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  • Writer's pictureJean Jordan

Relax and chill out to relieve pain and anxiety - easy

Updated: May 26, 2023

Why Is It Important To Relax?

In this blog I'm going to focus on finding time to relax and why it is important. Relaxation, meditation and mindfulness are words we read and hear often and have become rather muddled and I won't be adding to definitions and discussion here. Except to say. What is important is taking time out, or what could be described as "me time". Giving yourself permission to have a break from your busy life.

Time To Relax And Chill Out To Relieve Pain Or Anxiety

There's a couple of words above, to relax,' to chill out' we hear quite often but usually there is a no, in front; no time to relax or no time to chill out. Mostly we add, "yeah, chance would be a fine thing". What we need to consider is the effect of saying no; on the tension in our shoulders, the pain in our neck or head, the ongoing ache in our lower back. Or perhaps the anxiety and a feeling of being constantly overwhelmed.

How To Keep Your Body Fit And Healthy

It's interesting that many of us will be careful about what we eat, perhaps we've decided to eliminate gluten from our diet or we may start the day with a green shake - this one would not be my choice as I prefer my porridge or a poached egg. To keep our bodies fit and healthy, some of us will find time to start the day by going to the gym, yoga or Pilates.

To do the things I've mentioned above takes your time and energy. Energy, which may often be in short supply. As you read this I want you to think about not adding something extra, to your already busy life, but maybe a swap so that you can have time to relax or even catching up with friends to chill out and have a laugh.

Are You Tired And Exhausted At The End Of The Day?

First of all, let's address this tiredness and exhaustion. Everybody's day is different so what I'm going to prescribe below needs to fit into your evening. Perhaps you may have a five or ten minute space as soon as you get home, perhaps you can delegate various household activities, and escape to a quiet place for those five or ten minutes. Perhaps your opportuniy may be later in the evening when you have time to yourself. Although you may want to just go crawl into bed, or collapse into bed just give my following ideas or the audios here five or ten minutes. Time to learn how to relax, to switch off and release the over-tension in your muscles.

Two Steps To Learning How To Relax

There are two parts to describe how you use this relax time. Which incidentally can be longer than ten minutes if you have the time, the inclination or perhaps like my husband, get so relaxed that you fall asleep. Those two parts are to find a quiet comfortable place where you won't be disturbed and learn ways to use your breath to improve your response to stress.

Put Yourself In A Comfortable Supportive Position

A supportive position is important, when muscles relax they soften and release tension. For this reason your natural body posture needs to be supported. You may have a favourite chair, a yoga mat or have bolsters or blocks, however lounging on the sofa may not be everything you need. If you need further information on supporting your body on this page are some ideas to consider and tryout.

Using Your Breath To Release The Tension In Your Shoulders

Often, after a busy day, if you check out your shoulders, they may have gradually moved up and seem like they're trying to touch your ears. We are not supposed to breathe with our shoulders, breathing requires using our rib cage and diaphragm. Unfortunately, if you look around or watch friends and family particularly when they're in a rush or in getting stressed you will see their shoulders seem to be leading their breath. We should be able to breathe with little or no movement in our shoulders.

Exhale – Relax And Lower Your Shoulders

Step One

Exhale and at the same time relax or switch off your shoulder muscles. Feel your shoulder blades gently move down and take your shoulders with them, at the same time making a little bit more space between your ears and your shoulder. This first step is so amazing and so quick and easy to do it can be introduced many times during your day. Just take a slightly bigger breath in and exhale perhaps through pursed lips as if you were blowing out a candle. This very simple action shown in the videos demonstrations, allows you to switch on your parasympathetic nervous system, the relaxing part of our nervous system.

Inhale – Breathe Keeping Your Shoulders Relaxed

Step Two

You have relaxed your shoulders, as you exhaled. Take your next breath, breathing in opening the ribs a little and allow your diaphragm to lower. Feel your tummy rise slightly BUT remember keep your shoulders completely out of this process. Don't worry if it takes time to disengage your shoulders, as it may be a habit that you've had for many years. The most important part of my relaxation process that I'm taking you through today is to be very chill about it there is no perfect way to relax, there is no perfect way to breathe. If at any time this feels strange return to your natural breathing.

The information in this article is general in nature and in no way diagnoses any illness.

Jean Jordan is a naturopath, kinesiologist who has been practising in both Perth, Western Australia and Christchurch, New Zealand.

She also has an online chronic pain clinic Natural Pain Solutions, with a natural treatment philosophy and offers an individual treatment programme Pain-Less Journey.

NOTE: If you have any medical issues with breathing, check with your doctor before doing any relaxing or meditation exercises either in person or online.

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