High levels of stress can generate negative effects on the immune system and in general for
health. Relaxation techniques are useful tools for coping with stress and promoting long-term
health by slowing down the body and calming the mind.
The days that we are living with the COVID-19 pandemic have generated rising stress levels in
many people. That is why in these articles we will mention some relaxation techniques that will
help you feel better in these times of confinement.
Autogenic training: This technique uses visual images and body awareness to bring
the person to a state of deep relaxation. The person imagines a quiet place and then
focuses on each of the sensations in their body, starting with the feet and continuing to
the head. For example, a person could focus on the warmth and heaviness of their
limbs, easy, natural breathing, etc.
Breathing: In breathing exercises, place one hand on your chest and the other on your
belly. Take a deep breath, breathe deeply and hold as much air as possible. As you do
this, the belly should be pushing our hand. It is important to hold your breath and then
Progressive muscle relaxation: This technique involves slowly tightening each muscle
group individually and then relaxing it, starting with the muscles of the feet and ending
with those of the head, as well as each of the muscle groups. This technique is known
as an effective stress relaxation exercise.
Meditation: The two most popular types of meditation are transcendental (a mantra,
word or phrase is repeated) and mindfulness (focus is on thoughts and feelings).
Guided images: This guided relaxation technique is similar to autogenic training. It is
characterized by listening to a therapist recorded in audio with the aim of reaching a
state of deep relaxation. Once that state is reached, the images begin to emerge in the mind
and help maintain it.
The importance of relaxation techniques
These techniques also allow to redirect attention (focus attention on areas of tension), increase body awareness and exercise, with the aim of connecting body and mind.
If these techniques are used on a daily basis, they can lead to a healthier outlook under
stressful circumstances. In fact, there are numerous studies showing the beneficial effects of
relaxation on health and the benefits of meditation for the brain.
Some effects of being stressed
When we are stressed, our bodies prepare for an escape response. This response produces
changes that put the body on a fight or flight mode. These changes include an increase in heart
rate, blood pressure, respiratory rate, and the amount of blood that is pumped to the muscles.
Over time, these reactions raise cholesterol levels, disrupt bowel activities, and depress the
That is why the simple relaxation techniques that we mentioned here will help you counteract
that feeling of escape. In addition, to help you with the decrease in blood pressure, heart rate,
muscle tension, and respiratory rhythm, generating an overall feeling of tranquility and control.