How to Reduce Stress: 4 Relaxation Techniques that can be done in 2 mins
Here are some stress management techniques based on meditation and paranayama. These techniques can help you reduce anxiety before an important meeting, calm you down when stuck in traffic, help you keep cool when faced with irritating people or situations and reduce fear and phobias when stuck in elevators or a dentist's chair. You can try these stress management techniques at any time.
We teach these techniques at our Meditation Center in Baner, Pune regularly.
1. Abdominal Breathing (1 min)
Place your right hand below the navel in a relaxed manner. Simply focus on the sensation of your clothes against the right palm. As you inhale, expand the belly. Pause and count to 3. As you exhale contract the belly. Pause and count to 3. Repeat this 10 times.
Focus: As simple as this seems, it is the hardest thing to do when stressed. The trick is to constantly remind yourself to keep all your attention on the movement of the belly and the counting. This stress management technique is the simplest way to relax in a stressful situation.
2. Count down from 10 to 1 (2 mins)
Count down slowly from 10 to 1. Breathe in fully and breathe out slowly. As you breathe out say the number 10 in your mind. As you exhale, imagine all tension and stress leaving your body. Repeat for 9 breaths, breathing out the numbers 9 to 1. If you forget the count at any time, simply start from 10 again.
Focus:For this exercise to be effective it is important to breathe out slowly, in a relaxed yet attentive way.
3. Ocean Breath (2 mins)
Try to clear your throat and observe the sensations coming from your throat. Become aware of the place in your throat from where the sound is coming. If you like, you can place your index finger at that point. Inhale through the nose, exhale through the mouth, paying attention to that point of your throat and making a sighing sound on the exhalation. You should hear a soft, hissing sound like that of the ocean waves. If you feel strain in your throat, soften the sound - it should be a pleasing, soothing sound.
Once you are comfortable with this, keep the mouth closed; try exhaling through the nose while making the same sound. Continue with regular inhalations and ocean/ ujjayi exhalations.
Focus:Even if this seems complicated, Ocean Breath or Ujjayi breath is THE MOST POWERFUL stress management technique. Elongate your exhalations and focus completely on the sound coming from the throat. Do not overdo, you should not feel a strain in your throat
4. Mins - Squeeze and Release (2 mins)
This is a progressive muscle relaxation technique where we gradually tighten the entire body and then relax it releasing all the coiled up energy. You can practice this sitting down or lying down.
Technique 1: Full Body
Start with your toes, squeeze your toes,and slowly move up your body squeezing your ankles, calves, thighs, buttocks, abdomen, chest, fingers, wrists,arms, scrunch up your face and hold for a count of three. Imagine all your organs and cells getting squeezed and releasing their toxins. Release with a soft sigh imagining the stress oozing out of your body. Repeat second and third time holding for a count of 5 and 10 respectively.
At our Meditation Center in Baner, Pune we conduct a full body 1 hour meditation based on this simple Squeeze and Release Technique. You end up feeling completely relaxed and fresh
Technique 2: Part By Part
As shown in the picture below, scrunch your face then relax it. Repeat in a similar fashion with your arms, shoulders, chest, thighs and legs.
Focus:Give your very best to the tightening aspect, making certain you do not release the toes or the lower parts as you go higher (technique 1). Feel the contraction of your body or body part fully and release completely, experiencing the relaxation that immediately follows the release.
For detailed information on these techniques and for longer techniques that can be practised at home, visit the page for our Meditation Center in Baner, Pune at http://www.y2lstudio.com/quick-stress-relief.html