Relaxation is one of the easiest ways of improving your mood, health and sense of wellbeing and is also an important factor when healing. Still, many people commonly overlook the power of relaxation. To be relaxed is to be at ease whereas dis-ease is to be ill. It's well known that all illness is caused by stress whatever form it takes. Stress causes tension and tension causes disease.
The cause(s) of not being at ease could be mental or emotional stress, it could be physical stress or it could environmental stress or a combination of several or all of them.
Physical stressis pressure on the body, mental/emotional stress is pressure on the mind/emotions and environmental stress can be caused by factors in the environment such as pollution or contamination. All illness is caused by stress; dis-ease.
Causes Of Tension
Many doctors, scientists and researchers have found that various serious illnesses are not only caused by pollutants and toxins in the environment but are also caused by geopathic stress. That is, the geological makeup of geographic areas has a direct effect on the health and wellbeing of the people who live there. This shouldn't really come as any surprise, as we all know that spending time at the beach or out in the countryside leaves you feeling a lot healthier and more refreshed than if you spent that time in the middle of a busy city with lots of traffic.
The fact that all illness is caused by various forms of tension is really what makes relaxation so powerful and therapeutic, yet many people don't realize it and don't really take the time to relax properly. By allowing yourself to relax, you are allowing yourself to be at ease, the opposite of dis-ease. Many researchers believe that being relaxed helps to alleviate any blockages in the flow of energy through your body.
Many people live such busy lives that they find it diffiult to 'switch off'. Relaxation techniques do not necessarily have to involve methods such as meditation or hypnosis/self-hypnosis. There are many other simple techniques which are a lot easier. The following are just a few examples:
A Walk In Nature
Something as simple as a walk through nature or the local park can be surprisingly beneficial. It's get you out in the fresh air among the trees and wildlife and in a refreshing environment. This doesn't have to be a moderate-to-fast walk either (although this is good exercise) but a gentle stroll can be quite calming and relaxing.
Combining this with good posture and breathing exercises can make it even more powerful. Walk with your back straight and your shoulders down and as you walk, take in deep breaths. Hold it in for a second or too and then as you exhale imagine any built-up tension being released from you. This simple exercise alone can make you feel grounded.
A simple stretch each morning after you get up and each night before you go to bed can be quite therapeutic and takes hardly any time. As soon as you get up in the morning, loosen your joints and relieve tension by moving your arms as though you're rowing a rowing boat then wiggle your shoulders back and forth and straighten your back.
To loosen up your lower joints, simply bend and straighten your legs a few times (one leg at a time, obviously) and maybe do a few squats. Repeat these same simple exercises in the evening before you go to bed and in a few days you'll begin to feel much more at ease. After a few weeks, you will notice a remarkable difference in your sense of health and wellbeing.
Tense & Release
Another simple exercise which can be done before going to sleep is a simple tense and release exercise.
When you get into bed, before going to sleep, take a deep breath in and then tense all
When you use this exercise, you can either tense all your muscles at the same time or you can start with your neck and shoulders first, then your arms, torso, legs, etc until you've gone through your entire body. Not only does this exercise alleviate any built-up tension but it also causes your body to produce endorphins which further help you to relax.
Fairly similar to self-hyposis but without inducing a hypnotic trance, this is a simple technique which utilizes your five main senses. Before you go to sleep, simply close your eyes and imagine yourself lying on a beach somewhere desirable such as a small desert island. Once you're imagining yourself in that place, you then use your internal representational systems; sight, hearing, smell, touch, taste and feeling.
To do this, start with your visual system by imaging what the sand looks like, what the water looks like, what the sky looks like, the clouds, the birds etc. Then you incorporate your hearing by imagining the sounds of the waves of the sea, of the birds tweeting, the sound of the breeze, etc. After this, any pleasant or fresh odours from the sea, the fresh air, etc and then the feeling of the warmth of the sun, the gentle breeze on your skin, etc. To bring in taste, you could imagine yourself with an ice cold drink to keep you hydrated.
Essentially, what you are doing is making use of your five senses to create a place of relaxation in your mind which can visit at any time in the future when you need to get away and relax. The reason this technique works so well is due to a phenomenon called ideomotion, or the ideomotor effect. Your body physiologically responds to whatever you hold in your mind and makes subtle unnoticeable impulses towards it.
Many people choose to use music to help them relax and indeed music is a form of vibration which helps bring things back into balance. Dr Masaru Emoto came to the conclusion that music is of a vibration which can not only help people to heal but can also help heal the world. Some people choose to listen to relaxing pan pipe music, others may choose to listen dolphin sounds (which would help with visualizing yourself relaxing on a desert island).
Some people may simply choose to listen to their favourite relaxing songs whereas other may choose subliminal MP3's which contain embedded suggestions that are absorbed by the subconscious. Personally, the track Marooned by Pink Floyd has always been a favourite for relaxing and relieving tension.
The above five techniques are incredibly simple, they are not strenuous and they are easy for anyone to achieve and practice on a regular basis. After just one or two weeks of utilizing these techniques, you will start to feel much healthier, much more at ease and will notice a remarkable difference which will leave you feeling more refreshed, alert and alive.
These exercises can either be used one at a time, or can be used simultaneously in conjunction with each other for an even more powerful effect. Try experimenting with them and find out which works best for you personally.