We have been under a lot of stress in recent weeks. We have been trying to work remotely, at the same time attempting to balance and organize home life, while constantly monitoring news and charts. Some of us are waiting for the reopening of our jobs, others are overwhelmed by combining work with childcare, helping with homework and coming up with attractions that will compete with closed playgrounds.
Are we able to find time just for us in all of this? And even if we can, are we killing it with mindless browsing of Facebook posts or Instagram accounts while stealing a look at the next upcoming series on Netflix? We get mentally dizzy with constant messages and physically look for comfort in the fridge. Let’s try to get away – far away – from the maddening tasks.
Relaxation? It’s not really difficult
Not everyone can relax: even when we are calm, we look for stimuli or mindlessly react to them (mainly by constantly checking phone notifications). The good news is that everybody can learn to relax. You don’t need a qualified personal trainer or a remote Hawaiian beach. Just find yourself a quiet place at home, a comfortable armchair or chair and 15 minutes for yourself.
How to prepare?
Relaxation is a state in which our body is calm and relaxed, while automatic stress reactions are stopped. Start preparing:
Find an isolated place and make sure that nobody disturbs you for 20 minutes.
Be sure to turn off your phone.
You can take off your shoes and put on comfortable clothes.
Choose the technique that best suits you at the moment.
There are many popular and available relaxation techniques developed by specialists. Some focus on breathing exercises (pranayama, breathing meditation, diaphragm breathing), others on body relaxation (Jacobson’s muscle relaxation, Schultz autogenic training). Mindfulness exercises, which teach us how to focus on the current moment and relaxing visualizations have also been popular recently.
In our training, you will find recordings with all the aforementioned techniques. They will help you go through the chosen technique step by step.
Mindfulness, or being in the moment, will come in handy when you want to focus attention on yourself for a moment, calm anxiety and racing thoughts. Mindfulness exercises involve intentional focusing on what is happening to us in a given moment, here and now, on internal and external stimuli.
Visualizations intentionally move our mind into a specific state by imagining it. For example, we remember all the details of places where we felt good. We visualize them in our imaginations. Sensory sensations can become very realistic and actually relax our mind and body.
Jacobson’s progressive muscle relaxation involves tightening and loosening individual muscle parts. Numerous studies have proven that it has a beneficial effect on reducing anxiety, stress and depression and increases the sense of self-control.
Breathing exercises help you to slow down and deepen breathing, impose rhythm to it. The ability to breathe properly can be of tremendous help in times of stress.
Schultz autogenic training helps you to achieve greater mental balance and an ability to concentrate. It consists of 6 stages, which successively move through the feeling of weight (heavy hands), feeling of warmth (warm hands), work of the heart (calm heart), breath (calm breathing), feelings of warmth in the solar plexus (warm body) and feelings of a cool forehead.
Relaxation is the best way to take control of your body, thoughts and emotions and you can learn how to do it. It is important not to use many techniques at once, but to choose the one that suits us the best for now. Acquiring the ability to relax through relaxation training requires fairly regular exercise and some practice, but the effects are well worth the work. Try it yourself!