The role of relaxation response in boosting mood and curing depression

During these stressful times, the global economies are struggling giving rise to feelings of tension, fear, uncertainty, added stress and anxiety.  As the situation calls for adaptation to the new normal, it is important to know the role of relaxation response in boosting mood and curing various stress-related disorders. Relaxation response is your body’s way of naturally signaling toward a state of physiological relaxation. This helps to effectively combat stress. There are a lot of benefits attached to relaxation response such as regulating blood pressure, heart rate and digestive functioning to normal levels. Various techniques such as deep breathing, meditation and yoga can help, too. 

This response is related to your personal ability to encourage your body to release the necessary chemicals and brain signals that help increase blood flow to the brain. In other words, relaxation techniques make you more aware of your body and refocus your attention to something more calming. Irrespective of which method you employ, it is important that you practice these relaxation techniques regularly to cash in on the benefits.  

Types of relaxation techniques:

  • Autogenic relaxation:  This practice refers to something that comes from within you. It requires you to use visual imagery and body awareness to reduce stress such as a peaceful setting and then focus on controlled relaxing breathing. If there are any words or suggestions in your mind that help you relax, you repeat it to reduce mental tension. This involves being aware of your body and relaxing each part as you focus to reduce your stress and anxiety.  
  • Progressive muscle relaxation: This practice involves tensing and relaxing a group of muscles as you breathe in and out. You work on each muscle group in a certain order. Once you are physically relaxed, you will feel less anxious mentally and emotionally. Regular practicing will help you get better and you can use this to effectively reduce stress. 
  • Visualization:  This relaxation technique requires you to form mental images to take a visual journey to a peaceful and calming place such as a beach or scenic place. It involves the use of as many senses such as smell, sight, sound and touch. As you imagine a scene for eg: at a beach, you visualize the smell of sand and they salt beach, the sound of waves and warmth of the sun. It is recommended to choose a quiet spot, wear lose clothing and concentrate on your breathing. Always try to be mindful and focus on the present. 

It is important to identify a method that suits you best. Some of the other methods you may use are:

  • Deep Breathing
  • Acupuncture
  • Rhythmic movement and mindful exercise
  • Mindfulness meditation
  • Self-massage
  • Yoga and Tai Chi

Tips for starters:

  • Set aside time in your busy schedule
  • Make use of smartphones and other aids. To know more, click here
  • Expect ups and downs

The best time to practice the Relaxation Response is first thing in the morning for 10 to 20 minutes. Ensure to set aside this time once or twice daily to boost your mood and challenge your stresses.  If you or someone you know wants to discover the unique ways to relaxation response, you can get in touch with our trained healthcare professionals for a virtual counselling session. At Evolve Brain Training we specialize in stress management treatment in Dubai that are personalized and with guaranteed results. 

Dr. Upasana Gala is the founder and CEO of Evolve Brain Training, a Neurofeedback-centered institute that focuses on using non-invasive brain training techniques to maximize the brain's true potential.

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