In these stressful fast moving times we feel we have no time to ourselves, social media, multiple TV channels, work etc. are all telling us what we should do and how we should do it. We spend our time juggling home, social and work time but never seem to find the time for ourselves to switch off the mind chatter, forget the “to do” lists and relax.
The body and mind hold tension. Over time, we accumulate the memory of many types of experiences that create tension and affect our emotional, psychological and physical wellbeing. If this tension is not released it can lead to anxiety and stress, illness and disease.
It is essential to our wellbeing that we learn to relax. Relaxation involves both physical and mental states, a healthy mind in a healthy body. Learning to relax both mind and body is educating ourselves to be mind and body aware, to switch off and detach, to release tension and create a sense of harmony within ourselves.
Techniques can be autogenic (coming from within you) – using both visual imagery and body awareness. There is Progressive Muscle Relaxation – the focus of tensing and releasing each muscle group and noticing physical sensations. Visualisation – forming mental images to induce a peace of peace and calm whilst using as many senses as possible – touch, sight, sound, smell to really “be” in that place. Other techniques include: chanting and meditation, moving awareness activities such as Tai Chi and Yoga, hydrotherapy, massage, Chakra balancing visualisation and yoga nidra. You can relax sitting down or lying down, whichever is the most comfortable for you. But do make sure you are warm and won’t be disturbed. Maybe play some relaxing healing music or sounds. Start with 10 to 20 minutes and build up to a time that suits you best. A typical guided relaxation session would last an hour.
Simple Relaxation session to do yourself at home:
Get comfortable and warm and close your eyes. Imagine a peaceful setting, maybe a beach, park, garden, wood, meadow that you love and then focus on relaxed controlled deep breathing. Inhale – the belly rises, exhale – the belly falls, count to 4 on the inhale, pause then exhale and count to 4 and pause. Maybe repeating a word or positive statement in your mind as you inhale and exhale such as “all’s well” or anything that you can relate to. When you are ready, make the exhale longer on the count of 6. Really feel where you are, if it is a beach feel the warmth of the sun, the sound of the waves……………………..When you are ready bring your breathing back to normal, gently move your fingers and toes, slowly open your eyes and take a moment to notice how calm your breath, mind and heart feel.
When you start to master relaxation, you will begin to reap the many benefits including:
- Calming the mind and nervous system
- Lowering blood pressure
- Slowing your breathing rate
- Improving digestion
- Maintaining normal blood sugar levels
- Reduction of the activity of stress hormones
- Increasing blood flow to major muscles
- Reduction of muscle tension and chronic pain
- Improvements of concentration and mood
- Improved quality of sleep
- Lowering fatigue levels
- Reduction in anger and frustration
- Boost of confidence to handle problems and stressful situations
Relaxation therapy is about re-educating our mind and body. Relaxation techniques are skills we can all learn and the more we practice the more aware we become and our ability to relax increases. It is up to you which techniques you use, it is what makes you feel relaxed and helps you switch off and detach from stresses and pressure of everyday living. Be patient with yourself and if one technique doesn’t work for you try another. It does not matter what you do just do it regularly and bring more harmony into your being ♥