Breathe in, breathe out: relaxation exercises
Everyone knows: stress is unhealthy for body & mind. It is therefore a good goal to experience as little stress as possible. The corona crisis has ensured that we have to take into account a capricious disease in our daily lives. Talk about stress. What relaxation exercises can you do if you find yourself under stress? You read it here.
When you feel tension, you notice this immediately in your breathing. When you are under stress, your breathing is high and you breathe quickly. When you focus on your breathing and can normalize it, you can release stress from your body. How? Read this step-by-step plan.
- You feel stress. Find a quiet spot. Standing or sitting, it doesn't matter.
- Close your eyes. Take a slow, deep breath. Focus on your breathing and don't let your mind wander. Concentrate completely on your breathing.
- Breathe in and out about 10 times. Exhale for 3 seconds and 5 seconds each time. This is a slow pace for breathing.
You can do this exercise for as long as you like. Usually about 10 repetitions are enough to regain a bit of calm.
Mantra: the power of repetition
If you say something to yourself often enough, you will believe it. It really is. A mantra is therefore nothing but a short sentence that you repeat to focus your thoughts. This is how you work:
- Choose a phrase that calms you down. No, not: 'I feel like chips', but more along the lines of: 'Everything will be fine', 'I can handle this', 'I am strong'.
- Repeat the sentence for as long as you need to calm down. Also pay attention to your breathing.
While the breathing exercises and the chanting of mantras are mainly focused on the mind, the body scan is mainly focused on the body. Stress manifests itself differently in everyone. For example, one suffers from troubled skin and another has difficulty going to the toilet. The body scan helps you to be aware of your body and to reduce stress. This is how you do it:
- Grab a seat. Sit down and put your feet firmly on the floor. Place your hands loosely and casually in your lap.
- Take a few deep breaths and exhale consciously. The same applies here: 3 seconds in, 5 seconds out.
- Count the number of reps you breathe. Every time you get to 10 you start again at 0. So it is not the intention to count to 100. Most importantly, focus on your breathing.
- After you are focused and relaxed you will start the real body scan. Work from top to bottom. Start at your head, then work your way down your shoulders, arms, hands, stomach, back, legs, feet and finish at your toes. During the body scan you focus on the feelings in your body. What feels nice? Are you relaxed or are there areas of tension? Do you feel positive or rather negative? Are you tired or energetic?
- By paying attention to such a source of tension, you recognize the tension. Which, if you are relaxed through the exercise, is sometimes enough to release the tension.
You can find these and more relaxation exercises at www.stresspro.nl. Founder Sander Touw shares via StressPro what he has done to overcome his own stress. On this website you can read everything from common causes of stress to relaxation exercises.