Relaxation is a useful technique as it helps us to cope more efficiently in everyday life. It does not require strenuous exercise or medications. It just needs a little time each day for regular practice in order to understand the basic principles of “letting go’” and allowing the body to function as efficiently as possible.
Relaxation can help
- To relieve aches and pains
- To improve physical performance
- To enrich personal relationships and reduce stress levels between people
- To lower excessive anxiety levels
A certain amount of tension in our muscles is essential to maintain our posture and a degree of stress is necessary to help us function efficiently. But it is important to recognise excessive fatigue, pain and stress levels and try to reduce them.
There are many ways to relax so try them all and see which suits you best. Try the following techniques:
Tighten a group of muscles as much as possible, then relax them completely and feel the difference between tension and relaxation. Start at your feet and work your way up the body till you reach your face, tighten each set of muscles in turn and try to let all the tension go out of them.
While relaxed with your eyes closed try to visualise a pleasant scene such as a beach or a garden where you can feel comfortably warm and relaxed. Try to concentrate on things that will make you feel calm and peaceful.
Loosen tight clothing then lie or sit comfortably so that you are fully supported. Close your eyes and without moving, try to concentrate on each muscle group in turn and let it relax as much as possible, starting at your feet and working up to your head and face. Spend two minutes thinking of your breathing and letting your whole body relax a little more with each breath out, then repeat the sequence two or three times more, so that the session lasts for about 15 minutes. When you move, get up slowly and try to keep this calm feeling going for as long as possible.
Adjustment of lifestyle
- Slow down, set yourself lower and more realistic standards, and reserve some of your energy. Put less energy into your chores; give yourself short breaks between activities.
- Don’t feel guilty about giving yourself more time and consideration, because if you feel better you will cope more efficiently with the important items in life.
- Try listening to quiet and gentle music.
- Take up a new hobby or go out and meet people with similar interests.
- Above all be positive, concentrate on what you can do and don’t waste time on negative thoughts.
Who can I contact for help?
Neurological physiotherapy on 01223 217568
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Cambridge University Hospitals
NHS Foundation Trust
Hills Road, Cambridge
Telephone +44 (0)1223 245151