There are the four common factors that generate stress:
1) Environmental Factors
This includes things such as: excess noise, uncomfortable living spaces, pollution, natural disasters, and even bad weather.
2) Social Factors
This includes: deadlines on projects (whether at work or in school), financial difficulties, interpersonal relations, family or friendship troubles, and others.
3) Physiological Factors
This includes: issues with health that stem from poor nutrition or misuse of drugs/alcohol, poor sleep, muscle tension, headaches, accidents, and other illnesses.
This includes: how we perceive events, the expectations we have towards certain situations or outcomes, the desire for perfection, being too self-critical or pessimistic, and the tendency to make assumptions.
It is no wonder, then, that “according to the Mind/Body Medical Institute at Harvard University, 60 to 90% of all medical office visits in the United States are for stress related disorders.” (University of Maryland Medical Center, 2017)
Prolonged exposure to such stress and tension can wreak havoc on the immune system, making the individual more susceptible to colds, illnesses, and other health issues. This is where the use and implementation of relaxation techniques can really help the individual cope with stress and create long-lasting health.
It can be accomplished with various relaxation techniques (RT) that calm the mind by concentrating it on actions such as: breathing, repeating a word or mantra, meditating, doing yoga, and listening to music.
Some researchers suggest that the benefits are reaped “as a result of a repetitive mental focus and reduced/monotonous sensory input. In a similar vein, RT may serve a cerebral energy conservation/restoration function by allowing the cortex to go offline from its normal activating, energy demanding role of processing complex, stressful stimuli.” (Jacobs & Friedman, 2004)
Now that the benefits are clear, let’s look at the tools that can help you relax.