Types of Relaxation

Finding an effective relaxation technique may take time as different techniques will suit different people. The relaxation technique used by someone to help them get to sleep will be different from that required by someone who is looking for a way to revitalise themselves during the day.

The following list contains a few examples, but there are many more.

Deep Breathing

Most of the time we do not think about breathing. However, focusing on how you breathe and creating a slow, deep and even pattern will help you to feel calmer and more relaxed and can create a distraction from the causes of stress.

Visualisation Techniques

Visualisation involves using the imagination to go to a relaxing place. This could be somewhere you have previously visited, somewhere seen on the television or in a magazine or something entirely from your imagination. The knack with this technique is focusing on all the senses to experience in detail what can be seen, heard, smelt, tasted and felt within the chosen scene.

Some people find the use of gentle background music or photos of places with happy memories helpful and there are also tapes available that guide the listener through relaxing scenes. Finding the right combination of voice, speed of speaking, music and subject matter that works for you may take some experimentation.

Muscular Relaxation

There are a number of specific techniques that concentrate on relaxing muscle groups. In addition to producing a feeling of calmness and relaxation, these techniques help you to identify areas of the body where tension is held. However if you have existing problems with spasticity or stiffness in limbs, discuss this with a health professional before trying a muscle relaxation technique.

There are a number of books that detail techniques. Whilst the specifics of exercises may differ, the basics are the same.

  • Set aside time to concentrate on the exercises.
  • Lie or sit comfortably. You may prefer relaxing music to be playing.
  • Spend time concentrating on breathing