The best way to start and maintain an effective relaxation practice is to slowly and gradually incorporate these techniques into your daily routine. While starting out can be tough an take a toll on your body, it is totally worthwhile because of the indispensable benefits that you can accrue from relaxing your mind and body regularly.
As clearly illustrated above, some of the techniques are very simple and can be practiced while doing other activities. For instance meditation can be done while commuting to work or school while deep breathing exercises can be done while mowing the lawn. Once you have mastered techniques such as yoga and Tai Chi, you can spare some time in your busy day and practice them consistently and regularly.
To make relaxation part of your lifestyle you need to find a relaxation technique that is best suited for you
There is no single relaxation technique that is ideal for everyone; this is why when choosing a relaxation technique, you need to take a number of factors into consideration. Some of the important considerations that enable you choose a relaxation technique that is ideal for you include;
Why you need relaxation
Are you just looking to relax in order remain healthy or do you have a prevailing health condition that requires you to relax in order to avoid further complications. If you are looking to relax just to stay healthy then all you need is a basic relaxation routine using techniques you find comfortable. On the other hand, if you are seeking relaxation to manage ailments such as high blood pressure or cardiovascular issues they you need the guidance and help of a licensed and qualified medical practitioner who thoroughly understands your medical history.
Your fitness level
Relaxation techniques that require a higher fitness level such as aerobics and yoga require a physically fit individual. If your fitness level is low then it is advisable to start off with simpler techniques that do not put too much strain on your body. You can slowly start incorporating exercises into your relaxation regimen until your fitness level gradually improves.
How a person reacts to stress influences the relaxation technique that works best for you
How a person reacts to a stressful situation determines which natural relaxation technique is ideal for them. Here is how;
The ‘flight’ response
If a person tends to become withdrawn, depressed or spaced out under stress, they will respond best to natural relaxation techniques that stimulate and energize the nervous system such as yoga, Tai Chi. meditation and stretching exercises.
The ‘fight’ response
If an individual tends to become agitated, angry or keyed up under stress then they respond best to natural relaxation techniques that quiet and calm the body such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, visualization and guided imagery and even progressive muscle relaxation.
Which natural relaxation techniques are ideal for people with the immobilization response?
If you tend to freeze or become stuck when faced with some type of trauma or stressful situation then it means that immobilization is how you respond under stress. This means you need a relaxation technique that first rouses your system to a flight and fight response so that the relaxation technique can become effective. To rouse your system to flight and fight response, choose a physical activity that engages both your legs and arms such as Tai Chi, yoga and aerobic exercises. Perform the exercise mindfully and focus on every sensation as your limbs move.
Mix it up
In most cases, you will find that combining and alternating between different fitness levels will not only keep you motivated but will also ensure your body and mind are fully relaxed. The added advantage is that you will not get bored.
Can keeping a journal help you relax?
Simply writing is a journal is an effective natural relaxation technique. Contrary to what most people think, keeping a diary where you jot down your thoughts and feelings can coming handy in helping you relax and is actually still considered ‘de rigueur’. Instead of getting stressed and tensed, allow the pages of your journal to ‘absorb’ the extra stress and worries that cloud your mind; this is called expressive writing. Let it flow continuously and don’t give a hoot about punctuation marks or grammar. This is a private and sensible way of lashing out unlike what most people do now which is social media ranting which only exposes your thoughts and feelings to millions of people who probably don’t care about you or your feelings and thoughts. Remember that relaxing your mind and calming your body requires self-care and self-discovery. Simply committing your ideas and thoughts to a piece of paper can relax you and go a long way in making you less-tensed and less-stressed.
To sum it all up, a variety of natural relaxation techniques can help produce a relaxation technique. These techniques produce a relaxation response by helping to bring your nervous system back into balance. The relaxation response produced by all the natural relaxation techniques mentioned above trigger a mentally active process that leaves the body calm, focused and relaxed. Some basic advice to enable yourself relax naturally; just start by being grateful and focusing your energy and attention on what really matters. Any wellness couch or medical doctor will assure you that these relaxation techniques only work well when you take time to appreciate the good things in your life so that you can cancel out the negative thoughts and worries that can make you tenser and stress you up.
After practicing a relaxation technique take some time to celebrate your victories and appreciate the people and things that make you happy and content. You will be surprised how far such a simple practice will go in relaxing your body and calming your mind! Finally, accentuate the effectiveness of these natural relaxation techniques by simply seeking a human touch such as a nice massage or a simple hug. The human touch releases serotonin that not only reduces blood pressure but also slows down the heart rate leaving you more relaxed.