the mind and body, reducing blood pressure and boosting the immune system. Stress is a huge cause of visits to healthcare providers, and can aggravate conditions such as hypertension, insomnia, migraines, back pain, IBS, stroke risk, and heart disease. There are even some links between stress and cancer. By eliciting the relaxation response, you can improve your health and your overall feeling of well being.

Learning From a Book

While the Relaxation Response book is more than 30 years old now, it has been re-published many times, and it comes highly recommended by healthcare providers. Some people find that it is difficult to learn from a book, but the relaxation response is far more than just a collection of suggestions about breathing and “emptying your mind”. It teaches a complete technique that takes just a few seconds to complete, and that can be repeated on demand. If you find yourself feeling tense or stressed, then you can practice the technique no matter where you are, and keep your mind sharp and focused.

The latest edition of the book includes a lot of information about the effects of stress on the body, but has had some of the details about how to implement the relaxation technique removed. Readers who can find the original edition of the book may prefer to choose that one to get the most benefit out of learning the techniques. However, both editions are incredibly valuable and will help you to learn how to calm your mind and improve your health and well being.