Friday, October 7, 2011

3 Simple Relaxation Techniques

Tips for De-Stressing Quickly

One of the most important keys to maintain good health is the ability to relax. Relaxation is good for the body. It adjusts our hormone levels while lowering our heart rate and blood pressure. Relaxation helps us fight illness, and it heightens our mental abilities. In May of 2009, the Mayo Clinic called regular de-stressing an important technique for improving health.
You may struggle to become relaxed, or it seems to take a long time. However, there are some very simple and effective relaxation techniques available to you to help you quickly glide into a calmer mental and physical state. We all have a built-in relaxation response, and the goal is to trigger that response with simple relaxation exercises.

Adjust your environment

Find a quiet place where you can close your eyes comfortably and just "be" for a few minutes. Choose features that specifically help you mentally and physically relax, such as soft music, a comfortable chair, non-distracting lighting and agreeable room temperature. If you will be more comfortable, remove your shoes.

Guide your relaxation all the way through your body

Rest your hands on your legs just above the knees. Mentally picture the stress leaving each part of your body as you concentrate on that part. Start with your head, noticing and mentally releasing tension in your neck, face, forehead and so forth. Next, move your mental relaxation to your shoulders, then back, chest, stomach, thighs, knees, lower legs and feet. Keep your thoughts simple and gentle.

Focus on your breathing

Take deep breaths, in through your nose and out through your mouth. After guiding your relaxation exercise all the way from the top to the bottom of your body, continue breathing deeply with thoughts of wellness. Pastor and motivational speaker and writer Joel Osteen recommends mental exercises during the breathing in which you think about affirmations such as:
  • I am breathing in joy. I am breathing out strife.
  • I am breathing in strength and healing. I am breathing out illness.
  • I am breathing in refreshment and encouragement. I am breathing out defeat.
With practice, you can reach a very deep state of mental relaxation in just a few minutes, after which you will feel noticeably rejuvenated and alert. You can do each relaxation exercise on this list in tandem or separately, and you may supplement these techniques with additional tools. For example, you may choose to record a short guided relaxation exercise to listen to as you step through your personalized strategy.
Relaxation is an important part of good health, vital for maintaining clear-mindedness and overall wellness. Make time for it every day, and develop a relaxation technique that deeply relaxes you quickly. You'll find that your built-in relaxation response will make it easy to relax with just a little practice.
Give yourself a comfortable place with no distractions; gently, mentally walk through your body to release tension throughout; and couple your guided relaxation exercise and self-edifying affirmations with deep, cleansing breathing. You will find yourself not only relaxed but also alert, strengthened and more enthused for that next set of challenges.

This post was written by E.C. LaMeaux for

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