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How to Relax

  • Date Submitted: 06/02/2014 06:15 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 65.1 
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How to Relax
Relaxation is a powerful tool! Learn to relax yourself, do it regularly, and you’ll find it easier to keep anxiety at the right level to cope more effectively with tough situations and difficult people. You’ll feel generally more healthy. Here are four simple ingredients for effective relaxation:
First: Don’t try to relax! Get fairly comfortable, and simply pay attention to any tension, aches and pain, or anxious thoughts you my have. Don’t do anything, just observe tension, and it will probably start to fade.
Second: Focus on your breathing. Aim for long, slow, regular breaths. Let your stomach swell out like a balloon as you breath in, then let it deflate as you breathe smoothly out. On the out breath, try to let go of all the air, imagine tension flowing out of your body, and allow your chest to sag downwards as you exhale (which automatically relaxes the muscles of the shoulders and neck). Your breathing will settle more easily into a regular rhythm if you imagine ocean waves, or the swing of a long pendulum. Try breathing in to a slow count of four, hold for two, and breathe out slow count of six.
Third: Relax muscle groups one at a time. Let muscles progressively become more limp and slightly heavier with each breath, perhaps counting slowly from 1 to 5 or as you do so. Mentally repeat a phrase like “My arm is heavy and relaxed”, or “My legs are feeling warm, heavy and comfortable”.

Fourth: Use your imagination to relax mind and body. With eyes closed, picture tension slowly flowing from your legs, arms head and stomach towards your chest, ready to be blown away along with each out breath. Picture a relaxing place or scene, a beach, a garden, a river, even a warm bath. Make it up, or use a memory you associate with relaxation and fun. Use all your senses to make the image more real, and focus on details. If your picturing a beach, watch the waves rolling in rhythmically, hear the surf pounding, and feel the sun’s heat shining down...


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