Though one cannot avoid stress and depression completely, we can counteract their negative effects by learning how to elicit the body’s natural relaxation response. The relaxation response brings the body back into balance by deepening our breathing, compressing stress hormones, slowing down our heart rate and blood pressure, and relaxing our muscles. Along with this, the techniques to breathe properly also enhance our body’s energy, focus and problem-solving capabilities, fight illnesses, relieve pains and aches, and boost overall productivity. Therefore, by practicing the following relaxation and meditation techniques, one can reap all these benefits.
~ Lie down on your back with your knees bent. Keep your left hand on your abdomen and right hand on your chest. Try to concentrate on your breathing.
~ Fill your lower lungs with air in such a way that your left hand goes up when you inhale. Make sure your right hand remains still, and then, exhale through your mouth. Repeat the procedure about 10 to 12 times.
~ Again, fill your lower lungs with air, and continue inhaling into your upper chest. This time, your right hand will rise and your left hand will fall a bit.
~ Breathe out slowly through your mouth by making a quiet whooshing sound. You will observe that your abdomen and chest are rising and falling in a rhythmic motion like a rolling wave.
~ As you exhale, you will feel the stress leaving your body, and you will be more relaxed. Continue this for about 5 – 7 minutes, at least 4 – 5 times a day.
~ Lie down on your back, and stretch yourself completely. Focus on your breathing.
~ Tense up a group of muscles so that they get tightly contracted for 5 to 10 seconds.
~ Now, exhale slowly and release the muscles. Relax the muscles for few more seconds, and you will experience deep relaxation in your muscles. Repeat the procedure with other muscles groups also.
~ Lie on your back, and slowly relax your body.
~ Start inhaling slowly through your nose, and fill the lower part of your chest first, then the middle, and finally the top part of your chest and lungs with inhaled air. Do this slowly for 8 to 10 seconds.
~ Hold your breath for few seconds, and then release the air out. Wait for few seconds, and then repeat the procedure.
~ Sit with your eyes closed in a comfortable position and start deep breathing.
~ Relax your feet muscles, and work up your body relaxing muscles.
~ Concentrate on your breathing through your abdomen, and while exhaling, start counting 1 to 5 in your mind.
~ Continue doing this for 10 to 20 minutes, twice a day. Avoid doing this more than once within 2 hours or after meals.
Disclaimer: This WellnessKeen article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.