A balanced alternation between stress and relaxation is important.
In addition to the good feeling during the relaxation moment itself, you will also feel fitter and more rested afterwards. You have more energy and your mind is sharper. Benefits for physical and mental health in the short and long term.
You don't only get tension during major, negative events. You build up small moments of stress throughout the day , often without even noticing it: when you have to rush to take the children to school, when you end up in traffic jams again, when you go through your overcrowded agenda at work... But Even pleasant, positive events can cause unrest.
These small and large (daily) tensions pile up. That stress is regularly discharged, but not always completely. Often residual tension remains, even if you don't always notice it.
Stress and unrest that last too long can cause tension complaints. These manifest themselves in different ways :
- physical (e.g. tension headache);
- emotional (e.g. nervous, restless);
- intellectual (e.g. concentration disorders);
- behavioral (e.g. using more alcohol and medication).
Tension complaints are an alarm sign from the body that you need to make time for yourself and that you need to take it easier.
Good relaxation is different for everyone . One person returns from a long walk with renewed energy, the other recharges his batteries by reading a good book.
It is important to choose an activity that you feel good about , that you find fun and relaxing.
Choose healthy activities and try to avoid less healthy alternatives, such as smoking, medicines or alcohol...
The following options provide some inspiration :
- sports (walking, cycling, jogging, swimming...);
- listening to or making music;
- enjoy cooking or eating out;
- invite friends;
- visit family;
- going on a trip with the family;
- extensive bathing;
- Sun tanning;
- buy something for yourself;
- read a book or magazine;
- flower arranging;
- painting or drawing;
- watch TV;
- going to the movies, the theater or a concert;
- play a board game.
Do you feel like you are not relaxing enough with any of these activities? Then you can learn a relaxation technique that may give you the desired feeling of relaxation .
Relaxation techniques are not miracle cures but tools to release tension. You can learn them under expert guidance and practice skills that evoke a relaxed feeling.
Correct breathing is important to relax properly. Abdominal breathing is very suitable for this. You draw air into the lungs by expanding your abdomen. The chest remains virtually motionless.
Concentrating on your breathing can go a long way in helping you relax.
- Lie down or sit as comfortably as possible.
- Feel the points where the body touches the ground.
- Close the eyes or focus them on the abdomen.
- Place your hands on your stomach and feel how it goes up and down.
- Breathe in by expanding the abdomen and feel with your hands how the abdomen expands.
- Exhale and feel with your hands how the stomach becomes flatter again.
- Try to exhale for about the same amount of time as you inhale.
With mindfulness you train yourself to live every moment consciously in the here and now and not to worry about the past or the future.
With visualization you evoke a relaxed feeling by imagining an image or situation that relaxes you (e.g. a floating boat on the sea, a sunny beach).
Progressive relaxation according to E. Jacobson
With progressive relaxation you relax muscle group after muscle group. Here you use the difference between tension and relaxation. First, attention is focused on a specific muscle group, then you tense that muscle group and then relax it again.
Autogenic training according to JH Schultz
Autogenic training is a form of self-hypnosis . You make certain statements to yourself about physical sensations such as certain body parts becoming warm, heavy and relaxed. You also imagine soothing situations such as lying quietly on a warm beach.
Sophrology combines Western forms of relaxation and Eastern meditation techniques to promote harmony between body and mind. You become more aware of your own body and body perception, so that you can achieve better control of emotions through better control of the body.
With eutonia you learn to achieve the greatest possible balance . This can be done by consciously performing movements and correcting incorrect sitting postures, poor exercise habits and muscle cramps. You also learn to discover how you deal with thoughts and feelings and how this affects physical behavior.
Literally translated, yoga means 'master of oneself' , that you are in control of yourself and are as healthy as possible. This starts with consciously letting go of things that concern you. Breathing and physical exercises play an important role. These are ultimately a preparation for meditation.
In meditation everything is based on conscious relaxation , resting in the inner self, increased self-knowledge, a stop to the merry-go-round of thinking. There are several meditation techniques.
Tai-chi consists of a number of simple, slow, beautiful and graceful body movements that are connected together like a kind of dance and are often performed in the open air. Slow movements help to focus on the unity of body and mind.