Relaxation and mindfulness techniques can help increase your sense of calm and reduce worry and anxiety. They slow heart and breathing rates, reduce blood pressure and decrease muscle tension and this can make you more relaxed and focused about the present rather than the past or future. 

There are different ways you might like to try including:

  1. Progressive muscle relaxation
    This is about learning to feel the difference between tension and relaxation.

    • This awareness helps you to recognise and respond to the first signs of tension in your muscles.
    • You need to methodically tense and then relax different muscle groups in your body, such as your leg muscles or shoulder muscles; or
    • You can simply focus on the sensations in each part of your body so you become aware of where the tension is: the neck, shoulders and head are common stress points.
  2. Deep breathing
    Deep breathing helps focus you on the present moment by concentrating on the ‘in and out’ of your breaths.
    In Eastern philosophies, mastery of the breath is the key to controlling the body’s energy:
    • You need to focus on your breath moving in and out of your nose.
    • With every inhalation of air, you draw energy into your body.
    • With every exhalation, you let go of tension in your body.
    • Deep breathing can be done anytime anywhere and can be combined with aromatherapy and music.
  3. Mindfulness
    • Breathe slowly, become aware of your surroundings with curiosity and interest.
    • Focus on your surroundings and then try to notice and accept what you can:
      • see
      • hear
      • smell
      • feel
      • taste
    • This helps you to practice and be in the present moment and be in your present surroundings.
  4. Yoga, relaxation and meditation classes can help with both relaxation and deep breathing.
Created on 28/08/2013 | Updated on 10/12/2015
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