Overwhelming stress might not be alarming immediately, but it is like a slow poison that shows its effect on our body gradually.Stress
can affect our health in the form of:
- Insomnia or hypersomnia
- Changes in appetite
- Drug or alcohol abuse
- Decreased libido
- Unable to perform better at work place
- Reduced physical stamina
- Stress induced stomach ulcers
- Heart attacks
Practicing these techniques lowers the negative effects that stress has caused in our body. The positive effects of practicing such techniques include:
- Lowers high blood pressure
- Reduces heart rate
- Reduces breathing rate
- Reduces the activity of stress hormones
- Reduces muscle tension and relieves from chronic pain
- Improves blood supply to major muscles
- Uplifts mood and improves concentration
- Controls anger and frustration
- Improves confidence in handling troublesome situations
- Reduces fatigue
Common Relaxation Techniques are:
It is a simple, yet a powerful method of relaxation from stress. It can be combined with other methods like music, aromatherapy
and yoga. You should take deep breaths from the abdomen, so as to have more oxygen in the inhaled air. Also, you should practice inhaling from nose and exhaling from the mouth. You practice deep breathing either sitting or lying down.
In this method, you use visual imagination and body awareness to cope with stress. Imagining a peaceful place, you should focus on relaxing breathing, slowing heart rate and relaxing each group of muscles one by one.
Progressive Muscle Relaxation
This method helps you realize the difference between muscle tension and relaxation. It is practiced by slowly tensing a single muscle group followed by muscle relaxation, starting from toes to head or head to toes.
In this method, you imagine images that are related to a visual journey taking you to a peaceful, calming place or situation. While imagining the visual journey, sensation of smell, sound, sight and touch can also be included.
Yoga helps in creating a balance between body and mind. It is useful in reducing anxiety and managing stress. It improves physical stamina, increases flexibility, strength and balance. Deep breathing
is also a part of yoga. Relaxation response gets stronger with regular practice of yoga. Stress relief is best achieved with yoga involving slow and steady movements with gentle stretching and deep breathing. Satyananda
and Hatha Yoga
for beginners are suitable for stress relief. It is always better to get trained by an expert or joining a group.
Tai chi is a slow and self paced, non-competitive series of flowing movements in the body that helps in calming the mind; it relieves from stress and improves the body stamina. It focuses on deep breathing and realization of the present moment. It is safe and can be practiced by all age groups.
Music and Art therapy:Music therapy
uses music to see its effect on physiological parameters like heart beat, breathing, blood pressure, brain activity, galvanic skin response, hormone activity and immune response. It eases muscle tension and promotes relaxation. Art Therapy
involves drawing and creating art for relaxation from stress. Getting involved in creating art initially keeps your mind away from the stress bothering you. Hence, when you get back to your schedule you are more relaxed and able to think clear.