When we’re feeling stressed, worried, angry or scared, our body might feel uncomfortable. We might start shaking, sweating, and our muscles might tighten. Our breathing might become more rapid and shallow and we may experience an increased heart rate. To combat this, we can use relaxation techniques.
There are lots of different relaxation techniques and these are often more effective when practised on a regular basis. Here are just a few relaxation techniques for you to try out:
5-4-3-2-1: this is known as a grounding technique as it grounds you back into the present moment and helps you focus on what’s going on right now.
It involves identifying:
5 things you can see around you
4 things you can feel (e.g. the feeling of your feet on the hard floor)
3 things you can hear (e.g. cars in the distance or birds chirping outside)
2 things you can smell
1 thing you can taste
Square breathing: this is an example of a breathing technique. In almost every room you will be able to find a square that you can use to help you practise this technique.
All you need to do is breathe in for a count of 3 along one side of the square, hold for 3 along the next side, exhale for a count of 3 on the next, and hold for a count of 3 on the final side.
Continue doing this for a few minutes until you feel your body easing and relaxing.
Tense and release: when we’re stressed, we may not recognise that our body is holding tension. Using this technique, you can learn to differentiate between tension and relaxation.
This involves going through each area of our body and tensing that area while breathing deeply before totally relaxing that area again. You could start from the bottom up: your feet, calves, thighs, and so on.
Click here for a link to an audio clip to guide you through this technique.
There are lots of other relaxation techniques out there too! You can find more by google searching or getting in touch with us!