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
How Stressed Are You? Take the Quiz to Find Out!
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.
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
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!
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
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.
The Best of the Best:
STRESS RELIEF BLOGS
My colleague, Sara Lopez, has compiled a go-to list of the best stress relief blogs on the web. This is a great resource for everyone in search of stress management know-how. I encourage you to take a look!
The Best of the Best Relaxation Techniques
Okay, here we go! Here are my top picks for relaxation techniques.
Remember, your goal is to just try one or two in a given day. You can't
expect to master all of these in one sitting. Also, every technique does
not necessary work for everyone. So, just enjoy experimenting with
these until you find the ones that work best for you. Take a look at the list below and give some of these a try!