Relaxation techniques to reduce stress
Because chronic stress can take a toll on your health, it’s important to know ways to reduce stress. Relaxation techniques are a form of stress management. The goal of any relaxation technique is to promote your body’s relaxation response. During relaxation, breathing slows, your sense of well-being increases, and your blood pressure and heart rate decrease.
At Goshen Health, our goal is to protect the health of our community. Try some of these relaxation techniques to see the difference they can make in relieving stress. Talk to your healthcare provider for additional advice.
We offer a variety of classes and events that promote your complete well-being. For a referral to a provider for personalized care, call (574) 537-5000.
Ways to relieve stress
Try any of these relaxation techniques as stress management methods.
Autogenic training uses body awareness to help you relax. You focus your mind on physical sensations within your body, such as concentrating on a sense of warmth or heaviness. Your mind moves slowly from one body part to another imagining these sensations. This technique is especially useful for winding down before sleep.
There are many types of deep breathing techniques, all using slow, deliberate, even or self-aware breathing. A common method involves closing your eyes, inhaling slowly, holding your breath for several seconds and exhaling slowly.
Guided imagery or visualization
Guided imagery harnesses the power of your imagination. At its most basic level, you form mental images of a calming place or situation, such as the beach. Then, you engage all of your senses to truly imagine being there, focusing on how things look, smell, sound, taste or feel.
Progressive relaxation involves contracting and relaxing different body areas or muscle groups. You progress through areas one at a time, such as starting with the feet and working up to the head. As you tense and relax different muscles, you may discover places where you store stress.
Meditation, yoga and tai chi
Meditation is a technique for focusing your attention on your thoughts or emotions. The disciplines of yoga and tai chi both incorporate meditation. They use breathing, concentration and body postures to focus your energy and put aside distracting thoughts.