Relaxation is a voluntary release of tension. This tension can be physical tension in the muscles or a mental (psychological) tension. When we relax physically, the impulses that are triggered in different nerves of the muscles change the nature of the signal sent to the brain. This change brings a general sense of calm, both physical and mental. Muscle relaxation has both physical and psychological benefits. Relaxation training teaches you to recognize tension and achieve deep relaxation, but it takes at least two months to exercise daily. Everyone can learn how to relax.
The muscles are shaped to be in a relaxed state until some activity is required. Under normal circumstances, the muscles do not remain in a state of intense tension all the time but are activated and deactivated as needed by a particular person. The fight-flight reaction also results in muscle tension. When a person is stressed for a prolonged time, the muscles remain tense for too long, and muscle fatigue and pain can occur. Often, people do not recognize tension and relaxation. As a result of high levels of muscle tension, a person may feel tense from the inside out.
When a person is frequently tense, they are also more prone to panic attacks, as the body is already highly activated. A small event, such as a traffic jam, can trigger even more tension – which in turn leads to hyperventilation and panic. Constant tension makes a person more sensitive, and responds to fewer and fewer events, as would responding to threatening, threatening events.
Apart from the tension that leads to the development of panic attacks, it also leads to a whole host of other health (physical and psychological) negative consequences. By learning how you can relax, you can also reduce levels of irritability and tension, and gain control over your anxiety and your health in general.
As there is always the other side of the coin, it is worth noting that not every tension is bad. Although most of the daily tension is unnecessary, increasing the tension is good, for example, when playing tennis or before talking to work.
Tension is unnecessary when it does not have any warning function, if it is too high concerning the tension required for a particular activity, if it remains high after the situation that caused the tension has already passed.
To be able to better control anxiety, emotions, and overall physical well-being, it is important to learn to relax. To do this, you must learn to recognize tension, learn to relax the body in a general, complete way, learn to release tension from certain muscles. Some of the very successful methods are relaxation through hypnotherapy, autogenic training, progressive muscle relaxation, etc. Clinical hypnotherapists have been trained to implement methods such as progressive muscle relaxation, special breathing methods, and various other techniques to help each person find the best way of relaxation.
“TENSION IS WHAT YOU THINK YOU SHOULD BE. RELAXATION IS WHAT YOU ALREADY DO.” – Chinese proverb
Progressive Muscle Relaxation
Progressive muscle relaxation involves muscles that progressively loosen, gradually working on each muscle group in the body. This exercise is done at least once a day to achieve good results. Exercise requires a quiet room, minimal interruption during exercise, so you can concentrate fully on relaxation. You can explain the exercises to your family and they will not interrupt you. Cosy up in an armchair or a comfortable chair. It is best when you have a headrest and shoulders. You can also simply place the pillows on the wall and sit on the floor. Some people like to lie down while doing this exercise, but if you notice you fall asleep during exercise, you prefer to sit down. You cannot learn to relax while you sleep. Sleeping is not the same as relaxing. Exercise, like hypnotherapy, should not be listened to while driving or in any other activity requiring high concentration as it leads to a state of relaxation that is not suitable in such a situation. Some people feel uncomfortable while doing exercise. This means that they have not learned to relax, so the exercise of relaxation is even more useful for them.
Important facts about relaxation training
Relaxation is a skill – it improves with frequent and regular exercise
It is useful to practice relaxation whenever tension is felt
It is good to develop a habit of responding to tension by relaxing.
No need to strain the muscles to the level of discomfort or hold the tension for more than 7 seconds.
Some exercises focus on releasing tension from the target muscles, which are strained during certain situations – for example, while working on a computer or waiting in line.
By using relaxation exercises daily, after a few weeks you will be able to reduce tension and prevent excessive nervousness and increase self-control and confidence.
Some people find that they cannot relax or that they cannot exercise. Since all humans have the same biological equipment, there is no purely physical reason that some may and may not relax. Usually, the reason is on an emotional basis or the person has not learned to relax. Everyone can overcome these problems.
Some people find that they are too tense to relax. There is no reason why one might not relax – it may just take a little longer.
About 10% of people say that they are not feeling well during relaxation. These feelings are a sign that they are in contact with their body and they notice the sensations they have been suppressing for a very long time.
Some people feel guilty because they “waste” so much time on themselves. Learning to relax is an important part of recovery. If you want to live a good life and be a good partner, parent or employee – you must take care of yourself and your well-being principally. The inability to relax has a bad effect in the long run, which is transmitted to all other parts of life, but also the people around us.
It is an exaggeration to expect that relaxation exercises will help after a few training sessions. It takes several weeks to exercise – the optimum result is achieved after 8 weeks, but the effect is very positive and beneficial for the whole body as well as our mental health.
Be persistent! Only persistence and practice lead to the greatest goals. But the first step needs to be done – and then one needs to continue walking. Whatever happens, just go one step at a time – no matter how small. And the tiniest step means that you kept walking and that you will keep going towards your goal.
Working on yourself is never a waste of time. By working on ourselves, we enrich not only our own lives, but also, directly or indirectly, other people’s lives. We only live once, so we need to do it the best we can!