The goal of relaxation is to help you cope more effectively with stress. Relaxation is not a matter of flopping on the couch in front of the TV falling into an exhausted sleep; or in the easy chair with a stiff drink. Although, it may fulfill the purpose at the moment; it is quite different in quality and effect from conscious relaxation.
Conscious relaxation is a state in which our bodies are at rest while our minds are awake. To be relaxed in action is the ideal and natural state of being healthy. When we are relaxed in action we bring the correct and needed energy and attention to everything we do. You will feel a sense of healthy tiredness at the end of the day, rather than exhausted.
Natural relaxation is something we have to discover consciously, and it can be self taught. There are a number of relaxation techniques; but, which ever technique you choose to follow just keep in mind that regular exercise is the key to increasing the effectiveness in battling stress.
Types of relaxation therapy include meditation, deep breathing exercises, biofeedback, guided imagery, progressive relaxation exercises, self-hypnosis, yoga and Tai Chi. However, there are number of other strategies that can be used in discharging any tension that has built up during your day.
Sound nutrition is a key factor in learning to be more relaxed. Become aware of how stimulants affect you, and try to reduce them. A diet deficient in vitamins and minerals will also affect your ability to cope with both physical and mental stress. The following are particularly important: Vitamin C, the B group, and the minerals calcium, magnesium, manganese, potassium, zinc, chromium, lithium, iron, and selenium.
Make time for yourself by reading, listening to music, sports, yoga or gardening. Treat yourself to a nice warm bath or massage using aromatic essential oils, or perhaps some soothing herb tea or infusion.
Some people do not realize how tense they are until they experience how different relaxation feels. Here is a great little yoga routine, called “tense and relax”, that will enable you to feel a difference.
Simply lie down on your back, feet about 18 inches apart, allowing feet and legs to roll outward. And palms of hands upward and about 6 inches from your sides. Now, close your eyes and relax; focus on the rise and fall of your abdomen.
Starting with your feet; tense them as hard as you can, and then relax. Do this with each part of your body; feet, legs, buttocks, stomach, back, chest, shoulders, arms, hands, head, and face.
Could you feel a difference?