Top 10 Simple Relaxation Techniques for Holistic Stress Management

10 Simple relaxation techniques

Benefits of Relaxation Techniques
Relaxation techniques are a central component of any effective stress management program since they can counter the body’s stress response by activating its relaxation response.

This helps reduce the symptoms of stress and results in the following beneficial effects in the body:
1. Reduced blood pressure
2. Reduced heart rate
3. Reduced respiration rate
4. Reduced muscle tension
5. Reduced anger
6. Improved concentration
7. Improved sleep 
8. Reduced circulating stress hormones
9. Release of endorphins which help a person feel good
10. Reduced frequency and severity of migraines and tension headaches

The top 10 relaxation techniques which can help you reap these health benefits are:

Abdominal Breathing 
Abdominal breathing is one of the fastest way to counteract the stress response. It is also a discrete relaxation technique since it can be practiced at anytime and in any place whenever and wherever stress strikes. It is thus an essential ingredient of any stress management training.

To practice this relaxation technique loosen your clothing and lie down in a quiet place. Take a deep breath through your nose until you feel your abdomen rising, hold your breath for a few seconds and then exhale completely until your abdomen falls.

Getting adequate sleep is an effortless way to relax and manage stress since sleep rests the mind and rejuvenates the body. Therefore aim for at least 7 hours of sleep each night to avoid sleep deprivation. 

If you have a tendency to ponder over your problems once you get into bed, meditate on the fact that Unless God builds the house, the workers labor in vain. Unless God guards the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. It is therefore useless to rise up early or to sit up late eating the bread of sorrows because God gives His beloved sleep. (Psalm 127:1-2)

In the night His song will be with me Psalm 42:8

Christian Meditation 
Meditation is another wonderful relaxation technique whose benefits are cumulative. Therefore schedule at least 10 minutes each morning or evening or even twice a day to meditate your stress away. 

For the best results, choose a Scripture that speaks to your stressful situation and then focus your entire attention on it. 

For example if you are stressed by the daunting challenges facing you, meditate on I can do all things through Jesus Christ who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13) Focus on this Bible verse until you believe it and feel its truth renewing your mind and percolating your entire being. 

I can do all things through Jesus Christ Who strengthens me Philippians 4:13

Getting a Massage 
A massage is very effective relaxation technique since it reduces muscle tension.
Therefore, schedule regular professional massages and get the kinks ironed out of your body and psyche. You can also massage your own scalp, temples and other parts of your body that are within your easy reach.

Enhance your massage experience by using massage oils containing relaxing essential oils like lavender and chamomile essential oils since Ointments and perfumes delight the heart. (Proverbs 27:9) 

Ointments and perfumes delight the heart Proverbs 27:9

Engaging in Complementary Hobbies 
Engaging in an enjoyable hobby that complements your day job is another perfect way to relax and manage stress. It is also an essential key of workplace stress management training since it can help you achieve work/life balance.

Therefore, identify a hobby that complements your job and engage in it at least once a week. For example if your job entails mental concentration with minimal physical activity, engage in physically challenging hobbies like playing basketball or tennis.

If you work with machines and computers with minimal human interaction, engage in group activities such as singing in a choir. 

If your work entails responding to people's demands as a customer service representative, engage in solitary activities like reading or blogging.

If your work involves a lot of mental stress, engage in calm, meditative activities like knitting, crocheting or painting since they divert your mind from the stress and keep it present in the moment. 

Drinking Herbal Teas
Herbal teas are the perfect drinks to sip when you are stressed since they can help you relax without intoxicating you.

Therefore sip soothing teas made from herbs like chamomile, lavender and passionflower to help you calm down after a stressful day. 

To brew your own relaxing herbal tea, steep a teaspoon of these herbs in a cup of boiling water for 10 minutes, sweeten it with honey and drink it to melt mental tension. 

Exercise Aerobically  
Regular aerobic exercise reduces the levels of stress hormones circulating in your body and thereby reduces your chances of developing stress related sicknesses. It also results in the release of endorphins which make you feel better.

Therefore, identify an aerobic exercise you enjoy like brisk walking, jogging, skipping a rope, dancing, swimming, basketball or spinning classes at your local gym and then engage in it for a total of 2 hours each week.

Singing is another effective relaxation technique since it reduces tension. Singing Christian praises to God is even more powerful for managing stress than singing secular songs because God is ethroned in praises (Psalm 22:3) and He can help you manage your stressful situation as you praise Him.

Therefore, schedule time every day to sing your heart out to God right in the middle of your stressful situation since it can shake the foundations of your stressful situation just as it did for Paul and Silas when they were praising God while imprisoned in Acts 16.

Enter His gates with thanksgiving. Enter His courts with praise Proverbs 100:4

Stretching exercises are a valuable relaxation technique since we tense our muscles when we are stressed and stretching the muscles releases the tension leaving us feeling relaxed.

Therefore, stretch for 10 minutes twice a day either early in the morning or late in the evening or just before or after your aerobic exercise sessions. 

As you stretch, focus on the muscles that get tense when you are stressed like your neck and shoulder muscles as this will prevent stress related neck pains and back pains. 

Visualization or guided imagery is another effective stress management technique. It involves imagining yourself out of the stressful situation (pun intended).

Therefore, schedule time to regularly take yourself to your dream stress-free situation. If that means lounging at the beach, close your eyes and see the expansive blue sea stretching in front of you with the sun smiling on it, hear the waves lapping on the beach, feel the refreshing ocean spray misting your feet, taste and smell the tropical coconut drink in your hand and feel the tension and stress evaporating from your mind. 

Establish a Relaxation Routine
Establishing a relaxation routine can help you reduce the distressing and disease causing symptoms of stress. 

To establish and maintain an effective Relaxation Routine you have to commit a specific time each day for practicing the relaxation techniques, choose a quiet place where you can practice your relaxation techniques without interruptions and pick some physical and mental relaxation techniques that you practice in sequence for maximum relaxation. 

For example you can stretch for 10 minutes, practice abdominal breathing for 5 minutes and then meditate for 15 minutes. 

These relaxation techniques have been adapted from our book Rules of Relaxation

If you appreciate our work Please buy How to Fight for Your Health with Bible Verses

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