Overcome Stress – Mental Health

As you all know that the time to relax is when you don’t have time for it!!!

Would you like to be more focused in your work? Would you like to get
more accomplished? Would you like to feel more comfortable in your
relationship with others and with yourself? Then relax…

In a sense, most of us are aware of the need to relax, and have found
some ways to “relax”. The only problem is that many of the activities
that people consider to be relaxing are, in fact not relaxing at all.
Some relaxation is just pausing, a temporary escape from stress that
leaves us no more able to cope with stress positively. For example,
drinking coffee or alcohol, smoking and the like are socially approved
ways of relaxing, but it must be stressed that these are not effective
ways to relax.

Recent research has demonstrated the preventive power of relaxation. In
one study, people who relaxed daily for 20 minutes had a significantly
higher degree of physical and mental well being as compared to those who
did not relax.

The elements that characterize true relaxation are:

1. The heart rate slows and becomes even.
2. Breathing becomes deeper and more even.
3. Muscles loosen and relax.
4. The mind feels at peace.
5. The body has energy for at least several hours of work.
6. The entire body and mind feels refreshed.

People who relaxed daily for 20 minutes had a significantly higher
degree of physical and mental well being as compared to those who did
not relax.

Relaxation techniques can be used for different purposes. We can relax
to pause as well as to release tensions. We can increase our energy
level, dissipate a negative feeling or emotion, and even create a
positive mood. We can also use some methods to rest briefly in order to
gain temporary energy when we have not had enough sleep. Finally we can
use these methods to calmly handle tasks either at work or at home, to
cope positively to stress.

There are different techniques to suit the above needs.

Quick relaxation technique.
Breathing exercises
Guided imagery and visualization.
Progressive relaxation technique.
Nature tuning
One can practice the above relaxation exercises after learning them from
a competent instructor.

Benefits of relaxation:

Relaxation energizes the body and mind.
Relaxation helps to strengthen the immune system.
Relaxation lowers the blood pressure in many people and so decreases the
likelihood of stroke and heart attack.
Relaxation gives a break from things and lowers activity within the
limbic system of the brain, the emotional center.
Relaxation helps one to be creative.

For emotional problems, counselling is recommended. And the relaxation
exercises help to soothe and calm the mind and to overcome the negative
effects of emotional stress.

Here is a simple relaxation technique, which will take just a minute and
you can practise it wherever you are.

Breathe in through your nostrils to the count of three.
Breathe out through your mouth to the count of six.
Practise this about 5 times whenever you feel tensed or stressed.

A small practical tip from ShantManas.org is:

Check yourself often. Don’t get obsessive about it, but throughout the
day, check to see if your muscles are as relaxed as they can be. Take a
deep, slow breath, and let go. Don’t take more than 30-60 seconds to do
this. With practice you can do it in 15 seconds.

Find out more on ShantManas Health Forum.