Relaxation techniques have been used for centuries to promote health and well being. These techniques help to decreases the stress on the mind and body from the challenges of daily life. Deep relaxation is a process of calming the mind and body into a state of tranquility.
Proper relaxation requires three primary factors. These are time, space, and dedication to focus. When practicing deep relaxation, an individual should allot a minimum of 15 to 20 minutes. She should find a quite space, free from noise and interruption and prepare to focus through breathing exercises.
Progressive Muscular Relaxation (PMR) is an effective technique for deep relaxation. It is performed by contracting muscles into a state of extreme tension for a few seconds, followed by relaxing the muscles. With PMR each muscle group is exercised starting with the feet and ending with the head while coordinating breathing throughout this exercise.
Deep breathing is an effective method of relaxation. It is a core component of many relaxation techniques. Deep relaxation with deep breathing works well in conjunction with other relaxation techniques such as Progressive Muscular Relaxation, meditation, and yoga to reduce stress.
Diaphragmatic breathing is a deep breathing exercise that relaxes the muscles and allows more oxygen to flow throughout the body. To perform this deep breathing exercise the practitioner should begin by setting comfortable with her hands on the diaphragm area. She should consciously breathe through her nose while feeling the rising and falling of her diaphragm area. Each breath should be smooth and calm and last about two seconds in and two seconds out.
Visualization is another effective way to relax the body and mind. This technique starts by closing the eyes and imagining a setting that evokes a sense of peacefulness and well being for the individual. She should next focus on the details of the environment by thinking about smells, sounds, and the surroundings. This visualization is much like reading a book because the mind can create a tranquil setting free from the stresses of daily life.
Yoga is also an excellent deep relaxation tool for removing stress. This practice involves a series of both moving and stationary poses, combined with deep-breathing exercise. The most effective yoga pose to generate deep relaxation is the dead pose. This exercise combines deep breathing with PMR activity to create a state of calm over the entire body. During the exercise the individual must face up with the arms extended focusing on relaxing each muscle group.