Relaxation techniques: how to improve mental health?

Most people have heard about relaxation techniques. They are simple activities that can be included in the routine, aiming to bring improvements in well-being.

The anxiety , the stress and the hectic routine can be stressful. But working on breathing and muscle relaxation are simple tips that even improve concentration. Learn more about how to apply the exercises:

What is relaxation and what is it for?

Relaxation is a technique used to combat tension. They can be both physical, mental and emotional and arise as a response to everyday stress.

Tensions are such a problem that they can affect the body’s health through changes in muscle fibers and metabolism, which can trigger a number of diseases. Who has never heard that someone who is very stressed dies early?

To combat this problem, there are a number of relaxation techniques that help to relieve these tensions, allowing for a better physical and mental balance.

Thus, it is possible to decrease anxiety, relieve stress, improve self-control and self-perception, as well as regulate sleep and decrease muscle tension.

Who can do it?

Absolutely everyone can benefit from relaxation techniques. However, people who experience more stress are often the ones who need these techniques the most. Some examples are:

Pregnancy

Gestating a child is a time of great joy, but it can also raise a number of concerns. Will the baby be born healthy? Will I be a good mother? What can I do and what should I stop doing at that moment?

Such questions increase anxiety and produce emotional and physical tensions that can even affect the baby’s health. Therefore, relaxing during pregnancy becomes a necessity!

In addition, pregnancy also causes several discomfort, such as low back pain, nausea, malaise, swelling, among others. Relaxation may not solve these problems, but it certainly helps Mom to cope better with all of this.

Students

Students, regardless of age, are part of another group that greatly benefits from relaxation.

The demands for good grades, passing the entrance exam or even being able to write a good TCC in college are great sources of tension.

To prevent stress and tiredness from impairing academic performance, learning some relaxation techniques can be critical!

Can you do it at home?

Yea! There is a wide variety of relaxation techniques that can be done at home without the help of anyone. Some examples are breathing exercises or progressive muscle relaxation exercises.

The only thing needed to do them is a comfortable and quiet place to avoid distractions.

What are relaxation techniques for beginners?

Even those who have never practiced relaxation can start without fear. There are several techniques and simple tips that can be applied to the routine, being worked on gradually.

Gradually, it is possible to improve the practice:

Breathing

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Breathing relaxation depends on the movement of a muscle that separates the chest from the abdomen: the diaphragm. If you have heard that you breathe wrong, it is because you do not move your diaphragm while breathing.

This exercise is called diaphragmatic breathing and helps to relax as it provides more oxygen to the lung, which in turn combats stress and tension.

To perform the exercise, just do the following steps:

  • Find a quiet and comfortable place where you can sit or lie down. It is preferable that this exercise is done sitting down if you do not intend to sleep soon afterwards;
  • Sit or lie down in a comfortable position and close your eyes;
  • Become aware of your breathing: try to breathe by puffing up your belly, as this indicates that the diaphragm is moving;
  • Breathe in this way by counting slowly to 10;
  • Hold the air in your lungs for a count of 3;
  • Slowly exhale through your mouth, counting to 10.

Repeat this exercise 3 to 5 times or until you feel relaxed. Do not be alarmed if you feel a slight dizziness , this sensation is normal especially when there is no habit of breathing with the diaphragm.

Progressive muscle relaxation

This technique is especially effective for muscle tension, but it helps to relax the mind as well. To accomplish it, it is quite simple:

  • Lie in a comfortable place, with your legs straight and arms at your sides;
  • Pay attention to the parts of your body, starting at the head and going down the neck, shoulders, torso, arms, hands, legs and feet;
  • After bringing body parts to consciousness, it is time to contract your muscles quickly and relax;
  • Start by contracting your face muscles quickly and relax for a few seconds. Repeat this exercise 3 to 5 times. Then do the same with the muscles of the neck, the shoulders, and so on;
  • After doing the exercise with all parts of the body, pay attention one by one again and notice that they are now more relaxed than at the beginning of the exercise.

This technique works very well to eliminate muscle tension, but it is also effective in emotional tension, as the brain interprets the moment as a time to relax, also calming the mind.

Mindfulness

The mindfulness consists of a kind of versatile meditation that can be done anywhere, anytime. The key point here is mindfulness in the present moment, not being carried away by thoughts or feelings that may appear.

You can do mindfulness exercises by walking, paying attention to your surroundings, or even at work, focusing your attention on what you are doing. It is about connecting fully with the present.

This technique works because it clears all unnecessary worries at the moment from the mind, reducing anxiety and stress from those worries.

Group relaxation techniques and exercises

At times, it is necessary to apply relaxation techniques in groups. If you are an instructor and are looking for ways to do this, here are some ideas:

Breathing and pleasant thoughts

Breathing is the key to many relaxation exercises, regardless of how many people are doing it. Instruct participants to breathe deeply and slowly with the diaphragm while focusing on pleasant, positive thoughts.

Do this exercise for 5 to 10 minutes. After that time, people must have entered a state of relaxation.

Collective massage

If the group is made up of people who are more intimate with each other, such as co-workers or study, it is possible to use the collective massage technique.

For this, participants should sit in a circle, turning their backs to colleagues next to them. Then, people are instructed to massage the shoulders and neck of those in front.

This exercise can be done for 5 to 10 minutes.

Deep relaxation tips and techniques

If you are looking for deeper relaxation, the tips presented above may not be as effective. Some ideas, in this case, are:

Meditation

This is a well-known practice for deeper relaxation. There are many meditation techniques and, if necessary, you can seek out instructors to assist. However, a simple way to meditate is:

  • Find a reserved space, where there are no distractions;
  • Sit in a comfortable position;
  • Close your eyes and breathe deeply;
  • Keep breathing deeply, paying attention to your breathing and trying to empty your mind;
  • If intrusive thoughts appear, just let them come and go naturally – trying to get rid of them can be even more counterproductive;
  • Turn your attention to your breath whenever you find yourself wandering;
  • Do this for at least 15 minutes.

After that time, you are likely to be in a deep state of relaxation. However, if you think you need more time, you can increase it to 30 minutes or even 1 hour. The more time you meditate, the more relaxation!

Visualization techniques

To improve meditation, you can use visualization techniques, which are nothing more than imagining pleasant things while meditating. You can imagine landscapes, pleasant events, good feelings, among others.

In the case of visualization techniques, instead of focusing on the breath, it is important to focus on what is being visualized, paying attention to the details of the scene that you imagine.


Relaxing is very important to maintain mental health and quality of life. Especially people who live with high rates of stress and pressure, whether at work or study, relaxation tips can make all the difference.

A few simple changes in everyday life bring significant improvements, aiding well-being. See more about mental health at Minute Healthy!

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