In our fast-paced society, modern technology and high demands to accomplish a great deal in a finite amount of time makes finding time to “just relax” challenging. Students are pushed not only to succeed in academics, but to be involved in a great deal of extracurricular activities. Those working in the professional world experience the constant push to complete more work in less time. Even stay-at-home parents are constantly running at maximum efficiency, taking care of the children, the home, and their spouse, in addition to other responsibilities. Often times, we put our relaxation needs aside, pushing our minds and bodies to keep going forward despite noticeable exhaustion. Failing to take a reasonable amount of time out from life to relax can result in an overwhelming amount of stress, tension, and anxiety, which may ultimately lead to physical, psychological, and emotional distress. This article will explore a variety of different relaxation techniques that can aid you in achieving maximum relaxation regardless of how busy your life may seem.

Breathing techniques for stress relief are one simple way to reduce the amount of tension and anxiety in your daily life. They are free and can be done anywhere, so breathing techniques for stress might be an ideal for a busy professional. Breathing exercises are meant to slow you down for a few moments, helping you to regain your center and composure. A simple breathwork exercise might involve these three steps: Find a few spare moments and a relaxing position, whether sitting, laying or standing. Slowly breathe in through your nose and hold it for five seconds. Breathe out through your mouth and hold it for eight seconds. Repeat this several times.

Someone who is interested in practicing more intricate, deep-breathing relaxation techniques might explore the breathing exercises involved in Pranayama yoga exercises. There are a number of different breathing techniques in yoga, and Pranyama has been defined by yoga experts as one of the Eight Limbs of Yoga. Some types of Pranayama breathing include: the three-part breath, equal breathing, alternate nostril breathing, and cooling breath. There are more intense versions of Pranayma breathing as well.

If learning a new relaxation technique involving breathing exercises does not seem appealing, another easy alternative might be listening to relaxing music. Relaxation music does not have a finite definition. Listening to a favorite band might be relaxing for some, while listening to soundscapes or nature sounds might be relaxing for others. Some individuals might even find other forms of white noise such as a ceiling fan or humidifier to be relaxing. Sound can take the mind out of reality for a temporary period, so using relaxation music or other similar relaxing sounds is a simple way to find temporary relief of stress.

Sometimes, the origin of our stress and tension may be extremely physically rooted. In cases such as this, it might be useful to learn some muscle relaxation techniques. One simple technique might be going for a run or a walk. Another technique for muscle relaxation is Progressive Muscle Relaxation. This process is a simple, yet effective way to relieve stress and physical tension. Going down your body, you will go through the process of tensing up, then relaxing a specific muscle group. For example, you might start with your face – tense up and hold all of the muscles in your face for ten second. Then release and move on to the next group of muscles. Tense up all of the muscles in your left arm and release. This process is continued until all of the muscles in the body have been tensed and relaxed. If your muscle tension is extremely troubling, you might see a doctor and inquire about getting a prescription for a muscle relaxant, which would assist greatly in relieving the stress on your muscles.

Using one or all of these relaxation techniques will undoubtedly help reduce stress and increase relaxation in your daily life.


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