Best Relaxation Techniques To Combat Stress, Anxiety, and More
Stress… stress everywhere!!! Not a single sigh of relief!
If you can relate with this statement then it is time to let the stress go away and try relaxation techniques.
We are sharing with you 5 powerful, useful, and doable relaxation techniques with you. These exercises will help you experience a balanced, relaxed, happy, and healthy state of life. So get ready to say goodbye to your tensions and welcome joy to your life.
Best Relaxation Exercises For You to Try
1. Progressive Muscle Relaxation
One of the best relaxation exercises is progressive muscle relaxation (PMR). Ideally, it was developed to help people with pain and tension be it physical or mental. PMR is a relaxation exercise that progressively relaxes each part of your body. Here is how PMR works:
- Find a quiet and comfortable place and lay down.
- Start with 3-5 cycles of deep breathing. Inhale deeply through your nose and exhale through your mouth.
- Now we will progressively relax one muscle group at a time.
- Starting with feet. Squeeze your body and tighten your muscles by clenching your toes for 30 seconds.
- Next, release this muscle group by flexing it towards your head (inwards).
- Apply this clenching and flexing of muscles to other muscle groups of your body.
- The ideal sequence of muscle groups in this relaxation exercise is:
- Feet, abdomen, legs, hands, arms, shoulders, neck, and face.
- After tightening and releasing each muscle finish off your practice with rounds of a deep breath.
By practicing this muscle relaxation exercise you will experience relief in your anxiety, stress, and even headaches.
Sitting and working all day long definitely creates a lot of tension in muscles, which is further conveyed to our brain. This further creates tension in the brain which leads to stress and anxiety. To break this vicious cycle it is important to release all of the muscle tension. Trust me there is no better way to do this than using stretching as the relaxation technique. I recently joined a mental wellness program where we used to start with a quick stretching session. I am going to share the same with you.
Stand up or sit down straight. Slowly tilt your head towards the right making an attempt to touch your ears with the shoulders. Hold for 5-10 seconds. Repeat it for the next side. Practice 3-4 rounds of this cycle.
Straighten up your arms right in front of you and start by shrugging off stress from your fingers (shake and move them). Now bring your hands back to your waist. Lift your shoulders close to (your ears imitating a shrug). Hold that position for 3-5 seconds then release. Repeat it 3-4 times.
Take the position for chin turns by your hands on your waist and face up, looking forward. With your body straight move your chin towards your chest. Hold for 5-10 seconds then face forward again. Title your neck back and push your chin upwards (in the sky). Hold it for 5-10 seconds. Repeat it 3-4 times.
Back Stretch: Place your palms on the back and title your body towards the right. Hold it for 5-10 seconds then get back to the original position. Repeat it for the other side and complete the cycle. Next, hold your back and move your pelvic region in circular motions (both clockwise and anti-clockwise).
Feet Turns: With your palms on your waist lift your right leg slightly up from the ground and rotate your feet in the clockwise and anti-clockwise direction. Then lift your left leg up and rotate your feet in both directions.
To end this relaxation exercise with a pump stand at your place and start jogging at the spot without moving. It will give your body a nice rush of happy and healthy hormones.
These 5 simple stretching cum relaxation techniques always work for me. I hope it provides you some relief as well.
3. Relaxation Breathing Exercises
Did you know your body has its very own air conditioner system? This in-build cooling, calming, and the relaxing system is your breath! Studies have shown time and again how controlling and regulating your breath helps you find your calm. To get the fantastic results of breathing and using it as relaxation exercise here are some ways for you to try:
Yogic coffee is a pranayam that will help you relax and get energized within 5 minutes. It is very simple pranayama, involving five steps:
Step 1: Sit in any comfortable asana (Sukhasana, Vajrasana)
Step 2: Make a fist and place it near your shoulder, with arms touching your body
Step 3: Inhale and Exhale 3 Deep Breaths
Step 4: Now rapidly inhale and throw your hands up in the air, with fist open.
Step 5: Exhale rapidly and put your hands back in the position as they were in step 2
Step 6: Repeat it 20 times for 3 rounds.
This Yogic Pranayama is Better than Your Coffee. Try it Now!
The quickset breathing cum relaxation technique that works wonders is 4-7-8 breathing. To practice it all you have to do is
- Inhale for 4 seconds.
- Hold your breath for 7 seconds.
- And exhale for 8 seconds with your mouth open.
Zen Breathing Technique:
“Zen=calm.” To have the most calming breathing and relaxing experience you should try the zen breathing technique. Start with 3 rounds of cleansing breath and follow these steps:
- Breathe in then count to 1 as you exhale.
- Breathe in again and count to 2 as you exhale.
- With each breath count progressively. When you reach 5, stop!
- You may repeat this cycle to complete 10 breath rounds.
You can try all or pick any one of these relaxation breathing exercises. The benefits will follow.
4. Guided Imagery Meditation
Meditation in itself is a powerful tool. Giving it a touch of creative visualization benefits amplified! People also refer to guided imagery meditation as a mental vacation. If you want to go on a guided meditation/vacation tour then follow simple steps:
- Sit comfortably and start with three rounds of breath (calm yourself).
- Now start visualizing your happy and safe place.
- Imagine yourself being in that place. Walking at your favorite beach, sitting on your cozy couch, or meditating at the mountain top. Just imagine being there.
- Slowly and gradually start getting in this place. Involve all your senses. What can you see, hear, touch, smell, or taste in your happy place? Just imagine it and feel it.
- Let your body feel everything through each of your senses. Enjoy every ounce of that feeling.
- Feel calm, content, and happy within.
By following this relaxation technique you will slowly drift from the chaos around you to a calmer and soothing place.
Other Relaxation Exercises:
1. Let Natural Supplements Help You
You can also use quick and natural relaxation techniques. These natural ways of relaxation will help you relax with zero side-effects. Although you have a pool of natural relaxing supplements to choose from, we are suggesting to you our four favorite ones.
Get A Cup of Herbal Tea: Herbal teas are loaded with benefits of L-Theanine (especially green tea). This chemical is found to reduce stress responses in your body.
Honey: Drizzling honey on your pancake, tea, waffles, or bread is not a yummy way to start your day but also great to relax. The amber elixir in honey is found to relieve anxiety, depression, and stress.
Citric Acid: It might surprise you but, citric acid is found to improve your mood. So next time when stress takes over you peel an orange and eat it.
Dark Chocolate: Take a quick chocolate break in the middle of a hectic day and feel better instantly! It will boost your brain and lower down your stress levels.
2. Say ABC’s Backward
It might sound funny to have your kindergarten class lessons in the list of best relaxation methods but trust it is a quick fix that always works. The trick behind this relaxation technique is that it temporarily shifts your focus from the worrisome thoughts. You can also count backward. This relaxation exercise is indeed a reliable way to chill.
3. Massage your head and hands
Studies show that even 5-minutes of massage could relieve stress, anxiety, and improve sleep. Take warm oil and massage it over your head with light hands. It will help you calm your brain nerves and make you feel relaxed within a few minutes.
Another massage based relaxation technique that you can is hand massage. Massage each joint of your hand with a hand cream or oil. Massage is an act of self-care and offers a pool of benefits to your body, mind, and soul. Through massage, your muscles get relaxed, reduce your symptoms of pain, and improve your quality of life.
If you want to go to a spa and get a nice massage don’t shy it off! Just go for it!
4. Try Acupressure
You might have heard of the technique acupuncture, acupressure is the non-poky version of it. Studies support positive outcomes of acupressure on chronic pain and stress. The two acupressure techniques that you can try for instant relaxation are:
- Forehead Massage: Place your right-hand thumb between your eyebrows and apply pressure in a circular motion for 5 minutes. You will find stress and anxiety leaving your way instantly.
- Shiatsu-hand Massage Technique. This muscle relaxation technique is found to bring relief in stress and anxiety. Here is a step-by-step instructional video for you to practice it.
Time to kick back stress with the help of these best relaxation techniques.
What’s your favorite way to relax? Share it with us in the comments section. We would love to hear from you.
Thank you for reading 🙂