One of the most difficult times to relax is when you’re feeling the heat of your emotions. When the circumstances of anger, fear, or anxiety are primary, it’s difficult to remember to surrender and let go. Although relaxing is often the best thing to do in those moments, actually remembering to do so can be challenging.
However, what you can do to support yourself in relaxing when moments get stressful is to have a practice of relaxation. If you’re relaxing on a regular basis using proven relaxation techniques, then you’ll be more apt to remember to relax when your body and mind tense up. It’s certainly difficult to relax if you’re not in the habit of doing so. If you’re not used to relaxing your muscles, breath, thoughts, and body on a regular basis, it will likely be far from your mind when your day gets challenging.
Yet, if relaxation is your primary state at least once per day (in the morning shortly after you rise and/or in the evening right before bed), then there will be more of a chance to access that relax state when you’re feeling anxious or fearful.
There are a variety of ways to practice relaxation on a regular basis. Some of these practices are described below.
Meditation: Meditation is a practice that can be supportive, regardless of age. It can benefit the body, mind, and heart, even if only practiced from time to time. Indeed, there are immediate benefits along with long-term, positive effects on life that bring satisfaction, joy, love, and fulfilling relationships. To begin a practice of meditation, choose a time of the day you’ll practice. Find a comfortable posture and spend 20 to 30 minutes focusing on the breath. Continue to bring yourself back to the breath time and again. If you’re brand new to meditation, you might start off with meditating for 10 minutes and add five minutes each time you meditate until you arrive at 30 minutes. Learning how to focus your mind, especially when it feels very busy will facilitate its relaxation.
Guided Imagery: This can be incredibly relaxing. You might purchase CD’s or a DVD that will guide you to imaginary peaceful states. Doing this on a regular basis can create an ongoing sense of relaxation and peace that will allow you to sleep at night.
Deep Breathing: This is a practice that you can do regularly throughout the day. Whenever you feel anxious or nervous or overwhelmed, take five minutes and notice your breathing. Slow down, get in touch with your surroundings, and become mindful of your inner state. Essentially, this is a practice of becoming mindful. Mindfulness is becoming conscious of one’s internal and external environment. It is a mental state achieved by focusing on the present moment, while acknowledging and accepting the existing feelings, thoughts, bodily sensations, and surrounding activity.
Yoga: Yoga is a practice, a form of exercise, which invites an integrated experience of body and mind. Its effects can be experienced immediately as well as over time.
Some of the suggestions listed above may be activities you want to do alone. At other times, you might want to work with a trained practitioner who can instruct you on how to practice. If you’d prefer not to work with an instructor, or take a class, there are many books on meditation, yoga, deep breathing, and other such practices where you can find instruction on these practices as well as their benefits.
As mentioned above, the greatest benefit to relaxing on a regular basis is that it prepares you to rely upon your ability to relax right in the middle of those stressful moments. Of course, there are many other benefits of relaxing regularly including less anxiety, moodiness, and depression. In general, relaxation techniques can facilitate overall physical, emotional, and psychological well being.
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