There are many techniques to help you relax. Here we present a few techniques and the benefits of relaxation exercises and exercise. Claim a free counselling session if you need further input on the topic of relaxation.
Western lifestyles are often riddled with stressful periods. Stress in itself is not bad. Without stress, we would not be able to develop and progress. However, chronic stress or acute overload situations are unhealthy. In order to stay healthy, it is important to take breaks from time to time, to do things that are fulfilling and do you good, and to bring relaxation and physical activity into your everyday life. There are many techniques to help you relax.
The most important and best studied are the following:
- Progressive muscle relaxation (PMR)
- Autogenic training (AT)
- Breath relaxation
- Fantasy journeys and other imagination exercises
- Hypnotherapeutic relaxation exercises
Although yoga and meditation are not strictly relaxation techniques, they often have a relaxing effect as a side effect. To relax, you can also simply go for a walk in the woods, take a warm bath, have a massage or cuddle with your partner or animals.
Studies have shown that (active) relaxation can produce the following positive effects in people:
- More empathy
- Promotion of positive emotions
- Reduction of negative emotions
- Reduction of partnership problems
- Improvement in depression and anxiety disorders
- Improvement in pain and sleep disorders
- Improvement in dependency disorders
- Strengthening the immune system
These days an abundance of courses, apps and downloads are available with guided relaxation exercises. We have tested many of them. Of the apps and downloads we tested, we were most impressed by the exercises from minddrops.de (also available on streaming services). Here you can find some samples from minddrops:
- YouTube – minddrops – Progressive muscle relaxation with 7 muscle groups (according to Jacobsen) (in German)
- YouTube – minddrops –Lasting relaxation and healthy sleep | autogenic training audiobook (in German)
A large number of studies confirm that endurance exercise, in appropriate proportions, is good for both physical and mental health. Particularly types of exercise such as weight training, yoga, dance, but also gardening have a very beneficial effect on our well-being.
The TED Talk linked below shows how exercise in everyday life has a positive effect on our health. It helps us to stay fit into old age. In it, author Dan Buettner talks about the findings from the Blue Zones. These are regions in which people grow older than average and stay fit for a long time.