Relaxation techniques can be done almost anywhere (except while driving), cost nothing and are free of side effects.
In part one we examined a breathing exercise and an autogenic relaxation technique.
Part two includes a progressive muscle relaxation exercise and An NLP exercise. Just select which one's work for you. It's not necessary to do them all (although you can if you have the time!)
Progressive Muscle Relaxation Technique
This one is great for the "doers" among us. This exercise may be done anywhere, sitting or lying down. It can be done as a complete exercise or split into smaller parts if time is a problem. For example just do the neck and shoulder muscles for a quick stress release. Take a couple of slow deep breaths and let your eyes close. As you breathe in hold your breath for five seconds, notice the tension in your lungs. Now exhale and feel the relaxation response. Notice the difference between the tension and relaxation.
Now clench your left fist, clench it tighter and tighter until it feels uncomfortable. Now let go and feel the relaxation response. Feel the difference between the tension and relaxation. Repeat the exercise with the left fist again. Work your way down the whole body clenching and relaxing each area twice. Proceed as follows:
- Right fist
- Both fists together
- Left bicep
- Right bicep
- Scalp (pull ears back)
- Frown to tense forehead
- Shut eyes tightly
- Clench jaw
- Purse lips tightly
- Head forward as far as it will go
- Head back (gently!)
- Shrug shoulders
- Tighten stomach
- Arch back (carefully!)
- Tense thighs
- Curl toes downwards to tighten calf muscles
- Curl toes up to tense shins
Mentally check each body part to make sure they are all relaxed. You should now be feeling nice and calm. When you practice this exercise concentrate on the difference between the tension and relaxation. After doing this for a while this will allow you to be aware of tension in your body and release it before it has time to do any damage. Arouse yourself gently and take the feeling of relaxation with you.
Remember these will work best when they are practiced regularly. Find the one that works best for you and do it as often as possible. You should feel a lot calmer when faced with stressful situations and your sleep should also improve.
NLP Releasing Technique
Visualize the person, situation or event that is causing you anxiety. Hold this picture clearly in your mind. Change the picture to a black and white image. If there is sound, make it quieter and quieter until there is no sound at all. Gradually shrink the picture until it becomes a small dot and disappears.
Picture a new situation, something that you wish to happen. Make the picture as colorful and as bright as you can. Add sound and music if you like. Put a white frame around the picture. Imagine this situation is really happening. Hold the visualization for as long as you like. This is not easy to do at first but persevere! You are giving your unconscious mind a clear message about what path you want it to take.
You can use the second part of the exercise to create what you want in your life. Practice it every day and you will be amazed at what you will achieve.
Feeling stressed? It may be keeping you awake. http://www.insomnia-connection.com/relaxation-techniques.html%22%3ERelaxation techniques are a useful way to reduce the stress of the day and sleep better.
By Wendy Owen HH Dip
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