Stress elicits a biochemical reaction from our mind and body. This reaction is part of our survival mechanism, but also takes a great toll on our mind and body. Our brain doesn’t know the difference between real and imagined, which often gets us into further trouble, but can also help us achieve greater levels of calm. Regular (at the same time of day for 20-30 minutes), daily practice of deep relaxation will help you calm the mind and body in the moment of relaxation and most of the time.
Get comfortable, place one hand on your abdomen, below the ribcage; inhale slowly, expanding your abdomen, then pause and exhale slowly, allowing your whole body to just let go. Repeat this 3-5 times, counting to five for inhale, pausing and counting to five for exhale.
Standing Like a Tree:
Stand, or lie down if that is more comfortable, with your feet shoulder width apart, keep your knees slightly bent, let arms rest effortlessly at your sides, relax the shoulders, breathe naturally, look calmly forward, remain quietly in this position for 1-2 minutes. Imagine that your feet are like roots of a great tree sinking down into the earth, your body like a trunk, standing tall and firm; a golden cord attached to the top of your head reaches to the limitless sky. Breathe in this stance for 2 minutes, working to increase the time.
Get comfortable, visualize an orb that is covered with protective gold; at its centre is a sphere of blue light that is free from fear and anxiety. Imagine yourself suspended inside this three dimensional sphere – feel yourself immersed in it entirely and breathe.
Changing Negative Talk
Catch yourself in the thought. Challenge the thought. Reframe the thought with a more supportive / encouraging / positive perspective. Repeat the reframed perspective when you feel that the negative thought is becoming conscious or negative thoughts become the prevalent ones.
Relaxing the Head
Much of our tension is stored in the facial and other muscles of the head. A head massage can go a long way to bring about calm. Make yourself comfortable; warm your hands, massage the forehead working the thumbs from front of the forehead to the temples and from inner eyebrows following the hair to the far ends.
Progressive Muscle Relaxation
Progressive muscle relaxation is about tensing and releasing various muscle groups. You need to find a quiet place with no background noise or interruptions, preferably at the same time each day. This is best done on an empty stomach, in a comfortable position for you (sitting or lying down). Give yourself the permission to just be here, nothing more.
Take three big breaths. As you exhale, imagine all tension leaving your body. Clench each muscle for 7-10 seconds, hold and then release abruptly. As you exhale, visualize all tension leaving that muscle group. Relax for 15-20 seconds before moving to the next muscle. (Please listen to your body and only do what is comfortable and right for you.) Clench your fists. Tighten your biceps by moving your lower arms towards your shoulders. Tighten your triceps by straightening your arms and locking the elbows. Tense the forehead by raising your eyebrows as high as you can
More Muscle Relaxation Techniques:
Tense the muscles around your eyes, shutting your eyelids as tights as you can….
Tighten the jaw by opening your mouth as wide as you can…
Tighten the back of your neck by moving your head as far back as you can…..
Take two deep breaths and let your body sink into the surface you are on….
Feeling the heaviness of your body, the surface holding you….
Tighten the shoulders by raising them to your ears…
Tighten the shoulder blades by pushing them together…
Tighten your chest by taking in a deep breath…..
Tighten your stomach by sucking your belly in ….
Tighten your buttocks by pulling them together….
Squeeze your thighs all the way down to your knees….
Tighten your calf by pulling toes towards you….
Tighten your feet by curling your toes downwards…
Scan your body for any tension and repeat the progressive muscle relaxation for that part and the surrounding muscles. Now imagine a wave of relaxation washing over you, from your head to your toes.