Stress causes our body to become active. It gets into an emergency situation and releases the stress hormones adrenaline, dopamine and cortisol. The result: the immune system is weakened. To prevent this, it is important to find the right balance between stress and relaxation.
Relaxation is essential for body, mind and soul. When it comes to relaxation techniques, a distinction is made primarily between physical and mental relaxation techniques.
The more often relaxation techniques are repeated, the easier it will be to return to the relaxed state.
10 simple relaxation methods
Sleep is the easiest way to relax because while we sleep, the level of the stress hormone cortisol drops to a minimal level. For those who can relax through targeted short sleep periods during the day, so-called power napping is a good relaxation method.
Apart from sleep, however, there are numerous other methods of relaxation. Here are our practical tips for restful relaxation of body and mind. It is important to find the one that suits you individually.
- Progressive muscle relaxation (muscle relaxation): In this method, different muscle groups are intensively tensed one after the other and then immediately relaxed. When used frequently, this technique increases body awareness and strengthens the ability to relax consciously.
- Autogenic training: Relaxation technique that is usually performed while sitting or lying down. Enables you to put yourself in a relaxed state through concentration - with the help of simple sentences that you mentally say to yourself or are recited by a narrator (such as "I am completely calm, relaxed and at ease").
- Meditation: Meditation is also a suitable relaxation method to find peace and your own centre. Concentrating on yourself, your thoughts, your body and your feelings creates deep relaxation. At the beginning, meditation is still unfamiliar and becomes easier with time.
- Mindfulness techniques: To consciously perceive the here and now, instead of letting it "run" by the way, is trainable and valuable. Conscious mindfulness draws the focus away from things that cause stress and helps with relaxation.
- Mindfulness techniques: To consciously perceive the here and now instead of letting it "run" by the way is trainable and valuable. Conscious mindfulness directs the focus away from things that cause stress and helps to relax.
- Far Eastern relaxation techniques: Unity of body, mind and spirit are emphasised. Far Eastern relaxation techniques, such as Qi Gong, Tai Chi and Yoga, stress concentration and breathing. Through conscious concentration on one's own body, physical tensions are released and have an effect on mental relaxation.
- Breathing: The moment an emotional restriction is felt or an uncomfortable body sensation arises, bring attention to the breath and inhale for 5 seconds, briefly hold the breath and exhale for 5 seconds. Can work wonders.
- Fantasy journeys (imagination journeys): In this relaxation technique, texts are recited by a speaker in which pleasant, relaxing situations, stories or places are described. With the help of one's own imagination, one can "immerse" oneself in these images.
- Biofeedback: By means of measurements, e.g. of the skin conductance, the degree of inner tension can be measured. On the screen, one can observe how the values change in a state of tension and relaxation. In this way, the biofeedback method sharpens the awareness of inner states, the feeling for one's own body and the state of relaxation, so that this can then be proactively influenced.
- Leisure activities and "flow": Following a favourite relaxing activity, such as listening to music, reading, gardening, being in nature, painting, writing a diary , is also a way to get the necessary relaxation. When you are completely absorbed in an activity, the connection to time disappears and an inner relaxation occurs ("flow").
- Exercise and sport: The most natural way to reduce stress. Exercise reduces stress and is therefore an essential part of stress management. The increased blood sugar released during a stress reaction is burned off. In addition, exercise leads to the release of happiness hormones (endorphins). Often, a quiet walk in the fresh air is also enough to reduce stress hormones.
As so often in life, regular practice is crucial for success. Once a relaxation technique has been learned, five to ten minutes a day is often enough to relax well and sustainably.
The regular alternation between stress and relaxation promotes health and leads to lasting well-being.
At our Saint Charles Complementary we offer mindfulness training, qigong and yoga classes. If you are interested, please feel free to contact our therapists directly.