While there is no quick fix for stress and no one solution will work for everyone, there are some basic relaxation techniques that can help you reduce stress:
- Deep breathing
- Tai chi
- Music and art therapy
Once you have identified your stress triggers, your response, and how to deal with them, you can make it a habit to substitute unhealthy behaviors with healthy ones in order to manage stress more effectively.
3 relaxation techniques that can help reduce stress
Relaxing becomes easier with practice, just like any other skill. Allow yourself some time to learn how to relax, and try a different technique if one does not work. Here are three relaxation techniques that may help:
- Autogenic relaxation: Autogenic refers to something that originates within you. To alleviate tension, you combine both visual imagery and body awareness. Mentally repeat statements that help you relax and lessen muscle tension. Imagine a serene location and then, focus on controlled, relaxed breathing, which decreases your heart rate.
- Progressive muscle relaxation: This relaxation technique involves gradually tensing and then relaxing each muscle group. This can help you distinguish between muscle tension and relaxation. Physical sensations can be made more conscious. One method of progressive muscle relaxation begins with tensing and relaxing the muscles in your toes and working way up to the neck and head. Tense each muscle for about 5 seconds and then rest for 30 seconds.
- Visualization: In this relaxation technique, you use mental images to travel to a tranquil location or place where you feel calm. Close your eyes, sit in a quiet place, loosen any tight clothing, and focus on your breathing. Try to include as many sensations as possible, such as smell, sight, sound, and touch. Imagine the scent of ocean water, the sound of crashing waves, and the warmth of the sun on your skin.
For more information on how to deal with stress effectively, speak with your doctor or a counseling center.
What are symptoms and effects of stress?
What are symptoms and effects of stress?
Stress can cause the following symptoms:
- Physical symptoms: Headaches, stomachaches, sleep problems, hypertension, etc.
- Emotional symptoms: Fear, anxiety, tension, anger, irritation, etc.
- Behavioral symptoms: Withdrawing from others, increased irritation with others, etc.
- Cognitive symptoms: Irrational thoughts.
Chronic stress, or stress that persists over a long period of time, can have the following physical effects:
- Chest pain or pressure
- Fast heartbeat
- Dizziness, shakiness, difficulty breathing
- Irregular menstrual periods, erectile dysfunction (impotence), loss of libido (sex drive)
- High blood pressure, heart disease
If your symptoms are severe, you may need medical help to figure out what is causing your stress and how to deal with it.
How are stress-related mental disorders treated?
Early recognition of the signs and symptoms of mental illness is critical and so is seeking effective treatment as soon as possible. The earlier you start treatment, the better the outcome. Effective treatments include:
- Cognitive and behavioral psychological therapy
- Psychosocial support
- Psychiatric disability rehabilitation
- Avoiding risk factors and developing self-management skills
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HelpGuide. Relaxation Techniques for Stress Relief. https://www.helpguide.org/articles/stress/relaxation-techniques-for-stress-relief.htm
Harvard Health Publishing. Six relaxation techniques to reduce stress. https://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/six-relaxation-techniques-to-reduce-stress
Erdman S. Relaxation Techniques: Learn How to Manage Stress. WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/balance/guide/blissing-out-10-relaxation-techniques-reduce-stress-spot
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