The R in IMPROVE stands for Relaxation.
Things that promote relaxation are important tools for navigating ongoing distressing situations. Whether it’s the square breathing we’ve posted previously here, or another relaxation promoting activity like walking or yoga, taking a nice bath or enjoying a hobby, using these tools is restorative and can help us retain the resilience needed to get through tough times. Relaxation isn’t only about peace of mind or enjoying a hobby, though.
Relaxation is a process that decreases stresses impact on your mind and body. If Yoga or hobbies are not your thing then these relaxation techniques are a great way to help you manage your stress overall and in the moment. In the middle of a stressful work day it is not possible to pull out our yoga mat, so these relaxation techniques can help you cope with everyday stress and with stress related to various health problems, such as heart disease and pain.
Explore these simple relaxation techniques and get started on de-stressing your life and improving your health.
Relaxation techniques: Steps to reduce stress
Relaxation techniques can reduce stress symptoms and help you enjoy a better quality of life, especially if you have a anxiety. Don’t just take our word on it though, explore relaxation techniques that work best for you, when you need them.
The benefits of relaxation techniques
Practicing relaxation techniques can have many benefits, such as:
- Slowing heart rate
- Lowering blood pressure
- Slowing your breathing
- Improving digestion
- Reducing stress hormones
- Increasing blood flow
- Reducing muscle tension and chronic pain
- Improving concentration and mood
- Lowering fatigue
- Reducing anger and frustration
- Boosting confidence to handle problems
Types of relaxation techniques
- Meditation-both movement and seated meditation
- Physical Exercise
- Breathing exercises
- Creative Visualization
- Progressive Muscle Relaxation
What these have in common is that as we experience stress, it impacts our hormones released, our muscle tightness, our breathing, and our thinking. Each of the above categories focus on working the muscles or breathing to decrease physiological symptoms. Visualization can also bring relaxation through quiet distraction. Though with visualization, it is important to incorporate our senses , including smell, sight, sound and touch. In doing this, it helps ground us in our body, when anxiety has us floating away in our head.