Shy guyâs guide to relaxation
12-18-2008, 05:09 AM
Shy guyâs guide to relaxation
Long, long ago in a forest at the edge of the world lived an owl and a squirrel. One day a storm so terrible raged through the forest that it drove the owl and the squirrel to seek shelter in the last two remaining trees. The squirrel, being the nimblest one, took shelter in a mighty oak and concealed himself from the owls gaze. The owl however flew straight past the mighty oak and settled in a springy willow. âThe foolâ, thought squirrel, ânot only has he missed me the tastiest animal in the world, he has also condemned himself to the windâ.
All through the day and through the night too, the storm raged onâ¦ Come the morning, the mighty oak tree was broken in two. However, the springy willow had stood its ground.
The squirrel was flabbergasted as the owl swooped down from the tree. "You see", lectured the owl, "The mighty oak will only stand tall for so long before the constant pressure will cause it to snap. But the springy willow bends away from the force of its enemies"...
The moral of this tale is if you do not wish your phobia to consume you, relax like the willow, rather than tense up like the oak.
Ways to relax body and mind:
1. Cut back the caffeine - This one is simple, cut back the amount of coffee, tea, and caffeinate soft drinks you consume in a day.
2. Cut back on the consumption of alcohol. If you find this difficult there is help available (List in progress)
4. Are you getting enough continuous sleep? In order for the brain to work efficiently, it needs to complete a complex sleep-wakefulness cycle that lasts a little over 24 hours. The odd late night will not do much harm however, if our sleep cycle is continually broken throughout the night our stress leaves will raise leading to other problems.
If you are trying to alter you sleeping habits please remember it takes fourteen days for the body to adapt a new sleep pattern so please be patient.
5. Swimming, walking, and cycling â just 30 minutes a day three times a week can help free us of our stresses as well as increase our cardio-vascular heath.. Cannot get out? Try walking up and down stairs or video aerobics, even dancing is goodâ¦
6. Listen to music â No it does not have to be Mozart. Research shows that any kind of music (with the possible exception of âheavy thrashâ) helps the mind relax. While you are listening, why not find some inspiration as Jung did and try painting a mandala
7. Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR) â Originally developed by the psychiatrist, Edmund Jacobson, in 1915 as a very simple yet effective way of teaching his patient to relax and therefore relieve some of their physical manifestations. Depending on the individual, it should take around two weeks to master this simple yet effective technique. One can even try combining it with diaphragmatic breathing for very enjoyable and relaxing experience.
8. Diaphragmatic Breathing - The diaphragm is a large, dome shaped muscle located at the base of the lungs and attached to the lower ribs. As small children we breath naturally using our diaphragms to inflate and deflate our lungs, however as we grow older and our muscles strength we in the West have a tendency to âchest breathâ â that is we use our chest muscles to fill our lungs with air. This is fine while we are at rest but as soon as our tensions mount, we find ourselves over breathing to bring in the extra oxygen needed to feed the muscles as we are only filling the top of our lungs. This in turn leads to hyperventilating as we expel too much carbon dioxide to keep a health balance. Diaphragmatic breathing helps by reducing your breath rate and decreasing your bodyâs demand for oxygen.
9. Yoga, Tai Chi Chuan, and Pilates (along with other low impact exercises such as swimming) has show some positive heath benefits as well as helping one to relax. Yoga in particular shows promise for those suffering from agoraphobia. (Note to self: add citations)
10. Meditation, reading journalling, art, and Pen pals â Are all forms of relaxation. However, these activities work best when the mind is already calm rather than to calm oneâs mind, although they can form a more useful distraction than television.
11. Hypnosis â As Rick, Ofearâs resident hypnotherapist, points out hypnosis can be used to relax the mind before say going to the dentist or as an adjunction to therapy.
Sit comfortably in loose fitting clothes, turn off, or remove any distractions and let us begin:
Starting with your hands make a tense fist, then relax extending your fingers as you do so. (Note: right-handers should start with there right followed by the left-hand muscles, and left-handers with their left).
With your hands relaxed, tense your biceps (make the muscles of your upper arm bulge like Popeye the Sailor Man); then drop your arm to the chair. Next the triceps (the flabby bits under your biceps are worked by bend your arms the wrong way (be careful not to strain you elbow, this joint does not move far), then relax by drop them to the chair.
Pull your shoulders gentle back then relax. Now push your shoulders forward and hunch them up, and relax.
With the shoulders relaxed, turn your head slowly first to the right then to the left, and relax.
Now dig your chin into your chest. (This works your neck), and relax.
Open your mouth as wide as possible forming an O shape, and relax. Now purse your lips as tightly as possible, and relax.
Open your mouth again and stick your tongue out extend the tongue out, the slowly draw it back in. Now, take it to the back of your throat as far as possible, and then relax.
Lift your tongue to the roof of your mouth, and relax. Now push it to the bottom, and relax.
Open your eyes as wide as possible and wrinkle your brow, and relax. Next, close your eyes as tight as possible, and relax.
Tighten your throat by pulling your mouth into an exaggerated âsad clownâ expression, and relax.
Feel your breath enter your body and relax as you slowly release it.
With your shoulders resting on the back of the chair, slowly arch your back like a cat, and relax. Never try to bend you back or neck backwards as this can damage the discs.
Tense your bum (or fanny if you are American) tightly, raising your pelvis slightly off chair and relax. Next, try to snuggle your bum into the chair, and relax.
Using just your thigh muscles extend your legs raising them about 15 cm (6in) off the floor, and relax. Now plant your feet firmly on the floor, and relax.
Pull your stomach in as far as possible before relaxing. Now tense your stomach ready to take a gut punch, and relax.
Lifting your heels, point your toes, and relax. Now turn your feet up as far as possible before relaxing them.
Try to dig your toes into the floor (or slippers if you are wearing them), and relax. Now bend your toes up, and relax.
Close your eyes and count slowly back from ten before trying to rise. As your body should now be in a stat of total relaxation this avoids any dizzy spells.
Diaphragmatic breathing How-To:
Put on some music you can relax to and some comfortable, loose fitting clothing, before lying on your back with your knees bent and your head supported with a pillow.
Place one hand on your upper chest and the other just below your rib cage.
This will allow you to feel if your chest or your abdomen moves as you breathe.
Count to six as you breathe in slowly through your nose; you should feel your abdomen expand slightly; however try to keep the hand above your chest perfectly still.
Hold your breath in for two seconds before slowly exhale through your mouth. (Some people find it helpful to count to six or to visualise their breath leaving their bodies as they exhale).
Note that you should not try to suck your abdomen in as you exhale, but allow the diaphragm to do the work.
Inhale and exhale using only the diaphragm a maximum of five times then return to your normal breathing pattern for the next few breathes before completing five more Diaphragmatic breathes. The whole set should take five to fifteen minutes to complete.
Once the technique has been mastered lying down, move to a sitting position. Relax your shoulders, and put your hand on your abdomen, you torso should be slightly recline as so not to put pressure on your lower back.
Practise Diaphragmatic Breathing at least four times per day and it will soon become a useful habit.
Note: if at any time you feel dizzy or light headed during this exercise to stop and wait for your breathing to return to normal before resuming this exercise.
Why do dogs bark?
They are not barking, they are talking in dog. Obviously you don't understand the language.
12-18-2008, 08:36 AM
Re: Shy guyâs guide to relaxation
thanks for sharing it with us, i am sure it will help
a lot of people shappy
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