We always experience a lot of stress in our lives, and that seems pretty reasonable. We encounter a certain amount of problems in our family, financial state, romantic relationship, social peers, work, school, and as well as the environment. Honestly, we are somehow used to the idea that its existence is perhaps one of the well-accepted sources of our anxiety and depression, although Matthew D. Jacofsky, Psy.D. says, “It is important to remember that anxiety is a highly subjective experience. Not everyone will experience the same symptoms, nor will each person experience the same intensity of a symptom.”
But we don’t have to stick to the negative routine. We don’t have to submerge the impact of stress on our lives. With that, I’m going to go over some of the best relaxation techniques that surely ease anxiety and overall lower our stress levels.
The deep breathing process has an immediate effect on distressing and removing anxiety. It helps in clearing out unwanted feelings inside our system for us to become emotionally stable. That’s due to the release of the endorphins which provide internal and external pain-relief. It supports a good flow of oxygen into our brain to prevent us from having mental degradation. “Proper breathing techniques work on anxiety on a physiological level by automatically slowing your heart rate,” says Alice Boyes Ph.D.
Not all that, it detoxifies and releases toxins out from our body too. It also supports the lungs to become healthy so it can provide good insurance against respiratory problems as well. Aside from that, the technique can sustain an improved posture. It also improves stamina, increases blood quality, strengthens the immune system, and boosts energy levels.
Progressive Muscle Relaxation
Progressive muscle relaxation (PMR) is a technique that reduces muscle tension. As we continuously get ourselves busy every day and experience a lot of physical, emotional, and mental stress, our body accumulates the strain. There are times that we are not aware of our body’s condition, so we end up physically tired throughout the day. PMR is the best way to get rid of all the bodily pain we have. It contributes to addressing anxiety by reducing the manifestation of headaches and irritability. The simple process can start from clenching our hands for a few seconds and release them afterward. From there, we can move to the next muscle group such as upper arms, forearms, neck, shoulders, jaw or cheeks, chest, abdomen, buttocks, thighs, and toes. PMR is safe. But take note, the process can worsen pre-existing medical conditions. So before engaging in tensing of the muscle, consult a specialist.
The art of meditation connects from the old spiritual practice to the staple of modern self-care. That’s the reason why it is one of the best techniques that helps reduce anxiety. It supports the brain in seeking clarity and enlightenment. It provides an overall break from the stress of the outside world and encourages the art of sustained inward focus and calmness. With meditation, the brain’s natural rhythm begins to shift and provides us with an active thought. Its deep concentration supports different regions of the brain to help regulate attention. So instead of worrying about something, our brain finds a way to control awareness of our mind, body, and emotions. Meditation has gone a long way, and it proves to relieve stress, improve moods, and ease symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Cognitive Behavior Therapy
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is the best treatment for anxiety. The process primarily focuses on our thoughts and how it affects us emotionally and behaviorally. Because when we are anxious, we can look at things differently. We begin to picture scenarios and evaluate them to become negative. With that, the role of CBT is to let us know and find the connection between our thoughts and current mood. From there, we can start to have positive control over negative emotions to support the change in our behavior. Aside from that, it also addresses issues such as panic disorders, PSTD, sleep disorders, and even depression. “PTSD comes from some type of traumatic event,” said Colleen Cira, PsyD., a psychologist. “It can include things like war, car accidents, rape, physical assault, or even verbal and emotional abuse,” she added.
CBT’s process gets highly recommended because it is safe and effective. It proves to be one of the best methods that treat generalized and social anxiety disorders and other mental illnesses.
It is essential to understand and know how to slow down and relax. But we have to note that not all of these techniques work with all people. Some of them require other ways of treatment and consulting a professional health expert is a must before trying to consider lifestyle alterations.