Mental relaxation techniques can help you manage stress and enjoy life. It helps to reduce and prevent stress and allows you to feel good emotionally and physically. The more you relax, the easier it will be to deal with everyday stress. You’ll feel like you’re in control of your life again.
Relaxing isn’t all about laying in bed watching your favorite shows. On the contrary, it is necessary to activate your natural relaxation response, to stop the effects of stress. The best process is different for everyone. So keep trying until you find a technique that works for you.
You can do these relaxation techniques anywhere, making them a worthwhile learning activity. Destressing will be possible no matter where you are or what’s going on. These relaxation techniques will make you feel good but also have other benefits.
Benefits of mental relaxation techniques
When you face many responsibilities and duties or the demands of an illness, relaxation techniques may not be a priority in your life. But that means you could miss out on the rest’s health benefits.
Practicing relaxation techniques can provide many benefits, such as:
- Slowing of the heart rate
- Lowering blood pressure
- Slowing in breathing rate
- Blood sugar control
- Reducing the activity of stress hormones
- Increasing blood flow to core muscles
- Reduce muscle tension and chronic pain
- Improve focus and mood
- Improving sleep quality
- Fatigue reduction
- Reducing anger and frustration
- Increase self-confidence to solve problems
For maximum benefit, use relaxation techniques along with other positive coping methods, such as:
- Think positive
- Finding humor
- Solution of problem
- Managing time and priorities
- Exercising regularly
- Eating a healthy diet
- Get enough sleep
- Spending time outside
- Turning supportive to family and friends
Ten Mental Relaxation Techniques
1. Sports and movement to help relax the mind
Many people don’t realize how demanding exercise is, but anything that involves repetitive motion helps. Studies show that it helps to control your thoughts, enables you to relax, and reduces stress. Some exercises you can do are:
Pay attention to how your body feels at that moment when you are doing sports. Banish thoughts of daily worries or worries about the future. Don’t zone out while exercising. Focus on how your breathing changes based on your movements.
Notice how it feels when your feet touch the ground, or the wind brushes your skin. If you’re not exercising outside, focus on matching your breathing with your movements. You can also pay attention to how your body feels as you lift the weight or change positions.
2. Relaxation methods of visualization
Also known as guided imagery, a visualization is a traditional form of meditation. It involves imagining an environment that will relieve tension and anxiety. Close your eyes and think of a beach, a favorite vacation spot, or a quiet area in the woods.
Some people like to use sounds with visualization. You might want to hear waves in the background if you imagine a beach. Likewise, you might want to listen to birds chirping if you’re thinking of the forest.
When you visualize the place you live in, think deeply about it. Pay attention to what you see, hear, smell, taste, and feel. Including as many sensory details as possible makes it more realistic and calming.
3. Turn off the electronics
One of the best ways to clear your mind is to get rid of it. Concentrating or relaxing is hard when you’re constantly getting messages or notifications. Moreover, continually thinking on social networks hinders your thinking even more.
4. Deep breathing practice
Deep breathing techniques focus on full cleansing breaths. It is a simple but powerful relaxation method. You can practice anywhere. Deep breathing is also a quick method, which allows you to squeeze it into the tightest of charts.
Follow these steps to begin deep breathing:
- Sit with your back straight. Place one hand on your chest and the other hand on your stomach.
- Breathe through the nose with the hand on the stomach. Your other hand should move very little on your chest.
- Breathe through your mouth, focusing on expelling as much air as possible. Contract your abdominal muscles as you push out the air. Your hand on the stomach should move, and the other hand should remain still.
- Breathe in and out, paying attention to the rise and fall of your belly.
5. Relaxation techniques to release emotions
Everyone has situations that distract them and affect their mood. When this happens, you can release the emotions by resolving them as they arise. If you don’t find a way to relax, a negative situation will cause minor irritations to disturb your peace of mind.
You can calm down for a moment and let go of the irritation by not defining the issue. Then breathe as you analyze what you can do and how you feel. Finally, release the feelings by releasing the tension.
Another way to release your emotions is to go for a walk, listen to soothing music, and focus on breathing. Other options include using positive affirmations and mantras.
6. Take time to write to unwind after a long day
Writing can help you clear your mind by expressing your experiences or feelings. It enables you to organize your thoughts and find solutions you may not have thought of before. Solving a problem leads to development and helps to release negative emotions.
If you don’t know what’s bothering you, writing down relaxation techniques can help you figure it out. As you write, see what comes up and what topics to gravitate toward. This activity can help you express yourself and relax your mind.
Sometimes making a list is all you need. You can list who and what you are grateful for, which brings joy and peace to your mind. It also helps to focus on the positive and let go of things that cause stress.
7. Spend time in nature
Connecting with nature helps reduce stress and calm the mind. When you’re stressed, focus on nature for a few minutes outside. Go for a short walk or find a safe place to sit.
Research shows other ways to benefit from nature if you can’t get outside. Staring at images of nature scenes for five minutes can also help calm the mind. It can help you even more if you also play nature sounds.
Gardening is another great way to spend time in nature. Putting your hands in the soil exposes you to beneficial microorganisms that lift your mood and help you focus.
8. Body scan meditation
The body scan meditation technique combines breath focus with progressive muscle relaxation. After a few minutes of deep breathing, focus on one body part or muscle group at a time and mentally release any physical tension you feel.
A body scan can help increase your awareness of the mind-body connection. If you’ve recently had surgery that affects your body image or have other body image challenges, this method may be less helpful for you.
Follow these steps to practice body scan meditation:
- Lie down with your arms at your sides without crossing your legs.
- Focus on breathing for a few minutes before addressing your body parts.
- Focus on the foot of one of your feet. Acknowledge your feelings and visualize your breath flowing into your nail. Focus on this area for at least five seconds before moving.
- Then focus on the soles of those feet, acknowledge what those sensations are, and imagine the flow of the breath.
- After that, move to your toilet and keep repeating the process. Work your way up on the same leg.
- After finishing your leg, focus on your calf, knee, thigh, and lower back. Then start with your feet on the sidewalk on the opposite leg, again straightening your path.
- After the second leg, move to your retina, lower back, abdomen, upper back, chest, and shoulders.
- Let’s be quiet and silent for a while. Allow yourself to relax and notice how your body feels.
9. Mental relaxation techniques using mental meditation
This meditation helps you focus on the present moment, helping you fully engage with the moment. Being thoughtful reduces stress, anxiety, and depression. Other negative emotions interfere with your well-being.
Some mindsets focus on repetitive action, such as breathing or repeating a few positive words. Other techniques involve surrendering thoughts or emotions, then letting them go after a few minutes. You can exercise caution while walking, exercising, eating, driving, or any time of the day.
The first time you lose your mind, you can sometimes lose your mind. You will find yourself going back to your worries or regrets. This is normal.
It takes practice to get it right, but focus and practice until you get it. Each time you renew your focus, you reinforce a new habit that helps you release mental tension.
10. Listen to soothing music
Music calms down the activity in your brain, making it the perfect way to relax. Research shows that music causes fewer neurons to fire in the part of your brain that responds to fear. Some experts believe this leads to decreased signals from the rest of your brain, encouraging you to relax.
Relaxation techniques require practice.
As you learn relaxation techniques, you can become more aware of muscle tension and other physical stress sensations. Once you know what the stress response is, you can consciously practice relaxation techniques when you start to feel the symptoms of stress. This can prevent stress from spiraling out of control and reducing your quality of life.
Remember that relaxation techniques are skills. As with any skill, your ability to relax improves with practice. Be patient with yourself. Don’t let your effort to practice relaxation techniques become another stressor.
If one relaxation technique doesn’t work for you, try another. If none of your efforts to reduce stress work, talk to your doctor about other options.
Also, keep in mind that some people, especially those with severe mental health issues and a history of abuse, may experience emotional distress during some relaxation techniques.
Although this is rare, if you feel emotional discomfort during relaxation techniques, stop what you are doing. Consider talking to your health care provider or mental health provider.
Final thoughts on mental relaxation techniques
Mental relaxation techniques can change your life. You will begin to recognize your stress response and can make a conscious effort to calm your mind. It prevents the situation from spiraling and helps to maintain a sense of well-being.
Relaxation techniques take practice, so don’t get discouraged. You will always get better at them, and you will see that. It reduces our stress levels while promoting mental relaxation. So keep trying until you find a technique that works.