Relaxation is allowing physical and/or mental tension to be released. Tension is the body's natural response to threat, part of the body's alarm or survival mechanism. It can be a very useful response, but a lot of the time, we don't need this tension, so it's okay to learn to let it go, and learn some relaxation skills.
Healthy living is a matter of balance. Relaxation is part of the balancing process alongside other aspects of your lifestyle such as what you eat, your physical activity and how you handle stress. Learning to relax takes practice, as with learning any new skill. It's a great help to learn a relaxation technique, to help us unwind and bring our tensions and anxiety under control. It's a good idea to practice regularly so we can be more prepared for the more stressful times.
Try the Five Finger Exercise to get you started:
Now when you are ready, it is time to come back to the room. As you take another deep breath, begin to hear the sounds in the room. As you feel ready, return to an awareness of the room and what is going on around you.
View printable version of Five Finger Exercise
Created by Jennifer Wilson, Ph.D. Personal Counselor in Student Health and Counseling at University of Wisconsin – River Falls
Information on Relaxation - From Cognitive Behavioral Self-Help Resources
Page updated January 2013 by Mark Huttemier, MA, LPC. Personal Counselor in Student Health and Counseling at University of Wisconsin – River Falls