Relaxation Techniques For Anxiety

GinaMarie Guarino, LMHC GinaMarie Guarino, LMHC

Published on July 3rd, 2021

Relaxation Techniques For Anxiety

Stress can be powerful, but it is a part of life. Everyone feels stressed about different things, and the symptoms affect each person differently. Prolonged or unmanaged stress can lead to anxiety, which affects how you go about your day. Some people are more prone to stress and anxiety than others, and a major part of managing stress is to make sure you have proper relaxation skills. Relaxation skills help you cope with the stressors in your day.

To manage stress, it is important to know relaxation techniques. Relaxation techniques help balance the sensation of stress so it is more manageable and less intrusive in your life. With regular use of helpful relaxation techniques, you can learn how to manage stress, which will help to reduce feelings of anxiety. 

There are many different kinds of relaxation techniques, and not all of them involve simply lounging or resting. Relaxation techniques can also be active, mindful, and reflective. The best place to start when finding useful relaxation for yourself is to find a technique that helps you feel at peace in the present moment. 

The following are relaxation techniques that can be helpful for managing stress and anxiety. Consider trying out each of these relaxation techniques to help reduce stress and manage anxiety symptoms.

Meditation

Meditation is a powerful relaxation technique that can help with managing stress. Meditation helps with reducing stress. It also helps with managing other feelings, like anxiety, depression, and anger. 

It is assumed that meditation involves sitting still for a period of time and trying to clear your mind of thoughts, but this is not the case. Many forms of meditation use different processes that may fit your relaxation needs. They may be still or keep you moving and often incorporate a guided process into its practice.

Meditative practices that involve movement or a guided process include:

  • Meditative or mindful walking
  • Yoga
  • Tai Chi
  • Guided imagery meditation
  • Visualization practices

When working to incorporate meditation practices into your life, it is important to stay patient and open to new ideas. Meditation practices can be relaxing, as long as you find value in the experience. Meditation techniques include:

  • Self-reflection
  • Muscle relaxation
  • Mantras
  • Deep breathing
  • Visualization techniques

Breathwork

Breathwork is an excellent form of relaxation. The sensation of consciously taking clean air into your body while focusing on the movement of your breath can be a rewarding experience for those who are struggling with stress and anxiety. Deep breathing exercises can be helpful with relieving anxiety and panic and help the body feel rejuvenated and powerful. 

When we are uncomfortable or stressed, our breathing tends to shallow. This causes muscle tension and pain in different areas of our body without us even realizing it. Deep and conscious breathing helps to slow down the mind and body. It also helps to relieve muscle pain and quiet racing or uncomfortable thoughts. 

Breathwork has the added benefit of being discrete. It can be performed without others noticing and does not require a private or quiet space. Because of this, deep breathing practices can be very helpful when dealing with anxiety and panic in the moment. It helps calm the body and mind quickly and without resistance.

Mindful Walking

Mindful walking can be a rewarding experience when working on relaxation. Not everyone enjoys sitting still or resting as a relaxation technique, and that’s okay! An alternative to meditation, breathwork, or other stationary relaxation practices is mindful walking. Mindful walking is also simple and only involves taking a walk.

To practice mindful walking, be sure to pay attention to the sensations you experience while on your walk. Take in the smells, sights, and sounds, and try to focus on the present moment. Focus on your steps and reflect on the thoughts that come up while on your walk. Mindful walking is a great method of burning energy while decompressing from a long day.

If staying mindful while walking feels tedious or boring, it is okay to make modifications to make the experience more enjoyable. You may consider listening to music or a podcast while walking, or enjoying a walk with a friend.

Body Scans

Our body holds tension and stress in different places. Some people hold stress in their neck and shoulders, while others hold their stress in their abdomen and hips. Body scans can be helpful because they force you to become aware of your stress and focus on consciously relieving the tension it causes in your body. Body scans target areas in your body that need to relax and through tension and release practices, help you relieve the tension.

It is helpful to complete a body scan with the guidance of a mental health professional at first. He or she will be able to instruct you on how to complete a body scan. After you have mastered the technique with their guidance, you will be able to perform the scan on your own when needed.

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