Sunday, January 25, 2009

Relaxation techniques for anxiety.

Uneasiness, apprehension and worry are feelings with which most are familiar. In fact, according to the National Institute of Mental Health, roughly one in five Americans aged 18 and older suffer from an anxiety disorder in a given year -- that's 40 million Americans.While understanding just how far these mental malignancies reach is important, learning how to get the help you need is the ultimate goal. However, the very nature of anxiety itself makes it hard for sufferers to reach out. So here's to hoping that we can help with a few relaxation training techniques for anxiety. The following is a quick review of four of the most effective relaxation training techniques for anxiety. This is no hocus-pocus; these techniques proved highly effective in a recent review of all clinical trials on relaxation training conducted over the last 10 years. The best part: You can master some of these techniques on your own, although undergoing training under the guidance of a registered therapist is still recommended.
Jacobson's Progressive Muscle RelaxationDeveloped by American physician Edmund Jacobson in the early 1920s, progressive muscle relaxation (PMR) is a popular relaxation training technique for anxiety that works on several basic principles: Anxiety is often accompanied by muscle tension, so by reducing muscle tension, you can reduce anxiety.What it involves: This relaxation training technique for anxiety requires deep concentration in a relaxed setting. Mentally focus on distinct muscles, muscle groups or body parts and systematically attempt to relax each, one by one. The process is often called body scanning. Body scanning is a great way to relax
muscles prior to or after physically working out as well.Time commitment: It requires five to 10 minutes. Do it once a day at first, then as required (although continuing PMR daily is never a bad idea). Verbal instructions can be taped to help you proceed.
Autogenic TrainingDeveloped by German psychiatrist Johannes Schultz, autogenic training is a more comprehensive relaxation training technique for anxiety than PMR, although underlying mechanisms are very similar. What it involves: Autogenic training involves six standard exercises that make the body feel warm, heavy and relaxed. Visual imagery and body awareness are commonly used.Time commitment: This takes about five to 10 minutes to complete, and it should be repeated several times a day and may take about four to six months to master. Some may require the help of a trained therapist to deliver instructions, although taped instructions may be sufficient.
Applied RelaxationFirst described by Lars-Göran Öst, applied relaxation is really a combination of stress management techniques that focus on identifying signs of anxiety and learning ways to overcome anxiety. The focus is on teaching patients to relax increasingly quickly and to apply relaxation techniques during daily activity. Near the end of training, patients are often gradually exposed to feared situations to practice application. What it involves: Techniques include self-observation, progressive relaxation, release-only relaxation, cue-controlled relaxation, differential relaxation, rapid relaxation, and application training.Ease your mind with these relaxation training techniques for anxiety.

Vespers Relaxation Therapy!
Feeling over-whelmed? Nerves frazzled? Need to chill? You need some 'me time'. Follow these simple, but effective tips and feel the tension and stress ebb away and peace and relaxation blanket you.
Now, put on some chilled music, draw the drapes, dim the lights. Pour yourself a glass or have a herbal tea. Climb onto the cosy bed, lie on your back, with your arms by your sides, palms uppermost and close your eyes. Starting with your toes, concentrate on each part of your body and imagine it getting heavier and heavier, breathing deeply in and out, in and out and feel the tension ebb away. Banish ALL TALK, slick on some lip balm and drop your tongue from the roof of your mouth to fully relax.
There is no better way to relax than in a warm bath. Drizzle a capful of your favourite aromatherapy bathing oil into the bath and fill your space with wonderfully aromatic vapours well known for their powerful calming properties and simply DRIFT AWAY, as the essential oils work their way into the skin, relaxing the mind and body.
If you're with a friend, ask them to give you a massage, concentrating on your head, neck and shoulders to really release tension. Opt for an aromatherapy massage oil, containing natural botanicals that penetrate the skin for fast relief.
Another wonderful way to relax is from the outside in, by preparing your skin. Applying a cream, rich in relaxing essential oils to your face and neck, or to pulse points when stressed, will help you to REPOSE and relax, whilst you lay back and watch the television or listen to music, deeply drawing in the fragrant, calming scent.
Improving circulation, will help regulate your heartbeat and thus help you to relax and feel less tense. Try applying a foot or leg balm to your lower legs and elevate them, on the headrest for instance. Opt for an aromatherapy balm containing active ingredients as this will increase your circulation, reduce fluid retention and help to eliminate toxins... AAAHH! that's better.
You can improve the ambience of a room and make it feel really cosy by lighting a fragrant candle. Close your eyes and let your mind wander to exotic places. To lose yourself in a dream is as good as a sleep for recharging the batteries and will help that state of ALL QUIET.

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