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Calming.org is a resource for introducing ways to create a calm oasis within your own body amid today’s hectic world, where stressful events are virtually unavoidable. Losing a job, having difficulties at school, or even good changes such as a wedding, having a baby or buying a new home can trigger stress. Whether stress is spiraling out of control, or you’re already in a calming environment, you will benefit from learning at least one relaxation technique. In the United States alone, an estimated 3 million people suffer from chronic stress and/or anxiety attacks. In some people, the anxiety escalates to a point where they experience panic attacks. The exact cause of chronic anxiety and panic attacks is unknown, although it’s believed that a chemical imbalance, along with genetic and environment factors play a role. All too often, there is nothing we can do to avoid stressful situations. However, we can learn to control our response to those situations, and develop techniques that will reduce the effects of stress on our mental and physical health. We can learn to put ourselves into a more calming state of mind, no matter where we are or what is going on around us.

Different things work for different people, but relaxation techniques are an essential part of your quest for stress management. Ongoing relaxation techniques can help reduce stress and help you enjoy a better quality of life. Along with its calming effects, research shows that relaxation techniques, such as meditation and yoga can help slow heart rate, lower blood pressure, reduce muscle tension, combat certain illnesses, relieve aches and pains, improve concentration and boost confidence. Aromatherapy generally uses volatile plant materials, known as essential oils, and other plant compounds for the purpose of relaxation. This is done by using the various aromas to alter a person’s mood, cognitive function or health. Please note that the effectiveness of aromatherapy has yet to be scientifically proven, but evidence exists that certain essential oils may have therapeutic potential. Meditation as a relaxation technique is particularly effective at reducing stress, anxiety, and other negative emotions. Meditation mindfulness is the quality of being fully engaged in the present moment, without analyzing or “over-thinking” an experience. Yoga is another very good form of stress relief because it involves both the physical and mental. Yoga is basically a series of moving and stationary poses, combined with deep breathing. There are different types of Yoga, which will be discussed in further detail on this website, but the best for stress relief are those that emphasize gentle movements, for beginners or are labeled “stress relief.” Power yoga, with its intense poses and focus on fitness, is probably not the best choice for relaxation.

There are many other relaxation techniques, of course, such as guided imagery, tai chi, massage, deep breathing and progressive muscle relaxation. The purpose of any technique is to bring your system back into balance by deepening your breathing, reducing stress hormones, slowing your heart rate and blood pressure and relaxing your muscles. With a little practice, anyone can reap the benefits of including a regular relaxation technique into their daily routine.


 

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