As one prepares for a marathon, he runs everyday, eats right and takes care of his body. In one word that process is called training. Training is all around us in todayís society. School training, work training, physical training, and sports training are just to name a few. Why not relaxation training? If one deems relaxation as an important part of his life, then he must also train for it. Relaxing is a skill. Our bodies are so overwhelmed with the stresses and demands of life that it is increasingly difficult for them to relax on their own. It is therefore time to give relaxation training a second thought.
Relaxation training and relaxation therapy go hand in hand with each other. In fact, it is hard to talk about one without talking about the other, at least in spirit if not in words. There are many relaxation training exercises out there today, the most popular being breathing training. The reason this is called training and not therapy is that its purpose is to change the breathing process itself, so that one automatically begins to breathe in a certain way when experiencing lifeís stressors while therapy is designed to be a focused and cognitive act to respond to certain specific life stressors. Training is preventive in nature while therapy is more responsive in nature.
Relaxation training is often simple in function and fairly quick in practice. This lends it to integration in the bodies natural stress responses. The breathing or muscle reactions begin to come naturally and in response to oneís bodiesí own stimuli, thus creating a less stressful somatic environment. This cycle is self-perpetuating, as its rewards are inherent in its action. As the body trains in certain relaxation therapies, it integrates the stress relieving strategies and actions into its own stress reaction processes. Essentially, relaxation training has its own payoff, which affects body, mind, and spirit.
Relaxation Exercises Work Out More Than Muscles
Working out the body is something that is on the tip of the tongues of physicians, health experts, and workout gurus everywhere. The benefits of a good workout are heralded by anyone who knows a thing or two about health and how the body best functions. Taking care of the muscles and cardiovascular system is all good and well. But relaxation exercises may be what it takes to keep body, mind, and spirit working together to make people feel whole and functional. Without deep times of refreshment, the body can react in haywire manners affecting health and mental well-being. This is where techniques for letting it all go come into play.
Some of the most popular refreshment activities are breathing techniques. What is fantastic about breathing activities is they can be implemented anywhere in any situation. So, if the day is getting really stressful or panic and anxiety are creeping in, a good dose of oxygen will help the body to revamp and relax. The most effective way to breathe is to really focus effort into breathing. This may seem ludicrous since respiration is such a natural process in the body. But, focusing on each inhale and exhale will allow one to focus on the breathing will allow each activity to be executed with precision. It will also release the mind of worries. The technique works best if the eyes are closed. Pull in a deep breath using the diaphragm muscles through the nose, focusing on the breathing at all times. Then, breathe in through the nostrils for eight counts and exhale through the mouth slowly for eight counts. The only focus should be on the breathing and the technique itself. This will help to oxygenate the muscl s and release harmful tension and stress build up within the body.
Relaxation exercises aren’t only about breathing and releasing tension in this manner. The muscles can be used as a conduit for stress relief. Ease into a natural posture that feels completely stress free. Slightly form a fist with the left fist just until you reach a slight point of difficulty. Hold this for a few counts then release the fist slowly. Repeat this activity with the left fist. This will allow the muscles in the arms to release tension. This repetition can be mimicked with all muscle categories in the body to ease away anxiety. The scalp, eyes, throat and neck, leg muscles, and feet can retract and release the muscles for a few counts to give a deep sense of peace to the body.