Me and Dizzy have been trying out different relaxation techniques recently to try and help manage our anxiety. I did a post in January on Me and Dizzy attempting to combat anxiety on general ideas to help manage anxiety. For this one we’ve been thinking about using specific exercises and techniques! 🙂 It’s taken us a while to find ones that really work for us but we find these ones super effective. I hope they are also of some help to you too. 🙂
- Rubbing circles on the palm of your hands. I love this one because you can do it anywhere. For me it helps me keep my anxiety under control when I can feel it escalating quickly, especially when I’m out and about! Some people find pressing this point helps better but I personally don’t get such a comfy feeling from doing that.
For Dizzy it’s rubbing circles on her little paws. 🙂
2. Tensing and relaxing muscles. Someone taught me how to do this last week and I’ve now started doing it before I go to bed and when I first get up. It’s taken me a couple of tries to get into it but I’m really noticing a difference now! This one works by isolating muscle groups, tensing each one for the count of 3 and then releasing.
Start by sitting quietly and just feeling the support of whatever you are sitting on. Then work your way through these muscle groups:
- Forehead and top of head – Still find this one tricky but its the muscle that runs from your forehead, over the top of your head and round the back
- Face – either scrunch up your face or create a massive smile! 🙂
- Tongue – drop your tongue to the base of your mouth
- Neck – sticking your tongue out helps to feel where these muscles are
- Shoulders – lift your shoulders up towards your ears
- Arms -image you’re trying to lift something really heavy
- Wrists – lift your hands up and lean them backwards towards your arms
- Hands – clench your fists
- Tummy – tighten your tummy muscles
- Bottom – when you clench these muscles you should feel your body lift slightly
- Pelvic floor – image you really need to pee
- Legs – image you’re about to stand up
- Ankles – lift your feet so your toes are reaching towards the sky
- Feet – scrunch your toes up
After you’ve worked your way through all the muscle groups just takes a few moments to notice how your body feels.
This one was not for Dizzy. She thought it sounded a bit more complicated so pottered off to look at the flowers instead. I really like this one though!
3. Stretching! and balance. Stretching always seems to make me feel happier and freer. Balancing seems to have an amazing calming effect. 🙂 My three favourite stretches/balancing poses are:
- Twists – Just twist! 🙂 I enjoy doing this in bed by lying on my back, lifting my knees to my chest and then moving them over to one side. You can then reach the opposite arm out and turn your head to look at your hand. I also enjoy just standing up and swinging my arms around my body. I remember doing it as a child and it’s still really fun! 🙂
Dizzy did her twisting by the flowers. 🙂 I think she’s actually thinking about munching on the flowers…
- Reaching for the sky stretch – just stretch on your tip toes and try and reach your finger tips right up to the sky! I love doing this one in the morning.
- Tree pose. Balance on one leg, lightly resting the other foot on your calf/knee/thigh. You can then have your hands wherever is best for you. I usually have mine in a prayer position but you could also try reaching for the sky. Or if your balance is having a wobbly day (which mine often is!), you can lightly hold onto the wall or a chair. Make sure you keep your gaze on a fixed point to help. 🙂
Dizzy decided she wanted to do the tree pose in a tree (which I would definitely not recommend!). She then sat down and balanced on three legs. I told her I thought that was cheating…
4. Breathing. Just taking notice of your breathing can help. I find laying one hand on my tummy and one on my chest and noticing how these rise and fall when I breathe in and out really helps me feel calmer. Breathing to the count of 3 or 5 can also be very relaxing.
Dizzy was taking this one very seriously.
5. Imagination. Especially if it’s a not so good day and any sort of exercise is asking a bit much. Just getting lost in an imagery land helps me take my mind of my own anxiety and feel more relaxed. For me this is imagining myself off in a land of magic and dragons but it’s wherever you feel happy. 🙂 Dizzy loves apples, so for her it’s imagining eating lots of apples! Or those brownies of course… 🙂
These are our favourite ones we’ve found so far! If you decide to give any a go please only do ones that feel right for you and your body.
What’s everyone else’s favourite relaxation techniques? Me and Dizzy are always on the look out for new ones to try. 🙂 xxx
Also published on ‘The Mighty’ at: https://themighty.com/2017/03/my-top-5-relaxation-techniques-to-help-cope-with-the-anxiety-of-ms/ 🙂