Author: Randeep Singh / go to all articles on Yoga Concepts
Natural Tranquilizers, learn to Relax with Nature and its elements.
Stress relief that works round the clock
Weekend vacation haven’t worked for you.
Neither have month long annual
holidays, or family get togethers.
or goofing off from work to watch the
favorite program on TV. Try out the natural tranquilizers instead.
Are you beyond the hope? Not at all.
But you need to learn the real facts concerning
the fine art of relaxation. An in learning them, you just may discover that what you couldn’t do in a week or month, you can do in 20 minutes.
Relaxation doesn’t just Happen
People tend to think of relaxation as merely a state of mind tat naturally occurs when they are taking it easy. Not true. The relaxation response is a bodily capacity that’s the exact opposite of the stress response. But it doesn’t happen on its own.
During stress, the body releases adrenaline and noradrenaline. Heart rate rises, metabolism increases. The muscles get tense, breathing becomes rapid and there’s increased hostility, anger and anxiety. This release of chemicals is a survival mechanism that happens automatically as a response to an emergency and prepares you to fight or flee. And in the modern world of problems, deadlines and danger, it is a response activated on daily basis. If it is kept sustained within the body for longer, stress can prove fatal in a number of ways.
The relaxation response, however, is the “white” to stress’s “black”. Everything takes a 180 degree turn. Metabolism decreases, breathing slows down, the blood pressure drops, and the muscles relax. Even the brain decreases the production of faster beta waves and enhances the slower alpha, theta, and delta waves. Unlike the stress response, though, which can be immediately triggered by a loud noise or a perceived danger, getting your body to produce the relaxation response takes a little focused effort.
There are many activities you can use to evoke the relaxation response. Yoga, meditation, running, music – but for any of them to be useful you need to follow two basic steps first.
Tune out the World, Tune in Relaxation – Natural Tranquilizers
One of the big problem with the “relaxation-vacation” scenario is that when people pack to go away for the week, they tend to fill their suitcases with as many of their daily problems as they do swimsuits. And no matter how soft the sand at their favorite resorts, how sweet sounding the surf, and how warning the Sun, relaxation is impossible if their minds are replaying some distressing office confrontation that happened last week.
To bring about the relaxation response with natural tranquilizers, the first step you need to take is to break the train of everyday thought that typically induces stress. And one of the most effective ways to do this is through repetition: repeating a word, a sound ( as in Mantra Yoga), a thought, a breathing exercise even a religious phrase. After all, if you are focusing on the words , ‘Om Shanti Om’, repeated over and over again, its almost impossible to be thinking about projects and bills.
But repetition need not simply be static. Water flowing in a creek is both repetitious yet ever changing. The foundations of music composition are built upon repetition, and yet music also changes from measure to measure. The real trick is to find something simple your mind can focus on to the exclusion of all other thoughts.
And that’s where step two comes in. As you focus on your particular technique, other, unbidden thoughts will interrupt that focus, You need to passively disregard them and keep gently bringing your attention back to the repetition. An passively is definitely the key word in this relaxation process. Passively is described as Vairagya bhava in Yoga, the bhavas concept is taken from the Samkhya Philosophy and used in various yoga techniques.
Think of unwanted thoughts and worries as a bumble bee buzzing around your head on a summer day. resisting th bee by swatting at it will only make it angry… and ensure its continued presence. But if you accept that the bee is there and then gently turn your thoughts to other matters, the bee will bizz about for a few moments and then move on.
Relax little everyday – Natural Tranquilisers
Some people are under the impression that a Sunday afternoon doze in a hammock can provide them with their “recommended weekly allowance” of relaxation. Nothing could be further from the truth. You need to spend some time relaxing every single day. 10-to-20 minute sessions twice a day are ideal.
And for your 20 – 40 minutes worth of relaxation , you can expect big dividends. After doing it for about a month, your body becomes less responsive to noradrenaline. It actually takes more of this hormone to increase the heart rate and blood pressure. In other words, the relaxation response is like a natural tranquilizer that works round the clock to help your body build an immunity to the stress response.
But, even if you can’t squeeze in the 20 to 40 minutes needed to achieve the full relaxation response from natural tranquilizers, you probably can manage a minute or two here and there. And even brief periods of shutting off the world can take a little clench out of your teeth. Stress is the cause behind the problem of teeth grinding. So what are you waiting for? Find a focus object – be it music, prayer, a babbling brook, or your own breathing – and start tuning out the mental static.
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