n our busy, fast paced, competitive society we are exposed to a wide range of demands and expectations. Whether at school, work, home, on the road or amongst our friends, there is a constant pressure to coordinate things, perform, compete, prove ourselves and achieve results. For people with chronic illness and disability all this is further exacerbated by functional and psychosocial demands of their condition, and results in even more pronounced experience of stress. It is therefore not surprising, that so many of us experience ill effects of stress and stress related conditions, such as cardiovascular problems, depression and anxiety disorders.
The survey on Stress and Wellbeing in Australia conducted by the Australian Psychology Society found that as many as one in four Australians experiences moderate to severe levels of distress, with the rates being significantly more pronounced amongst younger people, aged between 18 and 35. In addition to this, almost one in seven Australians reports depression and anxiety symptoms in the severe to extremely severe range.
Regular practice of relaxation techniques is great for stress relief and for prevention of stress related conditions. Even a short period of deep relaxation can greatly improve your wellbeing.
The deep relaxation response required for the positive benefits to be experienced, cannot be easily achieved by simply resting in a recliner or relaxing in front of television. It requires a more structured, purposeful and regular practice of relaxation techniques.
This structured, purposeful, regular practice of simple relaxation and mindfulness techniques, with the assistance from Hypno-Link Therapist, is referred to as Mindfulness & Relaxation Therapy.
Relaxation is commonly defined as a psychological state when the body and mind feel very relaxed and are free from tension and anxiety. The benefits of regular practice of relaxation also include:
Deep abdominal breathing: This relaxation technique involves tuning into your breathing, whilst keeping the hands on the stomach area and feeling the stomach rising like a balloon when breathing in and going down as if the balloon was punctured when breathing out. . This technique engages the diaphragm to assist the body in getting more oxygen in. It is therefore, a very good technique for addressing stress and anxiety.
Progressive Muscle Relaxation: This technique involves gradually tensing and relaxing all muscles in the body starting from feet and finishing on the head or vice versa.
Creative Visualisation: This method involves focusing on a breathing to induce a deep relaxation response. Once this is achieved, clients are asked to engage their imagination – to imagine a beautiful place or a pleasant situation along with all the positive sensations, feelings and thoughts that accompany this imaginary experience.
Considered as one of the relaxation techniques. Mindfulness as a practice is currently very popular in the Western society. With its origins traced well B.C.E in both Hindi and Buddhism teachings. Mindfulness has been introduced in the Western world in 1970s by Jon Kabat-Zinn who founded the Stress Reduction Clinic at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Since that time Mindfulness has become a widely recognised, evidence based approach for addressing chronic pain and mental health conditions. Over the years Mindfulness has been proven so effective that its principles and strategies have been incorporated into a wide range of modern psychotherapy practice models, such as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and Dialectical Behavioural Model
Mindfulness can be best described as a state of an active, open attention on the present moment. When we are mindful, we are able to observe our feelings and thoughts without judgement and without becoming engrossed in them. We are able to experience ‘here and now’ without dwelling on the past or anticipating failures. This in turn assists us to better manage stress, anxiety, depression and chronic pain.
There is a wide body of evidence confirming that mindfulness assists:
A Basic Mindfulness Practice. This involves focusing on breathing, before expanding attention onto the surrounding sounds; focusing on experiencing each thought and sensation without judgement, before returning to breathe again.
Three Minute Practice: Three-Minute Breathing Space. This technique involves concentrating to the thoughts, feelings and sensations that arise when trying to answer the question ‘how am I doing now?’ Following this, the attention is being re-focused on the breath and then on the bodily sensations and their effect upon the body.
Three Minute Listening Space. This involves focusing the attention on the sounds, concentrating how many sounds can be heard and what does listening to them feel like.
Three Minute Space for Sensations: spending three minutes concentrating solely on sensations within our body and the relationship of the body with the environment.
Three Minute Walking Space. This involves concentrating on the sensations in the body when engaged in a slow purposeful movement during this brief walking exercise.
Body Scan: This technique involves purposefully bringing attention to the breath and noticing every experience related to breathing, without judging or trying to change anything. After this is achieved, the participants are asked to scan each part of their body one by one, starting with the feet and finishing on the head area.
& we will be here to support you.
Book your complimentary Therapy Planning Session.