ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Proven Relaxation Techniques

Updated on March 22, 2010

How can you help yourself relax?

Relaxation techniques


Stuck in traffic, on the train, or under pressure at work? What can you do to relax and unwind?

Top tips

  • Take some deep breaths whenever you need to calm down
  • Take a few minutes to picture your perfect relaxation scene
  • Go for a walk - get some oxygen into your lungs and clear your head
  • Aromatherapy - some smells can help you relax or concentrate
  • Massage - it can improve your blood flow and circulation
  • Have a beauty treatment, such as manicure, pedicure, haircut or styling
  • Acupuncture - can be used to treat all kinds of ailments
  • Catch up with friends - talking can often help diffuse stress

Breathing techniques

Deep breathing is one of the simplest techniques you can use to relax. It can help slow down your heart rate and decrease your blood pressure.


In a stressful situation, slowing your breathing can help return your body to a less stressed condition.


Spend time thinking about your breathing. Think about which parts of your body you are using to breathe. Is it your chest or your stomach? If you are deep breathing you should be using your stomach as well as your chest.


Consider following this train of thought: "I breathe in by inflating first the stomach, then the chest, then the shoulders; slowly I breathe out lowering my shoulders, emptying my chest, and pulling in my stomach." Repeat several times, slowly1.


Meditation, mantras and prayers

Meditation is a way of focusing on deeper thoughts and feelings. The goal is to empty your mind, free yourself from distractions, and let the concerns from your life drop away.


All you need is a quiet place where you won't be disturbed. Sit in a position you can hold for at least 15 minutes, such as cross legged, the lotus position, or kneeling. Many people begin by concentrating their attention on a word or sound - a mantra. A sound, such as "Om," is used to focus the concentration.


Different forms of meditation concentrate on different things - where you are, what you are experiencing this moment, a single word or image. Meditation introduces you to your internal feelings so you know yourself better.


Research has found that yoga mantras and saying rosary prayers have beneficial effects on cardiovascular rhythms. They slow the rate of breathing, which improves cardiovascular and respiratory function, oxygenation of the blood, and exercise tolerance. It also improves calmness and well-being2.


Yoga

Many people find yoga a great way of relaxing. It focuses on suppleness, strength, stamina, and concentration. You can practice by yourself, but it is recommended that you learn poses and techniques with a registered yoga practitioner first.


Visualization

Visualization or positive mental imagery can be used to prepare for competitive events or to help you relax. Take five minutes, ideally somewhere you won't be disturbed, and close your eyes. Think of a place or an event you find relaxing and imagine what it looks like. Think about the sounds, colors, smells, tastes and textures. Transport yourself to another place and forget about your worries.


Deep breathing can also help you prepare for stressful events. Rehearse the kind of performance required - physically, mentally and emotionally. Think about what you have to do and use all your senses to imagine what it will be like. Picture yourself overcoming any obstacles or problems, and finding solutions. This will help you prepare for the event and be more relaxed when it occurs.

Sources

  1. Perreaut-Pierre E. "La gestion mentale du stress pout la performance sportive" (Managing stress management for sports performance) Ed. Amphora. 2000
  2. Bernardi L, Sleight P, Bandinelli G, Cencetti S, Fattorini L, Wdowczyc-Szulc J et. al. Effect of rosary prayer and yoga mantras on autonomic cardiovascular rhythms: comparative study. British Medical Journal. 2001; 323: 1446-9

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)