Relaxation To Ease Anxiety

The ability to relax is the core of any program aimed at overcoming anxiety,  panic attacks and phobias. Relaxation means more than sitting on the couch  watching TV or taking a quick bath before falling into bed at night, these  practices may make you feel a little relaxed but for relaxation to make a  difference to anxiety and panic disorder it needs to be regular, usually daily  practice of deep relaxation.

Deep relaxation is known to involve a sequence of physiological changes which  would include:

  • Reduction in blood pressure
  • Reduction in rate of breathing
  • Reduction in heart rate
  • Reduction in muscle tension
  • Reduction in oxygen use
  • Increase in alpha wave brain activity
  • Increase in skin resistance

 

Regular use of deep relaxation for 30 minutes a day will lead in time to a  general relaxation in the rest of your daily life, meaning that after a number  of weeks practicing deep relaxation at least once a day you will tend to feel  more relaxed all of the time.

Other benefits of deep relaxation include:

  • Decrease in generalized anxiety
  • Decrease in severity and frequency of panic attacks
  • Increase in energy level
  • Improved memory and concentration
  • Better sleep patterns
  • Decrease in tiredness
  • Prevention of headaches and other disorders such as ulcers and asthma
  • Increased self confidence – you perform better when you are  relaxed

 

Some methods of achieving deep relaxation are:

  • Abdominal breathing – a method of breathing deeply from the abdomen
  • Meditation
  • Progressive muscle relaxation
  • Visualization – usually a peaceful scene
  • Guided imagery
  • Sensory deprivation
  • Autogenic training
  • Biofeedback

 

Practising deep relaxation involves more than just learning a method, it  requires a shift in lifestyle and attitude, an eagerness to prioritize your  health and peace of mind over other pressing matters such as money or  status.

Some excuses commonly used for not allocating time everyday for deep  relaxation are:

  • “I don’t have the time, I’m too busy” – you must prioritize and make the  time
  • “I don’t have anywhere to relax” – another excuse, if you are determined you  will find a place
  • “Relaxation is boring” – you need to slow down, it’s good for you
  • “I don’t have the discipline required for deep relaxation” – this normally  means you haven’t given it enough time to become a habit, persevere, it will get  better

 

If you learn to take the time out each day to practice deep relaxation you  will see the benefits accruing over the longer term, your anxiety or panic  attacks will start to diminish in severity and frequency and you will feel so  much better in yourself.

© Andrew Tudor Jones