The word relaxation is on everyone’s lips: the doctor tells us to relax, friends and relatives, even the dentist tells us that we should relax. But we? Nothing, tense, like violin strings.
What is relaxation? It is that state of grace in which we do not experience muscular pains, thoughts and worries, which allows us to sleep well, not to be nervous or anxious, to be asphyxiated even when stress is the opposite of all this.
Everything is going downhill, how can I relax? You should try to analyze your situation with a critical eye, with a cold mind, away from the pauses of relaxation.
Relax is pulling the plug, closing the door, being able not to think of anything that we are the song / book / culinary delicacy / film / lounge that we are dedicating to.
Stress, precisely, is the opposite of all this: it is the brain to find solutions, be anxious about what will happen tomorrow, it is the tension, it is the brooding. All this then turns into many unpleasant situations: migraine, insomnia, fatigue, increased pressure, heart disease, irritability, depression, paranoia, compulsive obsessions, colitis, ulcers, gastrointestinal problems, loss of concentration and mnemonic difficulties.
The only possible cure against stress, anxiety and nervousness is to learn to relax. How do you relax? Everyone will find their own right method, because relaxation is subjective, the important thing is to experiment with relaxation techniques, to cut out the time in which one learns to relax. It’s true that there are so many things to think about, so many things to do but we have to find the time to say “now enough, so I stop thinking about this / that thing and relax”. Easy to say.
Before looking at relaxation techniques it is good to tackle the sleep problem. Sleep, stress and relaxation form a vicious circle: if I do not sleep, I am stressed, so I do not relax, so I do not sleep. Relaxation is the key to breaking this circle. Dedicating to relaxation near the hours of sleep, helps to promote rest.
Finding the time during the day to enjoy a relaxing break helps you get less tense and anxious in the evening. Usually in the evening and at night there are times when you are more stressed and anxious, because thoughts come to the surface, problems run out in front of us and whatever we do we do not have that feeling of lightness, tranquility and peace that instead you should have it. Then we return to the starting point: we do not sleep. If you do not sleep here, the problems arising from stress are exacerbated by preventing us from thinking clearly, being calm and patient, facing the day and then devoting ourselves to relaxation. In practice our batteries are low and if we do not relax, if we do not sleep, we remain dry energy.
How to relax: relaxation techniques
That said let’s get to the heart, discovering how to relax and what are the relaxation techniques.
Relax means physical and mental well-being. Through some methods you can help the mind and body to fight stress, to put it on a high shelf of the mental shelf.
What are the benefits of relaxation? We listen better ourselves and our needs, we are more energetic and lending, we are less tired and naturally we can recover our energies.
Who needs relaxation techniques? People who always think only at work, people who feel suffocated by duties and responsibilities, those who are always tense and nervous, those who sleep badly or have eating disorders.
The best relaxation techniques
From a physical point of view: at the end of the day the body has to relax literally. Here then is the stretching, stretching movements that loosen up the muscles and relax them. It is not a matter of physical activity aimed at achieving tonification but only relaxation. It takes very little time, you do not need to push yourself hurting, hold the positions for a few minutes and make the movements in a slow and sweet way.
Breathing follows: this must also be slow, starts from the nose, runs through the lungs, diaphragm and abdomen and then comes out of the mouth. You can experiment with it lying down: you close your eyes and imagine you breathe a positive, beneficial color, which enters from the nose in each organ and then comes out from the head and feet at the same time when you exhale.
If you feel the need to move the ideal is walking, cycling (but in quiet places, not in traffic) or a good swim because the water has a very relaxing effect. The dance is also interesting, if you are physically stressed it is better to avoid running.
Of course you can not but mention the massages, there is the self-massage or there is the partner, alternatively you go to the massage therapist. The home massages are excellent but be careful not to get pain. The massage is acupressure, which encourages relaxation by pressing certain points of the body, according to the dictates of Chinese medicine.
On the psychic-emotional level: meditation and visualization are great allies of relaxation. To visualize means to create with your mind a pleasant place that helps us to feel better while in meditation we focus on certain parts of the body, colors and sounds.
Yoga and tai chi are excellent relaxation techniques that help the body and the mind to relax, they are also complete: they help flexibility, breathing, acceptance and control of emotions.
Read a good book: books are friends, they are therapeutic, they are our door to another world, they distract us and help us not to think about what is stressing us. We need to choose a particular genre that helps us relax. To write? If it helps you relax ok, but if it’s just another means to brood thoughts better avoid.
Music, or music therapy, is excellent for relaxing: think of the sound of water, the sounds of the sea, the forest, underwater sounds or Ayurvedic sounds are really the precious allies of relaxation. Seeing is believing. Alternatively, swing and classical music are also excellent. You always have to listen to your body, I relax feeling the sound of rain or the voice of Madeleine Peyroux or even simply with a nice radio program, but this is not valid for everyone.
Aromatherapy, like chromotherapy, are interesting allies but you must always pay attention to your needs: if the perfumes cause headaches it is best to avoid, if the dim lights or the changes of light cause anxiety, we avoid. Alternatively there are various relaxing perfumes such as lavender, neroli, ylang ylang and patchouli.
If you are lucky enough to have an animal at home, spending time is the best way to relax. Take care of it, play with it but above all cuddle it.
Here are some practical tips for implementing relaxation techniques:
- Create or stay in a suitable space that predisposes to relaxation;
- Take care of the body (relaxing teas and hot baths are always helpful);
- Listen to yourself;
- Finding contact with nature (stretching the park for example);
- Do something fun and spend time with others;
- Do not feel guilty because it is believed to take time away from other things;
- If you tend to postpone breaks, plan relaxation as a therapeutic session until you get used to it.
Relaxation techniques are also a matter of habit, yes. If we put in place the will to relax, to find the time to do it then we will succeed. The result? So many benefits because you gain mental and physical health.