Let’s set the scene
Sam is sitting at home tired, stressed, irritable, miserable, bored! Pretty much emotional overload. Not hungry or thirsty, but after an hour of negotiating with herself she ‘gives in’ to the tempting voice in her head that says ‘Go on, just have one sandwich, just have one glass of wine, this is obviously a tough day. You deserve it’. Discovering alternative solutions for managing stress, and finding which relaxation options appeal to you is vital for managing all aspects of your life.
What’s relaxation all about for you?
Is it that glass (or two) of alcohol or something munchy after a stressful day? For many LighterLife clients, food in one form or another, often plays a role. However, genuine relaxation involves no substances and is not followed by regret.
A huge proportion of illnesses that have their roots in emotional overload, in stress. Millions of prescriptions for tranquillisers and anti-depressants are written in the UK every year. Millions of pounds are spent on medication to relieve stress related headaches. Millions of people use substances such as cigarettes, alcohol, food and behaviours such as shopping, gambling, and exercise as coping mechanisms. How you manage your choices matters.
Find the best relaxation technique for you
Including genuinely relaxing routines into your schedule not only helps alleviate physical aches and pains but also helps people take more care of all aspects of themselves. You probably know some of this, and have good intentions, but Sam’s story plays out all too often. If you’re letting life get to you, nourish yourself with relaxation and exercise, rather than another packet of not so nourishing crunchy, chewy things.
Too many start out with all good intentions to do the stuff they know is helpful, but not too far down the line life takes over and helpful relaxation routines take a back seat. The more evidence you gain, the more you understand why you would be better off if you made some relaxation changes to your routines – the more likely you are to do it! Find out what is going to help you motivate you, to take care of you, and turn plans into action.
Physical and psychological relaxation techniques
It’s been known for decades that thoughts and muscles work on one circuit which means that relaxing muscles can lead to the quietening of thoughts and vice versa. Most relaxation techniques fall into one of the two broad categories: physical and psychological.
The physiological methods include techniques focusing on the following:
- Muscular relaxation – a sequential tensing and releasing of muscles
- Exercise – any activity that makes your muscles work harder than usual
- Breathing – focus on deep breathing
The psychological methods include techniques focusing on the following:
- Self-awareness – focusing on the reality of your behaviour
- Goal-directed visualization – imagining a scene in which you achieved your goal
- Meditation – training attention and awareness to achieve a mentally clear and emotionally calm and stable state
There is now solid evidence that while exercise is not effective for weight loss it contributes to the well-being and consequent peace of mind of the individual.
The power to overcome stress and anxiety is all in your mind.
It’s important to remember that your experience of stress and anxiety is related to the way you interpret events in your life. The way you think has a powerful effect on the level of stress in your life.
There is also solid evidence that buddying up, getting support from others is very important in making any changes in your life and this is certainly no less true when exploring techniques that help you take more care of you. Your LighterLife Mentor and your group are there for just that purpose.
Search for your nearest Mentor by clicking here