Simple Anxiety Relaxation Technique

 

This simple anxiety relaxation technique is based on relaxation response. What is relaxation response? Relaxation response is just the opposite of stress response. During the stress response, your body is mobilized and you experience a variety of symptoms (one of which is anxiety). During the relaxation response, your body relaxes and your nervous system quiets down.

The relaxation response was developed by a physiologist Herbert Benson at Harvard University. It is a very simple anxiety relaxation technique. Here is how it's done:

  1. Pick a word or a short phrase that makes you feel good (e.g. love, one, peace, serenity).
  2. Sit quietly in a comfortable position.
  3. Close your eyes.
  4. Focus on your muscles and relax them. Start with your feet, progress through your calves, thighs, abdomen, chest, arms, neck and face.
  5. Breathe in slowly and deeply, through your nose. As you breathe out, silently say the word that you picked.
  6. Continue this for 10 to 20 minutes.

That's it. That's the anxiety relaxation technique. Simple, isn't it?

In order to achieve results, Benson recommends practicing the technique twice a day.

Benefits of Regular Relaxation

Regular relaxation affects you on all levels of your being:

  • Physical - reduced heart rate, less muscle tension, reduced blood pressure, increased energy levels
  • Cognitive - improved concentration, improved decision making, and memory
  • Emotional - less anxiety, improved moods, less irritable, and more positive outlook
  • Behavioral - less substance use, improved sleep, increased productivity, improved relationships

Seems like a lot of good reasons to practice anxiety relaxation technique.

Symptoms of Relaxation

So, how do you know when you are relaxed?  What are the symptoms of relaxation? How do you feel when you are relaxed? 

When you are deeply relaxed, you will experience:

Peacefulness
Calmness
Serenity
Heaviness
Light
Warmth
Sense of well-being
Quiet
Soft
Deep breathing
Everything is ok as it is
Openness
Connectedness
Love

Sounds pretty good, right? You can get a quick relief from anxiety by closing your eyes and imagining what would it feel like to feel in your body one of the feelings above. What would it feel like to feel connectedness, love, or serenity?

Continue from anxiety relaxation technique to autogenic relaxation.

Related articles:

Fun Ways to Relieve Stress
Instant Relaxation Exercises
Diaphragmatic Breathing
Progressive Relaxation
Visualization Techniques
Muscle Relaxation Technique

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