Stress is just plain foul. Why? Because it leaves you anxious, irritable, and fearful, not to mention the side effects which include increased blood pressure, body pain, and other physical ailments. The trick isn’t to expect a life free from stress. Rather, to figure out what you can do to properly plan so that when you find yourself in a stressful situation you know how to remain calm. Those familiar with relaxation techniques for stress know that part of the solution is to learn these technique when you are not in a stressed state.
Deborah Mendzef pens this latest Auburn Pub post about two relaxation techniques which incorporate the breath and muscle relaxation as a way to alleviate stress. According to Mendzef, as you become more aware of your body, stress will diminish. Below is her first technique.
One way to help reduce stress is to perform deep breathing techniques. Deep breathing exercises are a simple and powerful relaxation technique. They are simple in the fact that they can occur anywhere, are inexpensive, are usually short in duration, and are very easy to learn. Here are two quick and easy techniques to help you reduce stress.
The first is a breathing exercise recommended by Dr. Andrew Weil. It is often referred to as the 4-7-8 exercise. Find a quiet and calm place. Wear comfortable clothing and sit in a comfortable position (stand, sit or lie) that keeps your back straight. Begin the exercise by clearing your mind of your thoughts and focusing on your breathing. Feel the air come into your lungs and go out of your lungs. Continue to do this portion for several minutes until you feel completely relaxed.
Once you are in a state of complete relaxation, it is time to progress the exercise. Place the tip of your tongue against the roof of your mouth, right behind your teeth. Keep your tongue in this spot for the duration of the exercise. Close your lips and breathe in for four seconds. Hold that breath for seven seconds. Open your mouth and push your lips out, exhaling that breath for eight seconds. Repeat for a series of four breaths. Finish by breathing regularly and continuing to focus on your breathing.
Read more from Mendzef on practicing relaxation techniques to relieve stress here.