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How to Relieve Stress with Relaxation Techniques

Updated on July 17, 2014
Yoga promotes better health and weight loss
Yoga promotes better health and weight loss | Source

Working a regular nine-to-five job five days a week can even drive the most level-headed person on the planet to the brink of insanity. Often all we have to look forward to is the weekend and the annual vacation to recharge the batteries. Stress can be a burden at times, but it doesn’t always have to be if we know how to manage it properly. This article will outline a few tips on how to relieve stress, plus provide some simple relaxation techniques to help calm your nerves.

Focus on breathing

When stressed, we often find our minds regretting some past event or becoming anxious about something in the foreseeable future. When this occurs, the best thing to do is to try and stay present. The more present you are, the less stressed you will be. An effective way of staying in the present moment is to focus on your breathing.

First, get comfortable and close your eyes. Breath in deeply. Feel your breath entering your nose as you inhale and feel your stomach expanding. Note that it is more effective to breath from your lower stomach rather than expanding your lungs from your upper chest area.

Next, exhale and feel your breath moving out from the base of your stomach and back out through your nose. It takes some practice, but once you get the hang of breathing in this way you will find yourself in a much deeper relaxed state. If you ever find your mind wandering and thinking about something stressful, just let the thoughts drift away and go back to “watching” your breathing. This process will make you more in touch with your body’s sensations and will calm your heart rate naturally.

Yoga and stretching

Yoga has tremendous benefits to your long-term health if you practice it regularly. Combining yoga with proper breathing techniques will help relieve stress on a daily basis as well. The only thing you have to lose is time, but it’s certainly time well spent!

If you are unfamiliar with yoga, there are several resources online that can get you started with some simple poses. You may even know how to do some positions without even realizing it. Many of the poses are the same as you would do while stretching to warm up before your regular exercise routine at the gym. While you are performing the stretch, remember to focus on your breathing simultaneously. Basically, yoga is stretching accompanied with breathing techniques allowing one to become fully present in the moment. It can be quite practical, plus an extremely effective practice for relieving stress and even losing weight.

Massage

Take a time out from a rough workweek and make an appointment for a body massage. Getting a professional massage can relieve tension in muscles while helping heal your aches and pains.

Alternatively, if you don’t want to spend the money on a massage, you could try some self-massage techniques. Rub your own shoulders and neck for a few minutes. Often you will be surprised in how much built up tension is released when you try this. Focus on massaging other key pressure points, such as your palms, feet and even parts of your head.

Some personal massage machines are also quite effective and reasonably affordable. Quality massage chairs can be bought for under $1,000 dollars, while cheaper devices can also provide relief at a fraction of that cost.

To sum up, stress can be easily managed by combining a number of relaxation techniques, such as focusing on breathing, practicing yoga and utilizing massage therapy on a consistent basis. Understanding how to relieve stress takes time but can be achieved with patience and practice.

Video: Full body massage therapy

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