In a fast-paced world like ours today, it’s easy to become overwhelmed and feel stressed. It seems like no one is immune: your coworker, your boss, your sister-in-law, your mailman, your pet… everyone is looking up stress management techniques!

The Hype
You’ve probably heard a lot about what relaxation does to strengthen and calm the mind. Being relaxed can increase your concentration and reduce anger and frustration—it can even boost your confidence to help you tackle problems, further contributing to a cycle of helping you maintain lower levels of stress! But did you know that relaxation also offers a myriad of physical health boosters?

These include:
Slower heart rate and breathing rate
Lower blood pressure
Improved digestion
Normal blood sugar levels
Increased blood flow to major muscles
Better sleep quality
More energy

Relaxation Techniques
There are many relaxation techniques available, and it is important to keep in mind that what may work for others might not work for you. Don’t be discouraged! Take your time to explore and discover what agrees with your body and mind. If you are overwhelmed at the task of doing this alone, there are health professionals available to teach various relaxation techniques including doctors, psychotherapists, and complementary health practitioners.

The goal of relaxation is to increase awareness of your body. Today, our attention is constantly being distracted by our work, chores, texts, emails… Refocusing your attention on something calming allows your mind a chance to check in with your body.

There’s no need to jump right into an hour-long meditation session. There are plenty of options: deep breathing, yoga, music or art therapy, tai chi, massage, aromatherapy… Explore different techniques and remember that consistency, not length, is key.

Visualization:
With visualization, your imagination is free to run wild to form calming mental images that take you on a journey to a peaceful place. Find a quiet spot, close your eyes and begin to concentrate on your breathing. Throughout your visualization, try to incorporate as many senses as you can: sight, smell, sound, and touch. For example, if you are imagining yourself in a soft meadow, think of the smell of fresh air, the faint sound of birds chirping in the distance, and the feeling of warm sun rays on your skin.

 

Autogenic relaxation:
In this technique, both visual imagery and increased body awareness are used to reduce stress. Close your eyes and focus on controlling your breath, letting it relax and grow soft. Repeat relaxing words and focus on making your muscles to release their tension. You may want to start at the top of your head a work your way down to your feet, dedicating time to let each part of your body let go.

Progressive muscle relaxation:
In this exercise, you will focus on slowly tensing then relaxing each muscle group. This is helpful in becoming aware of the tension your muscles hold without you even realizing throughout the day. You can choose to start either at your head or your toes, working down to your feet or up to your neck and head. Tense each muscle for about five seconds, then relax for 30 seconds. Repeat.

Practice Practice Practice
As you increase your toolkit of stress management and relaxation techniques, you will become more away of the ways in which your body holds on to tension. Once you know how to identify when you are stressed, you can make a conscious effort to address it in the moment. This is helpful in preventing stress from building up and eventually becoming overwhelming.

Remember that building these skills takes time. Some days it may be easy, others you may find it hard and may need to explore a different technique.

A Little Help
Some days, any relaxation technique just may not click. There may even be days where you feel like you need a pre-relaxation relaxation technique. Level25 is a natural sleep aid that helps you relax. In just 25 minutes, Level25 allows you to recharge so that you can get the rest you need to achieve your goals. It is safe for daily use and acts as a great tool to add to your relaxation kit.