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Relaxation Techniques Relaxation Techniques

When you wake up on the morning, many of the functions have only just started to accelerate. Your heart rate is still slow, your body temperature is still relatively low, your muscles are stiff and your mind is not yet fully alert. Rather than reaching for a stimulant like coffee, take five minutes to perform a series of morning stretches. They will not only arouse your neuromuscular system, but they will help you maintain a sense of relaxation.


Tai Chi

Mastering Tai Chi requires a knowledgeable teacher. But you can get a good sense of Tai Chi's benefits by moving through this sequence of classic postures, shown with their Chinese names. Practice one or two at a time until you can perform them fluidly. Then move onto another short sequence. Note the positions of the hands and feet, and keep your back straight.


Morning Meditation

There are many philosophies of meditation, each with its own set of techniques. 10 to 20 minutes of meditation are recommended in the morning and then again later in the day. Each time, you should follow these simple guidelines. First, you need a quiet environment where you will be undisturbed. Some people find that darkening a room or closing their eyes helps them meditate, while others prefer a dimly lit space. And some meditators want silence, while others prefer soft music or sounds. Second, a comfortable position is important---one that you can assume for at least 20 minutes without feeling strained or numb and that also keeps you from falling asleep. Third, you need a device to fix your attention on. This can be a mantra-a word, sound or phrase repeated each time you exhale. Or you can fix your gaze on a stationary object. Breathing slowly and rhythmically also helps you focus your thoughts. Finally, adopt a passive attitude: Do not worry about how well you are doing. At first your mind may wander, but with practice you will be able to focus for longer periods, enhancing your ability to produce the response.

Managing Stress

People who manage stress well have learned how to deal with difficult situations, anxiety and on-going pressures. Here are some suggestions from ParticipACTION about how you can take action against stress.

Support From Family And Friends

Sharing your feelings and problems with family members and friends is often the best way to cope with stress. Other support systems, such as self-help groups, employee assistance programs or professional counselling can also help.

Look After Yourself

People who feel good about themselves and have some sense of control over their lives tend to deal with stress well. They look and feel healthy because they take care of themselves. Decide to treat yourself well: stay active, eat well, take time to relax, rest and enjoy some good times with friends and family. Tell yourself that you are okay.

Laugh!

People who cope well use humour to relax, to release tension and anger, and to find the positive in a stressful situation. Seek out people who make you laugh; rent a funny movie; send a humourous memo.

Positive Thinking

Positive thinking is the key to approaching life-and stress-as a challenge to be enjoyed. Positive thinking is giving yourself the go-ahead to succeed. Plan how you will handle a potentially stressful situation before it occurs. Then, use positive "self-talk" to assure yourself that you can deal with the situation. People who cope effectively look back on stressful events and say, " I learned from that experience; I am better because of it."

"I Am Relaxed"

This is a simple, effective, easy to master exercise that combines meditation and relaxation.
1. Sit quietly and in a comfortable position.
2. For the next 5, 10 or 15 minutes you are going to allow yourself to relax and rebalance.
3. Relax your body - let the chair or floor support the heaviness of your body.
4. Close your eyes.
5. Inhale through your nose and say "I am.."
6. Exhale through your mouth and say "RELAXED"
7. Continue to breathe normally and repeat, " I AM RELAXED" with each breath.
8. Your mind will wander but gently return it to the statement "I AM RELAXED" with your breathing.
9. Continue this exercise until you feel refreshed.
10. To finish, slowly open your eyes and stretch your hands, arms, shoulders, back, legs, and feet.
11. You are now relaxed! Congratulations!

Although there are many ways of treating stress, I feel that the most practical method is the stress management technique. It is easy to do, does not require anything, and is almost guaranteed to work. If however, it does not work, I am a big fan of massage and aromatherapy. Although, I think that the two are just temporary methods of relief. The real lesson to be learned here is that if you eat right, exercise, take care of yourself, basically, just lead a healthy lifestyle then your body will function much better, both physically and mentally. It seems to me that everywhere I looked the methods all called for healthy lifestyles. Of course, there are ways of treating oneself without being fit. All of the other methods (accupressure, reflexology, drugs, etc.) will cure you for a short while but then what will protect you from getting stressed out again? If you lead this ideal healthy lifestyle then you will at least be better prepared to deal with any new stress that comes into your life.

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