Natural relaxation by the body is a very effective way to reduce stress. Relaxation techniques through breathing, visualization, yoga or progressive muscle relaxation can help you feel good and activate the natural relaxation mechanisms of your body. Practiced regularly, these activities lead to a continuous reduction in your daily stress level. In addition, these relaxation techniques will teach you to stay calm and serene in all the moments of your life.
Effects of Stress
When we face a stressful event, our body unintentionally starts a series of hormonal and chemical changes. This automatic response to stress puts our body on alert: increased heart rate, tense muscles, accelerated breathing, or even system immune flat. This stress response may be useful in emergency situations, but when this response becomes permanent, it puts our mind and body in a state of perpetual tension.
Nobody can avoid stress, but you can learn to trigger in you a relaxation response, a state of deep calm that is the perfect opposite of a state of stress. The relaxing response balances your nervous system, reduces the release of stress hormones, slows down your muscle activity, and increases blood flow to your brain.
When the relaxation response is activated:
- Your heart rate becomes calmer
- Breathing becomes slower and deeper
- Blood pressure stabilizes
- Your muscles relax
- In addition to the direct physical effects, research has shown that a relaxing response can increase energy levels, concentration, disease resistance, and improve productivity and motivation in everyday life.
- Good relaxation mechanisms
- Being intellectually prepared to prepare your body to relax
- To be awake
- Practice relaxation regularly
Bad relaxation mechanisms
- Lie down on the couch
- Being asleep
- Do nothing
There are many relaxation techniques to help you trigger a relaxation response. It is not difficult to learn the basics of these techniques but it requires regular practice and almost daily to show their effectiveness. Experts recommend spending 10 to 20 minutes a day to practice good relaxation and 30 minutes to an hour for complete stress management.
Keep in mind that there is no relaxation technique better than another. They are all effective, but only when they are practiced regularly: choose a technique or combination of techniques that best suits you and your lifestyle to lessen the effects of stress.
Tips to start stress management on a daily basis
The best way to set up your stress management method is to integrate it completely into your organization of the day. Plan a box reserved for this moment of relaxation once or twice a day. For example, you may find it easier to practice relaxation in the morning before doing other more tedious tasks. It will help you prevent many effects of stress.
A calm environment. Find a place in your home, office or garden where you can relax and be sure not to be disturbed or interrupted.
A comfortable position. Make yourself comfortable but avoid lying down so you do not fall asleep! Sit with the spine straight, on the floor or on a chair. You can also try sitting with your legs crossed.
A point of concentration. Choose a word or phrase and repeat them during your session. You can also focus on an object in the room or on a point on the wall. This is to facilitate your concentration and therefore your meditation.
Adopt a passive attitude. Do not worry about outside distractions and thoughts that cross your mind. If thoughts keep coming to your head, do not fight them. Instead, focus on the concentration point you chose earlier.
You can either settle for these relaxation exercises or do other equally relaxing activities such as spending time in nature, chatting with a friend, listening to music … Anything that you find soothing will help you reduce your stress in a natural way.
It now requires very good treatments to cure effects of stress and anxiety disorders, so do not hesitate to seek help. Most anxiety disorders are treated with behavioral cognitive therapy, medications, or a combination of both.
Cognitive behavioral therapy
It is one of the most used stress management techniques. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is very effective in treating anxiety and stress. Cognitive therapy helps you to identify your negative and irrational thoughts and fight them so that they no longer feed your conscious or unconscious fears. Another component of cognitive therapy is exposure. In exposure therapy, you confront your fears in a safe and secure environment. Through repeated exposures, you will have better control over your anxieties. By learning new ways of dealing with stressful situations, you will begin to feel better and take over your anxiety. Cognitive behavioral therapies for anxiety usually last between 12 and 20 weeks.
A wide variety of medications are used to treat stress and anxiety, including antidepressants and beta-blockers. Medications are sometimes used for a short period of time to relieve severe symptoms so that other forms of therapy can be continued. Anti-anxiety medications can have side effects and can become a form of drugs, so find out about the pros and cons of this type of treatment for the effects of stress.
Natural treatments and herbal treatments
Herbal remedies such as valerian roots or kava have been used to treat anxiety for years (valerian root would restore sleep and be a natural sleeping pill). However, the effectiveness of these plants is not well documented or proven. Keep in mind that some of these herbal remedies can even make your stress worse. They can also interact with other medications that have been prescribed and have negative effects on you. In any case, consult your doctor.
Alternative treatments to cure anxiety and stress
Relaxation Techniques – Relaxation techniques such as progressive muscle relaxation, breathing techniques, and guided imagination can help in stress management and anxiety.
Biofeedback is a technique to control stress sounds by visualizing the physiological signals of our body and training to modify them (eg heart rate or muscle tension).
Hypnosis to cure anxiety is conducted by a hypnotherapist who uses various therapeutic techniques with you while you are in a state of deep relaxation.
Used for a long time in traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture can help you in stress management and anxiety.
Learn how you can also cure stress and anxiety from laughter