Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Relaxation Techniques

I started a support group today to help with recovery. Today we learned about stress relief and I thought I'd share what I learned.

Breathing Exercises:

Technique #1

* Inhale for 4 counts
* Hold for 7 counts
* Slowly let breath out for 8 counts

Technique #2

* Breath in by first filling bottom of lungs, then fill all the way to the top
* Let your breath out slowly while visualizing your tension flying out of your body.

You should do breathing exercises 3 to 5 times a day. More if your stress or anxiety level is higher.

Muscle Relaxation:

Technique #1:

* Tense & Relax - Tense the muscle that has stress and then relax it. Do this 5 or 6 times or until it completely relaxes

Technique #2:

* Body Scan - Star at the tip of your toes and work up to the top of your head. Scan all of your muscles for stress. Be sure not to forget your jaw muscles. When you find a stressed muscle, use your thought process to relax it.

Technique #3:

* Do breathing exercise #2, then make yourself limp. To help your body do this try image a cat lounging in the sun, or butter melting into a biscuit, etc.

Calcium supplements may help to ease stress. (Please consult your doctor before starting any supplements).

We also talked a little bit about "safe places." An example would be, for me, I like to think of lying on the beach with sand between my toes, while I listen to the waves roll onto shore. My other "safe place" is when I think of lying in the tall grass on my grandma's (RIP) property. I imagine the wind rustling the grass. I can hear the birds and the insects fluttering around.
One of the women in the group shared her safe place. She visualizes herself on the moon. She fills all the craters with sand, so no monsters can jump out. What was interesting though, is she always has a magical backpack with her. This magical backpack allows her to have anything she needs at her disposal. If she needs a person or object she can take it out of the backpack. When she's done, she can put it right back away.
I thought that was a really great idea. One I never would have thought of.

I hope you enjoyed my post and I really hope you may be able to use some of the information. May you get relief from your stress or anxiety.


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