Relaxation techniques: Beyond Vegging in Front of the TV!
Practicing relaxation techniques is not a passive endeavor! Zoning out in front of the TV doesn't count as a great strategy because, in order to really be effective, you have to be an active participant in the process.
"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and then to rest afterward."
~ Spanish Proverb
Know More About: Headaches from Stress
Relaxation Techniques Do Not Solve Everything
You cannot solely rely on relaxation techniques to "get rid of stress". There is more work to be done. Try to figure out
what's causing your stress.
For example, you are stressed out because you are heavily in debt. While relaxation techniques may ease the tension and allow you to focus better on a solution, it is best to also figure out a way of paying down bills.
Using relaxation techniques is just one approach to coping with stress!
When To Use Relaxation Techniques
1) When you are relaxed! This may sound strange, but it's important to practice relaxation strategies when you are relaxed to reinforce their positive outcomes and make them more automatic in your brain. If you only practice relaxing in the midst of feeling stressed, you run the risk of associating them with something unpleasant. Also, the brain learns and retains information much more effectively when relaxed. So, practice relaxation techniques regularly. That way, when you are stressed, you have the stress relief tools ready to go!
2) When you need to focus. If you are having difficulty concentrating at work or school, take a moment to practice relaxing. Relaxation techniques inherently bring about self-awareness and really help with concentration.
3) When you are about to make a big decision or do something difficult. You've heard the expression, "I need to sleep on it." Well, "sleep on it" is actually some good advice. When making a big decision or doing something difficult, such as deciding whether or not to relocate, most of us can spend a lot of time agonizing over what to do. We weigh the pros and cons over and over in our minds until we have no clue what to do anymore! This is a good time to gain some perspective by using a relaxation technique.
4) When you are having a hard time falling asleep. If your mind is swimming with a million thoughts or you just can't seem to get comfortable, bring back your focus to something relaxing.
5) When you are feeling stressed. Ideally, you want to know yourself and your stress patterns well enough to recognize when you are starting to feel overwhelmed. That way you can take a "time out" for yourself and use a relaxation strategy so that you feel more in control of your stress response. But, relaxation techniques can be helpful even when you have already reached the point of no return! Again, practicing relaxation will not make the stressful event/person/thing disappear, but it will help you regain a sense of control and help you focus so you can figure out how best to deal head on with your stress.
Have a Tip or Two to Relax?
Do you have a great relaxation technique? Share it!
Which Relaxation Techniques Should I Use?
From my experience, it seems that certain techniques work better for particular situations than others. Also, everyone is so unique that, what works well for one person may not work as well for someone else. Everyone appears to develop affinities for certain relaxation techniques.
My advice is to try as many different strategies as possible. With practice, you will discover which techniques are your favorites. After a while, you may gravitate towards certain combinations of relaxation techniques that work best for you. There are a bunch of relaxation techniques for you to try on this site! Keep up the good work! You deserve it!
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by Max Ehrmann
Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexatious to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism. Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love, for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment, it is as perennial as the grass.
Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be. And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.