Stress Relief

Common Relaxation Techniques for Stress Relief Living in todays world can be stressful. Hectic work schedules, heavy school timetables, a multitude of deadlines, demands from significant others, to name a few, are some of the issues that most of us have to manage on an almost daily basis.

Too much stress experienced over a sustained period of time, with insufficient coping strategies can result in wear and tear to the body. Over the longer term, both emotional and physical wellbeing can be affected. Inability to contain your inner tension may also result in collateral damage to interpersonal relationships and work performance.

Tell Tale Signs of Excessive Stress When a person is under excessive stress, he / she may experience the following:

A. Psychological Arousal

– Increased irritability and easy frustration

– Sensitivity to noise

– Restlessness

– Irrational and/or excessive emotional reactions

– Sense of dread for the future

– Poor concentration

– Recurrent worrying thoughts

B. Physical Symptoms

– Sleep disturbances e.g. insomnia, night terrors

– Tension Headache

– Hair loss

– Back, shoulder or neck ache

– Heartburn or upset stomach

– Constipation or diarrhoea

– Hyperventilation or feeling of being short of breath

– Palpitations

– Sweaty palms

– Cold hands / feet

– More frequent colds or flu

– Lower libido and/or other reproductive problems

– Irritable Bowel Syndrome

– Skin conditions e.g. eczema, urticaria, psoriasis

C. Relationship and/or Work Problems

– Dislike for social activities

– Increased arguments

– Domestic or workplace relationship conflicts

– Frequent job switches or persistently thinking about leaving your job

– Road rage

D. Behavioural changes

– Smoking more cigarettes or consuming more alcohol than you used to.

– Participating in high-risk behaviours e.g. speeding, unsafe sexual practices, gambling etc to feel “alive”

Relaxation Techniques

Relaxation techniques are an essential part of stress management.

These simple techniques aim to bring about relaxation to help the body neutralize the toxic effects of stress, restore balance and improve health.

For some, simply listening to their favourite music, exercising or taking a nature walk may be effective enough to reduce stress levels. Others, however, may require more focused techniques. Some of the more commonly used techniques include:

1. Deep Breathing for Stress Relief

Deep breathing is a quick relaxation technique that is both simple to learn and easy to practice in most situations. This technique focuses on breathing deeply from the abdomen to get in as much fresh air as possible into your lungs. Apart from this revitalising effect, deep breathing also stimulates slower brain waves that occur when one is relaxed.