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Relaxing techniques

Relaxing is an innate ability, and we can always practice and relearn relaxing skills even though they might be clouded by how we were raised, educated and how busy we feel. You can find your favourite relaxing technique by trying out different ones.

Relaxing is mainly about changing states of consciousness. For instance, some techniques allow you to alter your states of consciousness. Different states of consciousness are for example wakefulness, relaxing, and sleep.  

Using visualisation techniques when relaxed

Before starting to relax, you can think about the thing you’d like to focus on when you’ve reached the relaxed state. You can for example think about giving a presentation. Once in relaxed state, imagine yourself being the presenter and go through the presentation steps looking relaxed and natural. After a few rounds of these visualisations, you’ll have a recollection of a natural performance and a presentation which runs smoothly also during the actual situation.

For best results when relaxing, focus on one or two things at the time.   

Try out different relaxing techniques

People have different ways of relaxing: by listening to calming music or bringing back pleasant experiences in their mind. Relaxing techniques vary, there are different kinds of yoga and meditation practices available. Everyone can find their favourite relaxing technique by trying out different ones.  

Before starting the relaxing, make sure you are feeling comfortable. Choose a quiet, warm environment which has no distractions. Wear comfortable, warm, and loose clothes. Some like to lay down, some rather sit. If you feel like laying down, both hard and soft surfaces will do. If you’d rather sit down, make sure the chair is soft and the back high enough to support your neck and back. Most importantly, you need to be able to sit for about 20 minutes. Mute your phone.  

You can choose calming music for the background. Relax by either auto-suggestive methods or listening to a relaxing audio recording.

Progressive relaxing techniques

This relaxing technique is about tensing-relaxing which helps you to easier recognise the tension in your body. This is how the exercise works in a nutshell:

  1. Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths.
  2. Try quieting your mind by breathing deeply and slowly. Focus on this moment.
  3. Focus only on your feet. Tense the muscles on your feet as hard as you can, and then relax them completely. Sense how these feelings differed.
  4. Continue this tensing-relaxing method by going through your whole body from your toes to the top of your head and your face muscles.  
  5.  Try to tense just one specific part of your body at a time.  
  6. When finished, sense how your entire body has relaxed.
  7. Wake yourself up by slowly moving your fingers and toes. Notice how your body feels energetic. Stretch like you’re waking up in your own bed in the morning.
  8. You are refreshed, full of energy and feel happy.

Autogenous relaxing

This technique has seven different stages. The exercise progresses stage by stage and you should study each stage carefully before moving on to the next one. This technique helps you to auto-suggest yourself to feeling calm and teaches you to recognise the feelings of weight and warmth in your body.

This is how the exercise proceeds:

  1. Close your eyes and concentrate on quieting your mind. Breathe deeply and repeat on your mind: “I am completely calm.”
  2. Scan different parts of your body and imagine how each body part weighs enormously. Repeat on your mind: “I am completely calm.”
  3. Now focus on the feeling of warmth and scan different parts of your body like on stage 2, feeling warmth on your body. When finished, tell yourself again “I am completely calm.”
  4. Tell yourself: “My heart beats slowly and steadily. I am completely calm.”
  5. Repeat to yourself: “My breath is slow and steady. I am completely calm.”
  6. Think to yourself:” The pit of my stomach is radiating with warmth. I am completely calm.”
  7. Focus on thinking:” My forehead is pleasantly cool. I am completely calm.”

    End the exercise by waking yourself up by slowly. Finally, always tell yourself:”I feel alert. I am refreshed and energetic.