Relaxation involves procedures, techniques and activities that collectively work to make an individual relax. Relaxation is crucial as it helps in restoring calmness, lowering stress levels and avoiding stress-related conditions such as depression (Benson & Proctor, 2010). The connection of the body and mind means that an individual can teach himself or herself to apply his/her thoughts positively and influence physical responses in the body and, in the process, induce relaxation. When people remember a moment when they were contented, appreciative or peaceful, the mind and body tend to unwind. Studies have shown that when one envisages an experience, they frequently have similar psychological and physical reactions to those one had when the event occurred (Benson & Proctor, 2010). For instance, when one recollects a disturbing or terrifying incident, the heart rate will increase, perspiration will form, and the hands become damp. Relaxation is necessary for people diagnosed with sickness and those with stress-related issues.
The following relaxation guide takes approximately 20 minutes. Preparation for the relaxation period involves setting up the environment to be peaceful, clean and comfortable. The surrounding can also be made suitable by playing soft music at low volumes. Using scented candles can also serve the same purpose. The posture assumed during the relaxation session will be seating on a floor mat. Wearing loose clothing will also help to maximize the effects of the relaxation process. It starts with relaxation exercises that involve breathing practices. At this stage, the goal is to maintain a healthy breathing posture, regular breathing patterns and trying to take six breaths per minute, inhaling and exhaling throughout the period. This breathing practice is most effective when one mentally evaluate your body for any pains and problems and release any tension residing in the areas. When breathing, it is crucial to be careful and notice when you start to suffocate. At this point, please release your breath and regain composure before continuing with the exercise. Focusing on positive thoughts also significantly helps in relaxation. The next step is mind relaxation.
In this step, you will be required to close your eyes, maintain a normal breathing pattern and take time to come up with one comfort word. This comfort word will be slowly chanted as it helps reinforce the body and mind from unnecessary tension. You can use any such as ‘peace’, ‘I feel happy’ or ‘I am safe’. This session will last for ten minutes during which you can let your mind drift to peaceful thoughts. The next part of mind relaxation is guided imagery. During this session, we shall be using positive or constructive thoughts to alleviate tension. First, think of a bright sunny day. You have no obligations or duties on that day. Now try to think about an open lily field with blooming flowers. The wind is blowing softly its scent is warm and comforting to you. Wander through this field and engage in whatever you feel will make you happy. You can jump, sing, shout or just appreciate whatever you want. The last session in the relaxation process is the music therapy where we shall all listen to soothing music and focus on positive thoughts for a short period.
This set of mind-body interventions seek to reach out to the tension areas in an individual and release them from the individual. For many years, therapists and physicians have discovered that the connection between the body and mind is very complex and significant. Therefore, establishing a working successful strategy that restores the mind and body to their proper state will benefit an individual greatly. It is imperative that, in these sessions, the individual or people in the therapy session allow themselves to be healed as the interventions significantly depend on their will.
Benson, H., & Proctor, W. (2010). Relaxation revolution: Enhancing your personal health through the science and genetics of mind body healing. New York: Scribner.