There are a multitude of events in our daily lives that can cause us to feel stressed out, and if we are not conscious about this, we cal easily get wrapped up in the intensity of a situation. This is especially true in business situations or at work but it can apply to any area of your life. You’ll learn how these 4 easy techniques to relax can help you live a more peaceful life.
If you allow yourself to be consumed by the stress, it will obviously take a huge toll on your well being. Some of the common effects of daily stress are feeling drained and tired even thougt you’ve been sleeping well, having headaches and/or stomach acidity, and getting all kinds of aches and pains that your doctor cannot explain.
Your mental health can suffer as well. Symptoms such as feeling moody and less tolerant are common, and taken to the extreme, stress can lead to substance abuse, depression or worse. Truth is, stress can drive you to a point of exhaustion unless you learn to prevent it or address it on time.
Here are 4 easy techniques to relax that you can follow to stay calm and relaxed when a situation reaches a certain point of intensity:
- Consciously Relax.
The technique is called Jacobson’s relaxation technique or Progressive Relaxation, and you can find a variety of MP3’s to guide you through it. You can learn to do it yourself as well. Of the 4 easy techniques to relax, this one is unique as it reduces the sensations of tension caused by stress and anxiety throughout your body. It does it by forcing the muscles in your body to relax. It is a 2 step process. The first one includes tensing on purpose a particular muscle group; then you hold it for a little bit, and the second step is to let go of the tension while paying attention to the way your muscles feel as you relax.
The reason this kind of relaxation is called ‘progresive’ is because you do it in a methodical manner that starts with the tips of your toes and you progress moving up all the way until you reach the muscles on your scalp (or you can start at the top of your head and move down). As you do this, you focus on each area of your body that you are tensing, holding for a few moments and releasing. Make it a point to relax any muscle that seems particularily tense, usually shoulders, back and neck. If you’ve never done this before, you will be amazed at how much tension you were holding and how good it feels to let go afterward.
Once you practice it regularly and become good at it, you may actually fall asleep half way throughout and that is a good sign. As an additional note, if you deliver public speeches, this technique will put you at ease too. Here is a Progressive Muscle Relaxation Script from the University of Houston Clear Lake. You may want to print it and read it several times to become familiar with the sequence before you start practicing it.
- Focus on breathing.
Similar to the first of the 4 easy techniques to relax, a focused, conscious breathing is a simple technique you can use to immediately reduce any tension you might be experiencing. Breathing into the stomach for a count of 5, holding it to a count of 3, and exhaling slowly for a count of 7 will slow your breathing pattern to a point where you will automatically start to relax. For more permanent benefits that you can tap into at any time, I suggest you give this article a read.
- Visualize something funny.
This is a personal trick I use and it really works. The fastest way to move yourself out of a negative thought pattern is to totally replace the thought with something different, and if ti’s something that makes you giggle, so much better. For example, if I am speaking with an angry person, I might visualize myself interrupting the conversation so that I can break into a fast paced dance routine. Then I visualize the other person’s stunned reaction and I immediately feel like laughing. Now, I’m not implying you laugh in front of an angry person. As you may guess, that is not polite and may get you into trouble. What I’m saying is to imagine all of these scenarios to put you at ease because once you are relaxed, you’ll be able to handle the situation better.
- Verbalize your relaxed approach.
This is a key step for letting go of stress. If you can politely tell the other person that you are not allowing yourself to get engaged in the heat of the moment and then clearly state that you intend to reach a solution that benefits the both of you without the need to get upset. They will often match your energy. Always remember that a conflict can only escalate if both people are willing to participate. And it’s a choice, really. Thus, by refusing to participate in the conflict, you remain in full control of the situation.
These 4 easy techniques to relax work wonders once you learn to implement them as soon as you feel the wave of stress coming your way. The first one offes you an on-going approach. You can do progressive relaxatin every night to keep stress in check. The other 3 are to be used as stressful situations happen throughout your day.
Thus, the next time you find yourself in a stressful situation caused by disagreements, conflict or an argument, try these 4 easy techniques to relax and see how much more effectively you can handle the situation.
For more stress management tips and ideas, visit the Tools for Abundance portal here.
Do you have a particular technique to ease stress that works for you? Pleae share in the comment area below. Thank you for participating!!