Natural Techniques to Reduce Stress & Anxiety
1) Deep Breathing
Deep breathing is one of the best & powerful techniques which is easy to learn and can be implemented anywhere easily, providing a quick way to keep your stress level under check. Deep breathing is also one of the corn stone elements/pillars of many relaxation practices and can be best implemented with other relaxing elements like- aromatherapy & music.
- Sit comfortably with your back straight. Put one hand on your chest and the other on your stomach.
- Sit comfortably by keeping your back straight and put one of your hands on your chest and other on your stomach.
- Breathe in through your nose. The hand on your stomach should rise. The hand on your chest should move very little.
- Exhale through your mouth, pushing out as much air as you can while contracting your abdominal muscles. The hand on your stomach should move in as you exhale, but your other hand should move very little.
- Continue to breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. Try to inhale enough so that your lower abdomen rises and falls. Count slowly as you exhale.
- If you find it difficult breathing from your abdomen while sitting up, try lying down. Put a small book on your stomach, and breathe so that the book rises as you inhale and falls as you exhale.
2) Progressive Muscle Relaxation
Progressive muscle relaxation can be combined with deep breathing for additional stress relief. It is a procedure in which you put tension on a different group of muscles by contracting them and then release that tension by loosening that group of muscles. This will provide complete relaxation in different parts of the body and also your mind.
Practicing Progressive Muscle Relaxation
- If you’re suffering from any kind of medical problems like- muscle spasms, backache, depression, or any past record of other diseases then, you must consult your doctor/physician to avoid the aggravation in your tensed muscles.
- Below are some of the muscle relaxation techniques which can help you in overcoming your stress –
- Loosen clothing, take off your shoes, and get comfortable.
- Take off your clothes, remove your shoes and feel comfortable.
- Exhale in & out for deep breathing.
- When you get comfortable then, just try to deviate your attention towards your right foot and take your time to see how it feels.
- Now, put some pressure on your right foot to increase some tension by squeezing it as tight as you can and then, hold it up to the count of 10.
- Now relax your foot and start focusing on the tension passing from your foot and feel the pain after leaving it loose.
- Now just breathe deeply by staying in that relaxed position.
- Now just shift your concentration towards your left foot, and follow the same procedure of contracting & releasing the muscles.
- Move slowly up through your body, contracting and relaxing the different muscle groups.
- It may take some practice at first, but try not to tense muscles other than those intended.
3) Body Scan Meditation
Body Scan meditation is a type of body relaxation technique that helps in relaxing the whole body by various techniques like aromatherapy, acupressure, body massage or other treatments. In these kinds of techniques, the purpose is to make you feel relaxed and fee all of your body parts for a complete mind and senses relaxation.
Practicing Body Scan Meditation
- Lie on your back while keeping your legs uncrossed and keep your arms relaxed at your sides, remaining your eyes open or closed depends on you. Now focus on your breathing for at least 2-3 minutes until you feel relaxed.
- Turn your focus to the toes of your right foot. Notice any sensations you feel while continuing to also focus on your breathing. Imagine each deep breath flowing to your toes. Remain focused on this area for one to two minutes.
- Move your focus to the sole of your right foot. Tune in to any sensations you feel in that part of your body and imagine each breath flowing from the sole of your foot. After one or two minutes, move your focus to your right ankle and repeat. Move to your calf, knee, thigh, hip, and then repeat the sequence for your left leg. From there, move up the torso, through the lower back and abdomen, the upper back and chest, and the shoulders. Pay close attention to any area of the body that causes you pain or discomfort.
- After completing the body scan, relax for a while in silence and stillness, noting how your body feels. Then slowly open your eyes and stretch, if necessary.
4) Mindfulness Meditation
Mindfulness meditation is a form of meditation which deviates a person’s mind from the past activities or any kind of worry/tension about the future by switching into the present activities to focus on what’s happening right now, enabling the individual to be fully engaged in the present moment.
Apart from these above general Relaxation Techniques, you must also seek Anxiety & Stress Therapist’s Advice for better and quick recovery just like when a person is sick or suffering from any disease then, following a healthy diet is good but without doctor’s advice & proper medication, he/she can’t be cured.