Eliminating stress through relaxation takes only a few minutes a day and some simple techniques to practice.
Muscular tension accompanies psychological stress and causes muscle tone to increase to a low level of contraction.
Exercises designed to reduce tension have a therapeutic effect on your emotional state. The various techniques for reducing stress through exercise are to reduce the tension by degrees.
Recurring exercises help reduce tension and build muscles, and they contribute to improved circulation and breathing.
Benefits of Relaxation Techniques
Research shows consistent practice of these techniques can improve baseline relaxation and improve symptoms in the following conditions:
- Premenstrual syndrome
- Pain, Migraines, and Arthritis
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Anxiety and Panic attacks
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
Concentrate on one group of muscles, then exert the effort to recognize voluntary muscle contraction.
Going through each group of muscles, the contractions gradually get lower.
Repeating this you learn to identify the least degree of voluntary muscle tension in any part of the body.
You’ll develop high concentration when doing this. Your problems will be briefly forgotten and you will find yourself in a calm, relaxed state of mind.
Muscle Relaxation Technique
Tension reducing exercises were developed by Dr. Edmund Jacobson in 1929, now known as Progressive Muscle Relaxation. The concept is to relax groups of muscles at will. You consciously tense your muscle groups, and then release the induced tension.
Leaning back in your chair, put both feet flat on the floor while resting your hands in your lap.
Stretch your legs out and then relax. Stretch them out again while moving your feet in an upward position and hold them… then tilt your feet downward and hold them and then relax.
Tense the muscles in your thighs and calves. Hold them tight for a few seconds.. now release them and rest. Relax your legs now and relax the muscles in your thighs, calves and feet. With your legs relaxed you feel the relaxation working its way up from your feet. Allow yourself to stay focused and feel the tension leave.
While stretching your arms out make your hands into fists. Tense the muscles in your finger for a few seconds and then relax.
Tense the muscles in your upper and lower arms, and in your wrists. Relax your arms letting them go limp. Feel the relaxation working from your fingertips up into your arms. Focus on your arms and feel your relaxation.
Arc your back and raise your chest. Tense the muscles in your neck, chest, abdomen, and back. Hold it for a few seconds and let go. You should be noticing the muscle relaxation. Focus on your chest, back, abdomen and neck and feel the relaxation.
Tense your facial muscles, your forehead first, then around your eyes and hold it… then relax.
Tighten your cheek muscles, mouth and chin muscles and hold it. Now relax all of your facial muscles. Feel the tension leaving your face. Focus on how relaxed your face is.
Now relax and breathe deeply. As you inhale… hold it for a few seconds… and exhale slowly. Take a few very deep breaths. Just relax.
Now that you’re stress-free, your day is waiting for you!
You may also want to add into your daily routine some simple meditations you can do at home. While there may be a lot of different things that come to mind when someone says “meditation” really it is just a way of relaxing the mind and going inside yourself.
Away from the stress of other people and events happening in the temporal (physical) world, you can meditate for increased relaxation and many more benefits besides.