Everyone deals with stress. It could be due to work, school, personal relationships, or any unanticipated event. And while stress is your body’s normal reaction to change or common stressors, it can take a toll on your mental health and overall well-being if not properly managed.
A practical and popular way to help you manage stress is through relaxation techniques. This entails relaxing your mind and calming yourself to find inner peace. Practicing relaxation techniques can also be a good coping mechanism when faced with stressful situations and triggers. Longevity Live Paid Content.
To help you destress and care for your mental well-being, below are some simple relaxation techniques you can consider:
Consider Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP)
While stress is not generally considered a mental health problem, it’s a known trigger related to one’s mental health. And with a good support system and knowing how to cope, one can manage stress healthily. However, if you’re struggling with your stress to the point that it already interferes with your daily life, seeking professional help may be an option worth exploring.
Seeing a professional like a therapist or psychologist can help you better understand your stressors and what you’re going through. Each session gives you a platform to talk about how you feel, allowing you to express your thoughts and emotions in a healthy way. But aside from offering your support by listening to you, your therapist can also teach you relaxation methods to calm your mind to relieve stress.
There are various treatment options you can consider. Virtual PHP treatment options, for instance, can be ideal for people who have busy schedules. Considering this is done online, you can seek guidance and care for your mental health from the comfort of your home.
Practice Breathing Exercises
Breathing exercises are a quick and easy technique you can perform at any time of the day to relax your thoughts. You can do this by sitting comfortably or lying down and focusing on your breathing. Inhale through your nostrils and exhale through your mouth.
Therapists suggest following the 4-7-8 method. This will require you to inhale for four seconds, holding your breath for seven seconds, and slowly exhaling for eight seconds. This can be a quick way to help you relax and calm your mind during stressful situations since it doesn’t require too much effort.
Another way people reduce and manage their stress levels and reduce their anxiety is by practising meditation. This can be a good approach to take your mind off things and focus on the moment. With practice, meditation can offer you a deep state of relaxation. It can help you stay calm and grounded, which can be helpful when coping with stress.
To help you meditate, confine yourself in a quiet room, away from distractions. Begin by sitting comfortably on the floor with your legs crossed and tucked. Place your hand comfortably on your thighs or knees and keep a comfortable upright position for your back. Close your eyes and start concentrating on your breathing.
Note that it’s normal for your mind to wander. When this happens, be patient with yourself and slowly return your attention to your breathing.
Some people destress and recharge by going somewhere peaceful and being surrounded by a calming environment. But since this may not apply to everyone, doing visualization can be a great alternative.
To do this, you can begin closing your eyes and imagine yourself in a relaxing environment where you find the most peace. It could be lying by the beach, checking the plane’s window, or hanging out in your backyard hammock.
As you visualize yourself in a different place, engage your senses. Listen to the sound of the waves hitting the shore and birds singing above you, feel the sand as it touches your skin, and smell nature and its mist. As you bring yourself to your happy place, you can free your mind from negative thoughts and feelings and relieve stress.
Try Autogenic Relaxation
A combination of guided imagery and breathing exercises defines autogenic relaxation. During this process, focus your thoughts on the heaviness and warmth of your different body parts. It could be your hands, legs, or even your chest.
As you feel the muscle tension, continuously imagine yourself looking for ways to relax those areas. It could be breathing slower to reduce the pain from your chest or lowering your arms or legs to help them feel more relaxed.
As you focus on your body part, you can address your body’s pain and emotion and let yourself be free from it. While doing so, you can also recite calming words or mantras. Tell yourself what you’re feeling, but in a calm and not panicking way. This can help you feel more at peace with your feelings rather than focusing on the negative.
Practice Yoga Or Tai Chi
Trying yoga or tai chi can be a good relaxing technique to remain calm and centered if you like to keep yourself active during your most stressful days. Doing so can help you release any stress or tension your body feels.
Practicing yoga and tai chi is convenient as you don’t need to use any equipment – just enough space to move around your body. You can look for and try beginner poses or videos online to help you focus on your breathing and movements. This can help distract your body and put the negative energy out of your body.
Try Progressive Muscle Relaxation
When you feel stressed, you can feel your muscles get physically tensed. When this is your body’s natural reaction to stress, you can relax your muscles by tensing your body parts slowly. You can start at your toes, working up to your head.
As you relax your muscles, you can focus on keeping the tension away and instill pure relaxation and calmness. It can help you give an imagery of massaging your stress away.
While stress is part of life, it can affect one’s mental well-being. Fortunately, there are various relaxation techniques you can explore to help you manage your stress levels better. You could try breathing exercises or go deeper with visualization or meditation.
However, seeking professional help may be the more appropriate solution if you’re struggling to cope with your stress and it starts affecting other aspects of your life. They can help you express your emotions and feelings in a healthy way while also guiding you as you deal with stress more effectively.