One of the most powerful practices for coping with and managing stress and anxiety is depth relaxation training. It is at the very Foundation of any practice undertaken to manage Stress and Anxiety. As previously discussed, depth relaxation involves an intentional focus that neutralizes the activated mind/body state of stress and anxiety. This intentional focusing has been described as the relaxation response. Depth relaxation techniques such as visualization, diaphragmatic breathing, and whole body muscle relaxation are distinct from more passive forms of relaxation such as listening to music or watching a movie.
Some of the changes that depth relaxation practice provides are:
- Lowering of heart rate
- Lowering of respiratory rate
- Lowering of blood pressure
- Greater alpha-wave brain activity
- Lessening of analytical thinking
- Lessening of muscle tension
- Lowering a metabolic rate
- Lowering of oxygen consumption
The practice of depth relaxation for 20 to 25 minutes per day will yield a beneficial relaxation response. Following only 5 to 10 days of relaxation practice, you will feel the benefits from the relaxation response.