The benefits of relaxation techniques help and affect your Epigenetics
When faced with numerous responsibilities and tasks or the demands of an illness, relaxation techniques may take a back seat in your life. But that means you might miss out on the health benefits of relaxation.
Practice relaxation techniques, this will reduce stress symptoms by:
Slowing your heart rate
Lowering blood pressure
Slowing your breathing rate
Reducing activity of stress hormones
Increasing blood flow to major muscles
Reducing muscle tension and chronic pain
Improving concentration and mood
Reducing anger and frustration
Boosting confidence to handle problems
These are some tips for relaxation exercises:
- Try to practice whichever exercise you prefer at least once or twice a day. Expect your ability to relax to improve as you continue practicing and expect to practice two or three weeks before you become genuinely proficient. Once you learn how to do one of the exercises, you may no longer require the recorded instructions and you can tailor the exercise to your own liking.
- Avoid practicing within an hour before or after a meal (either hunger or feeling full may distract you). Also, avoid practicing immediately after engaging in vigorous exercise.
- Sit quietly and in a comfortable position, with your legs uncrossed and your arms resting at your sides. This is especially important when you are first learning the exercise.
- Adopt a calm and accepting attitude towards your practice. Don’t worry about how well you’re doing or about possible interruptions. Instead, know that with repetition your ability to relax will grow.
- When you are ready, close your eyes, begin listening to the recording and follow the directions. As you complete the exercise, you can expect your mind to wander a bit when this happens you can simply re-direct your focus back to the recording.
- Once you’ve finished, stretch, look around and remain still another minute or two.
- As you become more skilled, try applying the exercises to specific situations that might otherwise be anxiety provoking, such as tests, oral presentations, difficult social situations, job interviews, insomnia and so forth.
Steps to Elicit the Relaxation Response
1. Sit quietly in a comfortable position.
2. Close your eyes.
3. Deeply relax all your muscles,
beginning at your feet and progressing up to your face.
Keep them relaxed.
4. Breathe through your nose.
Become aware of your breathing.
As you breathe out, say the word, “one”*,
silently to yourself. For example,
breathe in … out, “one”,- in .. out, “one”, etc.
Breathe easily and naturally.
5. Continue for 10 to 20 minutes.
You may open your eyes to check the time, but do not use an alarm.
When you finish, sit quietly for several minutes,
at first with your eyes closed and later with your eyes opened.
Do not stand up for a few minutes.
6. Do not worry about whether you are successful in achieving a
deep level of relaxation.
Maintain a passive attitude and permit relaxation to occur at its own pace.
When distracting thoughts occur,
try to ignore them by not dwelling on them
and return to repeating “one.”
With practice, the response should come with little effort.
Practice the technique once or twice daily,
but not within two hours after any meal,
since the digestive processes seem to interfere with
the elicitation of the Relaxation Response.