Relaxation – Give one of our new audio guides a try
What is relaxation
An important factor in taking time to look after yourself well, is to make time for relaxation.
Relaxation techniques are a great way to help with stress and any worries or anxieties you may be experiencing, which can help you enjoy a better quality of life, especially if you have a health condition. Relaxation isn’t only about peace of mind or enjoying a hobby, it’s a process that decreases the stress effects on your mind and body.
- Heart rate and breathing rate lowers
- Blood pressure decreases
- The nervous system becomes soothed
- The mind becomes calmer and more still
All relaxation techniques are best done in a quiet area with no interruptions, make sure you are comfortable and warm.
Please DO NOT take part in any of these while you are driving or using machinery.
#1 Body Scan
Body scans can help us relax and to release tension. They can also help in those times when we are feeling flooded with strong emotions such as anxiety or anger. This body scan starts at our feet and works up through the body to our head. When we relax our body zone by zone, it becomes almost impossible to also be stressed, anxious, angry or otherwise overwhelmed with difficult emotions.
#2 Breathing Exercise
Breathing exercises can help you lower stress in the body by allowing your body to feel like it does when you are relaxed. When you breathe deeply, your brain receives a message to be calm and relax. Your brain then sends a message to your body which allows the heart rate and breathing rate to lower and your blood pressure decrease. Your nervous system becomes soothed, just by choosing to take control of your breath, as a result your mind becomes calmer and more still.
#3 Mindfulness Technique
In this exercise you will learn how to put some distance between yourself and troublesome thoughts by watching them float away. You can’t stop a worry or negative thought however hard you try, so when they arrive, let them come and then let them float right on by. If you don’t engage with them, they can’t stick to you.
By re-focusing on your body and what you’re physically feeling, you get out of your head and divert your mind away from anxious or stressful thoughts and into the moment.
#5 Progressive Muscle Relaxation
In this relaxation technique, you focus on slowly tensing and then relaxing each muscle group starting from your toes and progressively working your way up to your neck and head. This can help you focus on the difference between muscle tension and relaxation and can become more aware of physical sensations.