When we have negative feelings and stress in our life our brain and nervous system learn to be “on alert” more than may be healthy. Some ways that we respond when faced with difficulties include worrying, being “on edge”, and various body sensations and reactions. None of this is fun; enter “relaxation”! Regular daily practice of relaxation can provide long term physical changes in as little as 12 weeks !
Many times I ask my clients how they relax. When they have time, many will watch television. Television is not a bad choice, however, sometimes we can “watch” television while our mind is elsewhere. I suppose the same could be said for repetitive video games (eg Candy Crush, Tetris, etc) or other online applications and media. When feeling stressed and anxious, try to stay present focused rather than retreating into your head or finding other ways to numb out. If this is hard for you, it may be a sign that professional counseling is needed.
In this blog video, I share how to do guided imagery, which is one of many strategies for relaxation. If you tend to be antsy/restless, I would recommend a more active form of relaxation such as physical activity or a progressive muscle relaxation. Whatever you choose, the relaxation should leave you feeling better than before you started. Some have told me that they don’t find relaxation practice helpful because when the activity ends, their stress returns. The relaxation activity is a coping strategy; it isn’t a solution to your stress. With training and practice you will develop various effective tools that will equip you to be resilient and effective in how you adapt in life.
Guided imagery and other relaxation techniques are just one aspect of lifestyle medicine and learning how to improve your health. To learn if anxiety treatment is right for you, click here. For your own individualized self-care plan, call today to schedule an appointment. <3 Be well !
All blog posts from Dr. Soo Hoo are provided for educational and informational purposes only. As Dr. Soo Hoo is a licensed clinical and health psychologist, we must make it clear that nothing on the blog is intended to constitute medical or psychological advice, consultation, recommendation, diagnosis, or treatment. If you are concerned about your health, please seek appropriate care in your area.