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Three Easy Relaxation Exercises

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Updated October 12, 2012

One of the best things that you can do for your health is to learn some simple exercises for relaxation. Relaxation techniques help to keep your body calm and improve your ability to deal with stress. This is not a one-size-fits all approach: there are a variety of techniques available. Read on for an overview of each type so that you can decide which of the relaxation techniques will be right for you. For best results, practice two to three times a day, for at least 10 minutes at a time.

1. Visualization for Relaxation

Visualization exercises use the power of the imagination to bring about a state of relaxation. Visualization taps into our right brains, thus quieting our oh-so-busy left brains and redirecting us away from all of our worries, concerns and to-do lists. Visualization exercises are like a vacation for the mind, as you imagine yourself in a place that represents beauty and serenity for you. It can be a place you have actually been to, or just a place in your imagination. Visualization exercises are best done in a quiet setting. Learn how to use visualization exercises.

2. Deep Breathing Exercises

Of all of the relaxation exercises, deep breathing exercises are the most practical because you can use them whenever you need them. Deep, diaphragmatic breathing shifts your body away from its tendency to deal with stress through quick, shallow breaths. Slowing the breath down signals to your brain that all is calm, thus turning off the body's natural stress response. With regular practice, you can get to the point where taking a few deeps breaths brings about significant anxiety relief in an instant. Learn how to do deep breathing exercises.

3. Muscle Relaxation Exercises

Progressive muscle relaxation is a way to systematically relax all of the muscles in your body. This reduces unnecessary muscle tension and saves your energy for the things that really matter. With practice, just telling yourself to relax can quickly make your body be as loose as a rag doll. Muscle relaxation exercises should be done in a comfortable chair. Don't do them in bed as you want to teach your body to relax - not to fall asleep! Doing them right before bed is an excellent idea as a more relaxed body will sleep better. Learn how to do progressive muscle relaxation exercises.

DISCLAIMER: The information contained on this site is for educational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for diagnosis or treatment rendered by a licensed physician. It is essential that you discuss with your doctor any symptoms or medical problems that you may be experiencing.

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