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Learn to Relax

Relaxation is a skill that can be perfected.

We're born knowing how to relax. Babies instinctively relax and sleep when their bodies and minds need a break. Over the years, we learn to control our urges to sleep or relax, since we must remain alert as we attend school, learn professions, go to work, or care for a family. We often spend years conditioning ourselves to work and perform despite feelings of tiredness. In many ways this is appropriate, but it can impair our ability to actually let go and relax when we want to.

Relaxation is also a uniquely individual activity. While some may find sports relaxing, others find them stressful. Napping or reading a good book might be your idea of relaxation, but the inactivity might drive your best friend crazy. Finally, many people need, or want, a structured relaxation program, such as a course in meditation, martial arts, or yoga, while others prefer to be spontaneous and avoid structure at any cost.

Tips for the Relaxation-Impaired

  • A good exercise to try is the "Relaxation Response" technique. Although this method requires some practice, it has been used for decades as an aid in relaxation and symptom improvement in various medical conditions such as high blood pressure.
     
  • Practice other positive health habits. Stay healthy even when stressed out. The healthier your body is, the better it can function in all areas including relaxation. An exhausted, burnout state isn't going to bring on healing, strengthening relaxation.
     
  • You might have to force yourself to take emotional "time out" for relaxation. This, too, is a skill you can develop and perfect. Practice shutting out stressful thoughts and images for a few minutes at a time to start out.
     
  • Accept help. There are lots of good resources to help you get control of your stress.

 



Site Map

Ways to relax

Autogenic Training

What is the relaxation response?

What is Biofeedback?

How does yoga improve relaxation?

What kinds of martial arts integrate relaxation techniques?

Can martial arts promote relaxation?

What is progressive muscle relaxation?

 

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