A Targeted Relaxation Technique
Calming the Racing Mind
Some people feel that they can relax their muscles very well, but that their minds continue to just race on.
Here are some good techniques to use if your mind races:
Relax your body completely.
Take in 4 deep breaths, repeating “4” to yourself as you exhale.
Then take 3 deep breaths, repeating “3 when you exhale.
Now take 2 deep breaths, repeating “2” when you exhale.
Finally, take 1 deep breath, repeating “1” as you exhale.
At the same time, focus your mind on a pleasant image. Imagine that you are a passive observer of something very relaxing where there is repetitive motion.
Example: relaxing on the beach, watching the waves go back and forth or just lying in the grass and watching as the clouds move by overhead.
Finally, now you want to cause your mind to go completely blank. As you are focusing on this repetitive movement, begin to envision a blank form. Just like you are standing on the edge of an abyss where there is no form and all is void.
Focus on the void and remain there as you continue to relax deeper and deeper. Hold this as long as you can.
Instant De-Stressing Skill
When you practice repeat relaxation skills over time, you develop a very practical skill for both mind and body for de-stressing yourself on command.
Practice this quick relaxation procedure whenever you feel yourself becoming tense.
This procedure involves taking 5 long and slow breaths as you notice the tension and relax your body.
To begin, stretch out your arms and legs, fingers and toes, very slowly.
Take a slow and deliberate yawn.
First Breath. Take in a long and slow breath and count to six. Breathe deeply into your stomach, while holding your breath for a few seconds. Now let the air flow out slowly and as you do, relax.
Second Breath. As you inhale another long, slow breath, concentrate on the muscles in your scalp, forehead, eyes, mouth and face. Notice the tension being held there. Now relax these areas as you exhale slowly, giving in to quiet and relaxation.
Third Breath. Now take in a long, slow breath and concentrate on the muscles in your neck and shoulders. Release this tension in your muscles as you exhale slowly. Experience deep relaxation.
Fourth Breath. Take in a long, slow breath and concentrate on the tension in the muscles of your chest and abdomen. Relax these muscles as you exhale and experience the relaxation.
Fifth Breath. Take in your final long, slow breath and pay attention to the muscular tension left anywhere in your body. Hold that breath for a few seconds, and then as you exhale slowly feel that deep sense of total relaxation.
Fighting off Tension with Deep Relaxation
The next time you want to turn on the TV to relax, try some Deep Relaxation!
By now you realize that relaxation is far more than just going on vacation or watching a good TV film. Whilst these activities can bring relaxation, true relaxation is much more: it slows down both the body and the mind.
Think of true relaxation as a type of ''Condensed Rest."
True relaxation has been proven to promote natural healing and it increases the rate of recuperations. Research also points to deep relaxation as a help with memory and learning.
Any time of the day or night, you can take five minutes and try this simple "Mini-Relaxation Technique." You will minimize the amount of stress during the day.
Take in three deep breaths.
With each deep breath, imagine that you are inhaling feelings of calm and peace.
With each exhale, breathe out feelings of pressure and stress.
Take time during your day to stop and focus on a pleasant thought or image (like a baby or a sunset) Do this many times a day.
Allow your shoulders and jaw to completely relax.
Do not focus on any stress.
Close your eyes and feel any tension throughout your body.
Picture this tension as water being held in a pitcher.
Feel as the water begins to flow from the pitcher.
You will begin to feel light and weightless.
Stay in this for as long as you can.
Deep relaxation is the ability to instantly de-stress and to stay focused on the calm and serenity. This is a skill that can be developed and strengthened. It works best when practiced for about 20 minutes each day, although even a few minutes each day can help.