Has anyone ever told you to relax? For a lot of people, that’s easier said than done. It seems like our lives move faster than ever today, and managing all that stress can be difficult. A 2010 survey conducted by the American Psychological Association even determined that excessive stress is becoming a public health crisis! And stress isn’t just about our mental health; it can affect our physical bodies as well, being associated with conditions like heart disease, asthma, diabetes, headaches, and even gastrointestinal problems. Today, in observance of National Relaxation Day, Resurgens Orthopaedics would like to tell you more about some ways you can relax and how you can use relaxation as a pain control method.
If you’re looking for ways to relax more, don’t stress about it! The truth is that there’s no one perfect way to relax; different techniques will work better for different people. Your favorite hobby could be a good way to relax, whether it’s reading a book, listening to music, going for a hike, or just sitting down to watch a movie.
While those are all great ways to relax, they don’t work for everyone. Here are a few more active methods of relaxation you can use to reduce your stress levels:
This technique has been used for thousands of years to slow the heartrate and get your body to physically relax. Take a deep breath, hold it for a count of four, then exhale as you count to four. Repeat this ten times and your heartrate will slow down, helping you feel less stressed.
Go to your happy place! With guided imagery, you imagine scenery that makes you feel comfortable and relaxed. Try to be as vivid as possible while you breathe slowly and deeply. After a few minutes in your happy place, you should feel more relaxed
Take a tip from the yogis and monks who have used meditation for centuries to attain inner peace. Sit quietly and focus on your breathing; try your best to push out any thoughts or pain that are bothering you and continue to focus on your breathing. Take as long as you need; meditation can take a half hour or more, but when you’re done, you’re bound to feel less stressed.
Relaxation as a Pain Control Method
Once you’ve learned how to actively relax, you may even be able to control physical pain naturally without using pain medications. Not only can relaxation reduce tension in your muscles that cause pain, it also reduces levels of stress hormones in your bloodstream that make you more acutely aware of pain.
Of course, not all pain can be conquered using the power of the mind, and if you’re feeling pain, it’s usually a sign that something is wrong. If you’re experiencing acute pain, it’s best to speak to a doctor about it before you rely on meditation and breathing exercises. If your pain isn’t caused by something more serious, ask your doctor if relaxation techniques could work for you. Chances, are they’ll tell you that it never hurts to relax. On this National Relaxation Day, do your best not to worry so much; you might find that a little relaxation is all you need!