If you regularly feel anxious or stressed it can manifest itself in many different ways, including muscle tension, headaches, chest pain and more. This is why relaxation techniques for anxiety are such an important way to relieve the tension and help your mind to feel more calm. Here are five top relaxation ideas.
1) Diaphragmatic Breathing: When we feel anxious we may start to hyperventilate, taking very shallow breaths. This is why one of the best relaxation techniques for anxiety is to breathe using the full capacity of your lungs. To do this, imagine that you’re breathing into your stomach instead of your chest. Your stomach should rise and fall each time you breathe in and out.
2) Visualization: Visualization is a good way of taking your mind away from whatever it is that’s making you feel anxious, and training it to feel more relaxed even during situations where you wouldn’t normally feel relaxed. Visualize, in detail, sights, sounds, smells and feelings that you would feel if you were in a location that made you feel relaxed and comfortable, like when you’re on vacation.
3) Hypnosis: There are a number of hypnosis relaxation guides available in MP3 form. These will help to guide your mind away from thoughts that leave you feeling stressed or anxious, and can help take you through certain methods to help your body relax, such as progressive muscle relaxation. You can find many of these for free or low cost on the internet or as an app for your smartphone. Make sure you choose one related to your specific issue. For example, there are hypnosis MP3s available for social phobia if your anxiety comes up during social situations, or you could choose hypnosis designed to help you sleep better if your anxiety is increased due to a lack of sleep.
4) Timed Breathing: If you’re stressed and try to breathe deeply you may find it difficult and actually start to hyperventilate. Instead of trying to breathe deeply, for quick relaxation before or during anxious moments you can try timing your breathing. For example, try breathing in for a count of five, and out for a count of 7. Extending your out-breath is shown to help relax your body’s nervous system, and the counting gives you something else to focus your mind on.
5) Improve Your Sleep: Although it’s not a relaxation technique in the same sense as those above, getting enough sleep is important for keeping you feeling physically and mentally relaxed. When you don’t get enough sleep you may start to feel anxious, and vice versa. Some tips include writing down any worries on a piece of paper before you go to sleep to help get them out of your mind. You should also avoid caffeine, and take exercise early on in the day.
Establishing a routine helps to make sleep a lot easier. Make sure you go to bed at roughly the same time each day, don’t perform activities such as watching TV or using your laptop in bed, and try to wake up at the same time each day. These tips, in conjunction with practicing the relaxation techniques for anxiety mentioned above, will help to ensure you’re feeling calm and relaxed throughout the day.