There are several techniques you can use to practice relaxation and improve your mental health.
There are many guided imagery apps and online recordings available to help you generate imagery that you find calming, and that has personal significance.
This technique involves focusing on your breathing and keeping your mind in the present moment, and research suggests it may be helpful for people with anxiety, depression, and pain.
Yoga combines rhythmic breathing with a series of postures and movements. This technique can improve your balance and flexibility as well as your mental focus. However, this relaxation method might be too challenging for people with certain physical impairments, so it’s always best to consult your physician first.
Long, slow, deep breaths- also known as abdominal breathing- are the focus of this relaxation technique. The goal is to disengage your mind from worrying, racing, or distracting thoughts and focus on the present moment.
There are also some unconventional techniques that are simple and quick yet effective.
Not only is it fun, but it’s also an opportunity to practice deep breathing and to be mindful of your surroundings.
Chewing gum is known to reduce anxiety and lower levels of Cortisol (stress hormone)
Laughter is shown to decrease stress and anxiety. Listening to a comedy show, watching a funny movie, or laughing with some friends can help you relax and help significantly lower your stress levels.
Learning and implementing new relaxation techniques takes time and practice- like learning any new skill. Once you start to recognize some of your stress triggers and what your stress response feels like, you can make an intentional effort to practice a relaxation technique when you begin to feel stress symptoms -before the stress can spiral out of control. It’s important to be patient with yourself to improve your mental health. If one method doesn’t work for you, you can keep trying.