Techniques to Stay Balanced and Feel Your Joy
Stress is the buzzword of today's life. It seems to encompass everyone's lives, in each and every age-group and every strata of society. It is just as though people were in the throes of passion earlier, and now they are in the throes of stress.
We can actually notice that many people are suffering from something we may call, a Social Anxiety Disorder, commonly termed as SAD. People suffering from this remain stressed, most of the time. Their muscles constantly remain in tension almost always. There is a certain technique mainly used to get rid of this state called Progressive Muscle Relaxation or in short form PMR. This is one of the best techniques for anxiety reduction. It was first introduced by the American Physician Edmond Jacobson in the 1930's. It involves tension and relaxation in the body's major muscle groups.
Since SAD makes our muscles tense most of the time, we need to practice PMR to relax them. This gives you a great sense of control over your body's anxiety response. We generally use PMR in tandem with Behavioral Therapy techniques to reach a level of relaxation.
Behavioral Therapy tends to be highly focused. It is meant to teach clients new behaviors to eliminate old patterns. Since the old behaviors had led to all the problems creatively created, therefore new learning was created, to generate newer and wiser patterns of behavior.
Alternately if we focus on PMR with Behavioral Therapy, we can have a relaxed life, with a good sleep pattern. You can Congratulate yourself for allowing yourself to be there. It is imperative and beautiful. Anyone looking for evidence based options to help beat their anxiety, PMR is definitely a great option.
It happens to be a great way of treating mild or medium levels of social anxiety. In case of a very high stress condition of course, more serious medical help like consulting a psychiatrist or a therapist may be required.
Since we are talking of relaxing of muscles here. Let me take you into the simple nuances of PMR. It can be perfectly practiced within your own home, provided you are giving it your full and complete attention.
1. Sit or lie down in a comfortable position. Wear loose garments. Rest your hands, by your side or in your lap.
2. Diaphragm Breathing: This is a great way to reduce anxiety. Take a few long deep breaths. Breathe from the diaphragm rather than the chest. Become consciously aware of your breathing and regulate it's rate and depth. This way you can avoid panic attacks.
3. Feet: Increase the tension in your feet and toes. Tighten the muscles and then relax them. Rotate your feet in a circular motion, feel the relaxation taking over. Enjoy it.
4. Legs: Increase the tension heel upwards to your quadriceps and calves. Squeeze these muscles as hard as possible and then release.
5. Butt: Increase the tension in your back side, butt muscles, hold for a few seconds, then release the tension. Breathe slowly and let the relaxation take over.
6. Arms and Hands: Slowly close your fists and hold your arms to your chest. Squeeze as tightly as you can. Keep counting in your head up-to 15 seconds as you clench your fists and 30 second as you release.
7. Neck and Shoulders: Increase the tension in your neck and shoulders. Raise your shoulders up-to your ears for 15 seconds, then release in 30 seconds, feel the tension leave your body.
8. Jaw: Tense your jaw muscles and then relax them. Hold again for 15 seconds and release in 30 seconds. Keep your breath going evenly all the time
9. Cheeks: Feel your cheek muscles, plump them in and release, feel the face relax.
10. Relax the Forehead: You need to squeeze the muscles in your forehead for 15 seconds. Leave the rest of the body relaxed. Then slowly release the tension. You must allow the muscles of the fore head to relax. You need to experience the sensation of relaxation. Repeat the process until the forehead is relaxed.
It is the best to practice breathing patterns and other PMR techniques in the safe and relaxed haven of your own home. It keeps you leveled and balanced, and also in touch with your inner and projected being.
The more we learn to rely on ourselves, for our own relaxation, the more attuned we feel within and the more in sync with our mind body connect.
We as humans are looking for peace, joy, calmness and happiness. But if the body is not relaxed, we cannot reach that pinnacle. With PMR we can relax our muscles, and then reach for mental relaxation. This takes us to feel our Joy.