The Power of Relaxation Techniques: Press Reset on Stress

The Power of Relaxation Techniques: Press Reset on Stress


In today's fast-paced world, stress is an inevitable part of life. However, when stress becomes chronic, it can lead to a wide range of health problems, including digestive disorders, headaches, sleep disorders, and even mental illnesses. Thankfully, the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) offers some insight into various relaxation techniques that can help counteract the negative effects of stress.

The NCCIH emphasizes that relaxation techniques can reduce blood pressure, inflammatory cytokines, and oxidative stress. They can even improve glycemic control in people with type 2 diabetes. Some examples of relaxation techniques include autogenic training, biofeedback, deep breathing, guided imagery, progressive relaxation, and self-hypnosis.

Deep breathing exercises, for example, have been shown to modestly lower blood pressure and cortisol levels. Biofeedback, on the other hand, has been found to be helpful in reducing blood pressure, and heart rate variability (HRV) biofeedback shows promise for reducing self-reported stress and anxiety. Progressive muscle relaxation has also been shown to alleviate stress and have a positive effect on anxiety and depression in some individuals.

Mindfulness meditation, which focuses on maintaining clear attention and developing increased awareness of the present moment, has been shown to help reduce symptoms of stress, including anxiety and depression. It can also help improve sleep quality. Additionally, focused attention meditation has been shown to reduce blood pressure and cortisol levels.

Yoga is another complementary approach that has been shown to help manage stress. While the results are mixed, some studies have found beneficial effects of yoga on measures of perceived stress, and it has been recommended for anxiety and stress reduction in certain clinical practice guidelines.

When considering these complementary approaches, it is essential to consult with a healthcare professional, especially if you have high blood pressure or any other underlying health conditions. Additionally, it's important to remember that these practices are generally considered safe when performed properly and under the guidance of a qualified instructor.

In conclusion, relaxation techniques offer a valuable tool in managing stress and promoting overall well-being. By incorporating these practices into your daily routine, you can press the "reset" button on stress and maintain a healthier, happier life.

Photo by Haley Phelps and Kinga Howard 

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