Stress Management Relaxation Exercises
Stress is an undeniable and unavoidable part of life. Learning to deal with stress in healthy and effective ways is important for all of us. The following stress management relaxation exercises will help you to better manage stress in your life. Please note that the stress management and relaxation exercises can be used online or they may be downloaded to your own MP3 player.
Relaxation Exercises: Precautions and Warnings
- Do not practice relaxation exercises while driving a car, motor vehicle or any other machinery
- If you have mental, physical and/or emotional limitations then you should consult your physician or medical provider before engaging in these relaxation exercises.
Guided Imagery is a technique which utilizes visualization, i.e. creating mental images and sensations, to enhance an individual’s natural ability to perform, change, or cope in various life situations.
Health Benefits include reduction of worry and anxiety, decrease in blood pressure, strengthening of the immune system, and improved quality of sleep. Other benefits may include increased self-esteem and optimism.
Guided imagery gives you time to help clear your mind from daily worries and focus on a relaxing place or theme.
- One thing to keep in mind is that it is okay to alter an image that may not be suitable to you.
- As you listen to these guided imagery scripts, if another image comes to mind, go with it. That is okay.
You will need a comfortable location to sit down that is free of distractions. If you would like, adjust the lighting of the space you are in to make it calm and relaxing. Guided Imagery Intro.mp3 – (script text).
Guided Imagery Exercises
- Ocean Retreat.mp3 – Beach Imagery (script text)
- Trip to the Beach.mp3 – Beach Imagery (script text)
- The River.mp3 – Provided with permission from Whole Person Associates: The Stress and Wellness Specialists (script text)
Progressive Muscle Relaxation is simply isolating one muscle group; creating tension for a short period of time; and then letting the muscle relax and the tension go. This procedure of creating tension and then releasing it is applied to every major muscle group of the body, and ultimately results in a sense of peacefulness and overall relaxed muscles.
- Muscle tension is one of the more common responses to stress. This technique can help condition your body to relax tensed areas of the body when discomfort is experienced.
What to expect?
You will be asked to tense a muscle group either by tightening, clinching, or curling the area and then hold it for a few moments before letting it relax. Your breathing will be very important to focus on while doing this technique.
- Taking deep, slow, diaphragmatic breaths will slow down your mind and body to help create a sense of relaxation.
- Take your time with this technique and enjoy the freedom of tension being released from your mind and body.
You will need a comfortable location to sit down, free of distractions, and focus on your body. If you like, adjust the lighting in your space to create a calm and relaxing atmosphere. Progressive Muscle Relaxation Intro.mp3 (script text).
Progressive Muscle Exercises
Stress Management Relaxation Exercises: Source
These outstanding stress management relaxation exercise were graciously provided by the team at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s McKinley Health Center. Our thanks to them for allowing us to post this information.