Reading relaxation techniques to learn ways to calm your stress is a great way to improve your productivity and decrease your risk of heart disease and stroke. Using relaxation techniques can actually reduce your body’s negative responses to stress.
Reading about relaxation techniques isn’t just about peace of mind or enjoying a hobby. This is a process that decreases the physical effects of stress on your body. Research, using biofeedback machines, has shown that with relaxation techniques you can decrease your blood pressure and improve your mental acuity.
Even if you believe that the stress you have in your life is under control you can benefit from learning and reading relaxation techniques. Learning basic techniques isn’t difficult at all. But, with all that you have to do in your day learning and doing one more thing may feel overwhelming. If this is how you feel then you know you need to learn these techniques and learn how to say ‘no’ to regain some balance in your life.
Stress is more than just unpleasant. It’s downright dangerous to your health. There are some simple techniques that you can use even if you feel you don’t have the time to devote to practices such as yoga or meditation.
1. Just get a hug – or give one in return. Research has shown that in order to maintain a healthy life we should have 8 ‘touches’ a day with another human being. Non-sexual touching or being touched through hugs and signs of affection (not a hand shake!) will improve your blood pressure and decrease your risk of premature death.
2. Take a hot shower at night at the end of the day. Most people enjoy a shower in the morning to wake them up before going to work but sometimes taking the extra 10 minutes to take a hot shower and relax your muscles is just as therapeutic. If you do shower twice a day make sure to use a good moisturizer so you don’t dry out like a prune.
3. Watch a good comedy. It doesn’t have to be a movie – just a 30 minute sit-com that you enjoy will do the trick. Many oncologists actually order their patients to watch comedies each day. The act of smiling and laughing will decrease your stress levels and also increase your endorphins that fight the effects of stress.
4. Take deep breaths. Don’t believe me? Next time you are in a stressful situation take the time to count to 10 while taking five deep breaths. Count slowly with inhalation and exhalation. You’ll be able to feel the stress actually leaving your body which will allow you to act on the situation instead of reacting – thus causing less stress.
5. Get out of there and walk. Walking is one of the greatest stress relievers for anyone – child through adult. If you have 10 minutes get outside and breath the fresh air. No matter what the temperature you’ll feel better.
Practicing these reading relaxation techniques can improve your physical responses to stress such as slowing your heart rate, lower your blood pressure, reducing your need for oxygen and reducing muscle tension.
Inner Health Studio: Free Relaxation Scripts
WebMd: 10 Relaxation Techniques that Zap Stress Fast
The Telegraph: Reading can help reduce stress
PickTheBrain: 7 Powerful Relaxation Techniques
National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine Relaxation Techniques for Health
HelpGuide: Relaxation Techniques for Stress relief
USC Center for Work and Family Life: Relaxation Tips