According to the Mind and Body Center at Harvard University, 60%-90% of medical office visits in the US are due to stress related disorders. In the long run, high levels of stress can lead to a damaging effect on overall health and immune system. The way our mind connects to our bodies is very similar to a car. Without the functioning engine or tires, the vehicle cannot move in a safe way. If our mental health is not taken care of, our bodies can feel the physical effects, thus hindering healthy daily functioning.
There are more than 3,000 studies on relaxation which demonstrates the beneficial effects on our health and wellbeing. There are 5 different types of relaxation techniques which can be used to reduce stress and anxiety levels in the mind and body:
- Autogenic training (Imagining a peaceful place and focusing on different physical sensations)
- Breathing (Placing one hand on your chest and taking slow dee p breaths, inhaling and exhaling)
- Progressive muscle relaxation (slowly tensing and relaxing each muscle group)
- Meditation (Transcendental meditation & Mindfulness meditation)
- Guided Imagery (listening to a trained therapist move to be moved into a state of deep relaxation, helps to discover important realizations about emotional, spiritual, and physical health)
Other helpful types of relaxation techniques can include recreational activities or hobbies such as art, music, dance, reading, exercise, amongst others. These are all ways in which you can wine down from troublesome thoughts and focus your attention on an activity that can help decrease tension, and increase your ability to think clearly on solutions.
Relaxation techniques have been proven to help in a large variety of conditions such as pain, anxiety, infertility, ADHD, labor/child birth, panic disorder, amongst many others. It is important to seek health care professionals who can assist with ensuring you find the best method for you and your condition. However, anyone can learn basic relaxation techniques and apply them to their daily living. So go ahead, close your eyes and imagine you are enjoying the warm sun on the beach, simply relaxing!