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7 Types Of Relaxation Techniques That Help You Fight Stress!

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Looking for ways to de-stress after a hard day at work? For most of us, relaxation or de-stressing means flopping on the couch and zoning out in front of the television. But that does very little to counter the damaging effects of stress on your body and mind. Instead, you should turn to different types of relaxation techniques, which can activate your body’s natural relaxation response that impedes stress, calms your mind and brings your body back into balance.

Here are a few relaxation techniques for stress reduction that work –

1. Practise Deep Breathing

Are you distracted? Try deep breathing. A simple yet powerful relaxation technique, deep breathing involves taking slow, long, deep breaths and as you do so, you focus on disengaging your mind from distracting sensations and thoughts. This type of breathing exercise is particularly helpful for people with eating disorders and sleep disorders, as it helps them to focus on their bodies more positively. Deep breathing exercises may help activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which controls your body’s relaxation response. There are many types of deep breathing exercises, like abdominal breathing, diaphragmatic breathing and paced respiration. These exercises can be combined with other de-stress activities, like music and aromatherapy. The best part – it is easy to learn and can be practiced anywhere.

2. Progressive Muscle Relaxation

This is a two-way process, where you systematically contract and relax different muscle groups in the body. Practising PMR (Progressive Muscle Relaxation) regularly makes you familiar with what complete relaxation feels like. This enables you to react to the initial symptoms of muscular tension accompanying stress and as your body relaxes, so does the mind.

3. Body Scan Meditation

Do you often ignore the signs your body exhibits due to stress without realizing the seriousness of the situation? This could lead to serious health issues shortly. Body scan meditation is a great way to release tension that you might not even realize your body is experiencing. The technique involves paying attention to different body parts and bodily sensations in a gradual sequence starting from the toe and then moving up to the head.

4. Guided Imagery

Did you know your stress levels could go down just by drawing a scenic picture in your head? Well, that’s exactly what ‘guided imagery’ does to you. For this particular relaxation technique, you imagine scenic locations and pictures in your mind to help you focus and relax. You will find plenty of recordings of soothing scenes online on free apps – all you need to do is choose the image you find calming, one that has a personal significance.

5. Mindfulness Meditation

This type of relaxation technique involves sitting in a comfortable position, focusing on your breathing and directing the mind to the present moment without drifting its attention to the past or future. Mindfulness meditation can work wonders for people trying to cope with depression, anxiety or chronic pain.

Must Read: Health Benefits of Meditation

6. Exercise

Did you know people who exercise daily are less likely to experience stress and anxiety than those who don’t? This is because any sort of physical exercise reduces the level of the stress hormone, cortisol, in your body. It releases chemicals, known as endorphins, which enhance mood and act as a natural pain reliever. Moreover, exercising helps to improve the quality of sleep that is often affected negatively due to anxiety and stress. Pick an exercise routine or activity that appeals to you. Dancing, cycling, jogging and walking are some of the best de-stress activities to choose from.

Read More: What is The Best Time to Exercise?

7. Yoga

Yoga is a body-mind practice, which combines controlled breathing, physical poses and relaxation or meditation. It brings about mental and physical disciplines that can help you achieve peacefulness of mind and body. This, in turn, helps you relax and manage stress and anxiety.

Women practicing yoga - Different types of relaxation techniques

Experts suggest certain yoga postures are particularly beneficial for reducing stress. The most common and easy-to-practice poses are –

  • Sukhasana/ Easy Pose with forwarding Bend
  • Uttanasana/ Standing Forward Bend
  • Prasarita Padottanasana
  • Sasangasana/ Rabbit Pose
  • Vajrasana (Thunderbolt Pose) with Gadurasana (Eagle Pose)
  • Side Stretch
  • Halasana/ Plow Pose
  • Savasana/ Corpse Pose

TYPES OF YOGA POSTURES TO REDUCE STRESS

  • Sukhasana (Easy Pose): Sukhasana will lengthen your spine and help widen your hips. Besides that, it helps the person calm down and reduce the effects of anxiety. Mental and physical exhaustion can also be reduced with the help of this type of yoga.
  • Sit down with your spine straight and legs extended in front of you. 
  • Bend your knees and bring your left foot under your right knee and your right foot under your left knee. 
  • Keep your palms on your knees. 
  • Align your head, neck and spine. 
  • Look straight ahead and pay attention to your breathing. 
  • Maintain this position for 60 seconds and then change the crossed legs. 
  • Balasana (Child’s pose): This type of asana helps benefit your lymphatic and nervous systems. It stretches your thighs, ankles and hips while calming your mind and relieving the body from stress.
  • Kneel down and sit on your heels.
  • Bend forward to the extent till your chest touches your thighs.
  • Rest your hands stretched out in front.
  • Maintain this position as long as possible while taking deep breaths.
  • Paschimottanasana (Seated forward bend): The asana is perfect for stretching your spine and lower back. Apart from the universal stress-relieving factor that comes with doing most asana, this particular one helps reduce symptoms of PMS, improves digestion, reduces fatigue and relieves symptoms of menopause.

  • Sit down with your feet extended forward.

  • Bend forward till your stomach touches your thighs.

  • Hold your feet with your hands. 

  • Hold this position for 30 seconds and then return to the original position.

  • Ananda Balasana (Happy baby pose): The spine and the groin area gets tremendous benefits from this asana. It also helps to manage stress and anxiety.

  • Lie down on your back with your legs extended and arms on your side.

  • Bend your knees towards your belly. 

  • Stretch your hands and hold your feet. 

  • Open your knees wide and stay in this position for 60 seconds.

Also Read: 5 Yoga Poses for Stress Relief

Takeaway

Stress, if not managed effectively, can take a toll on your daily life and make you susceptible to a host of health problems. Learning the basics of different types of relaxation techniques is quite easy. However, it takes regular practice to truly harness the power of relieving stress.

Also Read: Mood-Boosting Foods to Add to Your Diet

Disclaimer: The information included at this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional. Because of unique individual needs, the reader should consult their physician to determine the appropriateness of the information for the reader’s situation.

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