Finding the time each day to slow down and relax is not easy in our fast-paced society, where we are required to take on multiple roles each day. The requirement to continually “change hats,” whether you are acting as an employee, a mother, a sister, a student or a citizen, leaves little time to relax, and potentially causes stress and anxiety problems. One simple way to resolve stress and anxiety issues is by listening to relaxation CDs. This versatile, flexible activity can be done in the car, at the office or even at home after a long day. Whether the root of your stress and anxiety is emotional, behavioral or cognitive, relaxation CDs can be used to alleviate distress that can be both physically and mentally destructive.

There are a number of different ways relaxation CDs can help with reducing stress and anxiety. The CDs can differ from tape to tape and employ a variety of techniques to help promote relaxation and stress reduction. You can chose to purchase relaxation CDs with a structured, pre-planned program or you can simply use these tips to create your own relaxation CDs.

Relaxing Sounds are incorporated into many CDs designed to promote anxiety and stress reduction. Nature often plays and important part in many relaxation CDs, particularly when it comes to relaxing sounds. The rush of a clear, cold river, the pleasant chirping of birds in spring time, the crashing of the waves on a sandy beach, and many other nature-sounds can be used to promote relaxation. Many people also find different types of white noise to be relaxing. A CD with some general white noise, delicate wind chimes, soft static or quiet humming can also be used as a relaxation technique.

Relaxing Music can work in a number of ways to reduce stress and anxiety. Many people find their favorite music or band to be relaxing. A relaxation CD might simply be a compilation of your favorite songs or mellow songs by your favorite bands. Relaxation CDs often include music that is calm, soft, and instrumental. A soothing piano or quiet flute can inspire peaceful and meditative feelings.

Many more structured relaxation CDs frequently include a narrative or guided visualization journey. Relaxing narration by the speaker leads the listener on a walk through a peaceful park or on a boat ride on a calm ocean to foster stress reduction. A relaxation CD that uses a narrator to guide you on your journey to relaxation might also include some instruction on how to relax yourself physically, as well as mentally. Many relaxation CDs involve progressive muscle relaxation, and a guided relaxation CD could teach the listener how to engage in progressive muscle relaxation. The speaker can take the listener step-by-step through the process of releasing the tension in each individual muscle.
Though the physical strain that accompanies stress and anxiety is troubling, most of the time the deeper, underlying cause of the physical stress is mental uncertainties. Repetition and positive self-talk can also be used in relaxation CDs to de-stress and re-focus the listener. In a style that is similar to a relaxation CD that utilizes guided visualization, a relaxation CD might also guide the listener in the process of engaging in positive self-talk. The act repetitively engaging in positive self-talk boosts self-esteem, confidence, and can be a positive way for the listener to actively contribute to the process of feeling better about himself or herself. A relaxation CD that employs repetitive positive self-talk might instruct listeners to repeat phrases such as, “I have good goals, they are worthwhile, and I am a worthwhile human being.” Any similar phrases that promote self-confidence and self-values could be used as a relaxation technique in a relaxation CD.


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