Relaxation and Mindfulness

Relaxation and mindfulness techniques aren’t just in-the-moment fixes for anxiety and panic attacks; they also have long-term positive effects on the mind and body, without the side-effects of medications or the cost of therapy. Mindfulness, a kind of nonjudgmental self-awareness, works like a muscle. It can be trained to respond more efficiently and effectively each time you engage it, and increases in power with repeated practice. There are many ways mindfulness can become a part of your life, from mindful eating, to breathing exercises, to meditation.  Many therapists use breathing and mindful self-awareness techniques in their work with anxiety patients, but it is also possible to accomplish quite a lot on your own.

A list of some of the benefits of mindful relaxation from the Mayo Clinic:

 

  • Slowing your heart rate
  • Lowering blood pressure
  • Slowing your breathing rate
  • Reducing activity of stress hormones
  • Increasing blood flow to major muscles
  • Reducing muscle tension and chronic pain
  • Improving concentration and mood
  • Lowering fatigue
  • Reducing anger and frustration
  • Boosting confidence to handle problems

Here are some resources for various forms of mindful practice:

From the Mayo Clinic:

http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/stress-management/in-depth/relaxation-technique/art-20045368?pg=2

From HelpGuide:

http://www.helpguide.org/articles/stress/relaxation-techniques-for-stress-relief.htm

From NHS UK:

http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/pages/ways-relieve-stress.aspx

Resources for breathing exercises:

http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2013/07/22/reduce-your-anxiety-this-minute-3-different-types-of-deep-breathing/

http://www.anxietybc.com/sites/default/files/CalmBreathing.pdf

http://healthland.time.com/2012/10/08/6-breathing-exercises-to-relax-in-10-minutes-or-less/

 

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