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What are the most effective relaxation methods?
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The list of relaxation techniques available for the stressed-out men and women of today’s fast paced society seems endless. This article will briefly explore a few of the very popular relaxation techniques practiced by individuals looking to gain more stability, control, and satisfaction in their lives by reducing stress and anxiety.

Deep Breathing Exercises are an extremely popular and effective relaxation technique because they are simple and can be practiced in nearly any setting. The purpose of deep breathing techniques is to focus on breathing properly and deeply, getting as much blood and oxygen as possible to the brain to promote relaxation. There are a variety of different techniques one could pursue if interested in perfecting a deep breathing exercise, but the most basic deep breathing exercises include the following steps: Sit up or lie down, but be straight. Close your eyes. Breath in deep from your diaphragm, not shallow breathes through your chest. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. Repeat!

Yoga or other exercise is another extremely effective method of relaxation. Yoga in particular incorporates deep breathing into its statutes, with Pranayama breathing exercises playing a vital role in the routine. There are a number of different breathing styles that fall under the Pranayama umbrella, but they each focus on the act of breathing deeply to increase oxygenation in the brain, which ultimately promotes relaxation of the brain and the body.

Getting a massage or undergoing some other type of holistic therapy is an excellent method for relaxation. Not only does a massage release the tension in your physical body, but the hour or so away in a dark room offers the opportunity for solitude, meditation, and restfulness. Seeing a chiropractor, acupuncturist or even undergoing aromatherapy are also excellent treatments that can help promote relaxation. These types of holistic treatments, along with others, are focused on using natural means to restore the body to its most whole, most restful, most relaxed state. 

Muscle relaxants are an extremely effective treatment for relieving pain, tension, and muscle spasms, for soothing pulled muscles, and for assuaging many other injuries to the muscles in your body. Prescription muscle relaxants serve to relieve the very real physical pain that can often result from stress and anxiety, but that also arise from overuse or injury.

Another effective strategy for increasing relaxation and relieving stress is reading novel or writing a story. The world of literature, whether producing it or reading work created by another, provides us with a unique escape from reality that we may not necessarily find in television or film. Reading and writing require a certain element of imagination that promotes creativity, distracts the mind, and generally stimulates the brain. Even the most detailed description of a setting and main character require us to construct a mental image of what we are seeing. This act in and of itself is beneficial, as it can help us learn to visualize our own lives in a similar way, providing a new perspective from which we might approach a problem. Writing can also be an extremely cathartic, relaxing activity. Listening to relaxing music, playing some relaxing nature sounds, looking at relaxing pictures, posters or art, and even watching a relaxing film also help many people relieve their stress and anxiety.

Guided relaxation using imaginative thinking is a highly effective relaxation technique. The goal of this type of guided mental relaxation journey is to employ all five you’re your senses imaginatively, making it seem like the journey is real and not simply mental. Guided relaxation or any other type of relaxation technique that involves meditation or even positive-self talk requires extremely high levels of focus and attention. The goal of any of these activities is to provide the doer with an experience that seems to be “out of body.” This tactic attempts to provide some type of escape to another more soothing reality when that escape might not actually be feasible at the present time.

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