Whether you see relaxation as the body and mind being free from tension and anxiousness, or see it as a state of low tension without high emotions such as stress, fear, sadness or despair these evidenced based relaxation techniques will guide you towards achieving this.
About Diaphragmatic Breathing & Progressive Muscle relaxation
Both of these techniques have a calming effect on the body’s fight or flight response which becomes stimulated when a person is anxious or under stress. Diaphragmatic Breathing works by slowing the heartbeat and lowering or stabilising the blood pressure. Progressive Muscle Relaxation works by releasing muscle tension which can cause aches, pain or discomfort as part of this response.
About Mindful Breathing
Mindfulness is a type of meditation where a person’s focus is intensely aware of sensations and feelings in the moment, without interpretation or judgment. It is beneficial by increasing positive emotions while reducing negative emotions and stress. Mindful Breathing, focusing on the breath, guides a person on how to focus their attention in the moment.
Tips to start:
- try to arrange the time, a quiet space where you will not be disturbed by a phone or TV
- wear comfortable loose fitting clothes
- sit comfortably on a straight back chair, it is helpful to sit away from the back of the chair having the spine upright, self supported the posture being comfortable rather than stiff.
- have your legs uncrossed
- both feet resting flat on the floor.
NHS in mind videos
Here are some useful videos that may help with relaxation.
Progressive Muscle Relaxation
All the techniques need daily practice, ideally 20 minutes a time, to ensure the mind and body are able to engage in them fully and be truly beneficial longer term. They should always be accompanied with psychological based techniques in order for them to be effective in the treatment of a common mental health disorder such as depression, anxiety and panic.