Learning to relax is a skill that requires practice. The more you practice the less time it will take to achieve a state of deep relaxation.
Most relaxation exercises involve systematically relaxing all the muscle groups in the body. The advantages of reducing muscular tension in the body are that the physical symptoms of anxiety are reduced, so the heart rate is reduced, blood pressure is lowered and breathing will be slower. If the body is relaxed this helps to promote a feeling of mental calm and thus leads to an enhanced feeling of well-being. If relaxation techniques are practised regularly they can help to prevent feelings of anxiety.
Firstly, if you are feeling relaxed you will be able to cope with difficult situations easier. Secondly, if you learn to release anxiety at the time you feel it, through relaxation, it prevents a build-up of uncomfortable physical symptoms, thus enabling you to cope more effectively.
One of the most effective and simplest techniques for reducing feelings of anxiety is learning controlled breathing.
The following technique will become easier with practice, especially the length of time you can take to release the outgoing breath.
- First find a comfortable chair with good back support for your back and head.
- Sit back in your chair with your feet on the ground and hands relaxed (you might like to take your shoes off).
- Breathe in through your nose and be conscious of the air going right down to your stomach to the count of 4.
- Hold the breath to the count of 2.
- Release the breath through your mouth slowly to the count of 6 (with practice this could be extended to 10).
- Repeat - try doing doing this for ten minutes a day. Variation When you feel comfortable about the breathing, alternate concentrating on outside noises, smells and sensations for 30 seconds and then switching your awareness to internal sensations and feelings (such as the air entering and leaving your body) for 30 seconds.
- This can induce a deeper sense of relaxation.
Please call in at the office or link to www.student.counselling.co.uk for information on relaxation.
If you would prefer to make an appointment to speak to a counsellor about your problem, please contact us.
Please look at our Useful Websites page for more sources of support.