7 Relaxation Techniques for Stress
I am always looking for different ways to alleviate stress, especially during COVID-19. These tips can be useful to prevent stress as well. So, I wanted to share with you some of my own practices along with some well-known techniques, if you too are feeling a little stressed.
Intentional Breathing:To start intentional breathing, take long, slow, deep breaths through the nose and gently disengage your mind from distracting thoughts as you exhale through your mouth. This can take some practice and I recommend sitting in a comfortable chair to start.
Mental Imagery: Picture a soothing place you have been to or can imagine. Focus on that image to help your mind to relax. If it is an actual location, I would suggest making it the background on your phone or saving the picture to your computer to have access to it; just in case your brain is in overdrive and you can’t seem to mentally visualize the image and require a physical picture.
Meditation: This can be done many ways, but one way that I enjoy is creating a comfortable space, away from any work or distractions. Then, in this space sit and focus just on breathing for a few minutes which helps to bring my attention to the present. This decreases past focuses and future worries.
Yoga: This is a popular one and for good reason; not only does it help with stress but with body movement and fluidity too. For this one, I recommend "Getting Started with Yoga" in the links below. Make sure to check with your doctor first to refrain from any injuries.
Decompress: “Place a warm heat wrap around your neck and shoulders for 10 minutes. Close your eyes and relax your face, neck, upper chest, and back muscles. Remove the wrap and use a tennis ball or foam roller to massage away tension. It is easier to destress if your body is not tense.” WebMD
Have a Good Laugh: Laughing lowers cortisol / stress hormone, and boosts endorphins, which helps your mood naturally. This is a fun stress relief technique! You can always watch something funny on TV like a good comedian special, read a funny joke book, or just chat with someone who makes you feel happy inside.
Music: “Research shows that listening to soothing music can lower blood pressure, heart rate, and anxiety. “Create a playlist of songs or nature sounds (the ocean, a bubbling brook, birds chirping), and allow your mind to focus on the different melodies, instruments, or singers in the piece,” Benninger says. You also can blow off steam by rocking out to more upbeat tunes -- or singing at the top of your lungs!” -WebMD
References and Additional Articles https://www.healthline.com/health/fitness-exercises/definitive-guide-to-yoga#-the-basics-and-foundation