Is your health condition stress-related? Whether you realize it or not, it might be. Many studies have proven that mental/emotional “stress” causes physical changes in the body, which can lead to health problems. It has also been shown that the body heals faster and the immune system operates better when the body is in a state of relaxation. The following relaxation techniques can be done almost anywhere to relax your body and calm your mind.
DEEP BREATHING (5 MIN)
1. Select a comfortable sitting position.
2. Close your eyes, and direct your attention to your own breathing process.
3. Think about nothing but your breathing; let it flow in and out of your body.
4. Say to yourself: “I am relaxing, breathing smoothly and rhythmically. Fresh oxygen is flowing in and out of my body. I feel calm, renewed, and refreshed.”
5. Continue to focus on your breathing as it flows in and out, in and out, thinking about nothing but the smooth rhythmical process of your own breathing.
6. After 5 minutes, stand up, stretch, smile, and continue with your daily activities.
MENTAL RELAXATION (5 TO 10 MIN)
1. Select a comfortable sitting or reclining position.
2. Close your eyes, and think about a place that you have been before that you found to be a perfect place for mental and physical relaxation. This should be a quiet environment, such as the ocean, the mountains, a forest, a panoramic view, etc. If you cannot think of a real place, then create one.
3. Now imagine that you are actually in your ideal relaxation place. Imagine that you are seeing all of the colors, hearing all of the sounds, and smelling all of the different scents. Just lie back and enjoy your soothing, rejuvenating environment.
4. Feel the peacefulness, the calmness, and imagine your whole body and mind being renewed and refreshed.
5. After 5 to 10 minutes, slowly open your eyes and stretch. You have the realization that you may instantly return to your relaxation place whenever you desire, and experience a peacefulness and calmness in body and mind.
Johnson, S. L. Therapist’s Guide to Clinical Intervention: The 1-2-3’s of Treatment Planning. 1997. Academic Press. San Diego, CA.