It is commonly known that stress can be both a positive as well as a negative influence in our lives. Recent research has shown us that stress can actually lead to physical illness. There are many ways that people relieve stress such as exercising, talking to friends or family, taking a nap, watching a favorite TV show, having a good laugh; the list is endless. In recent years, more people have turned to mind/body exercises to help them combat stress. These exercises can be done whenever you feel you need to relax. You can listen to the exercises from this Web site or download them to your own computer or iPod. (Audio files are in .mp3 format.) The exercises were recorded by Kathleen Bryant, Nurse Practitioner at Health Services..
This basic breathing exercise will only take you about 7 minutes. The tape begins with some simple instructions for you to follow. Even as you are listening to the instructions, continue to breathe in a slow and relaxed way. You will be guided through a body scan. You may find that this exercise helps you to fall asleep more easily. Remember that anytime you try something new, you need practice before you develop a comfort level with the activity. This is true with relaxation exercises, as well. Practice when you can, knowing that your ability to relax will improve with time. Taking the time to practice this exercise consistently and at least daily can be beneficial. In a matter of weeks you should be able to command your whole body to become stress free by eliciting the relaxation response by simple self-instruction. The breathing script is taken from chapter 11 of The Relaxation and Stress Reduction Workbook, 5th edition, by Martha Davis, Elizabeth Eshelman and Matthew McKay.
Download: Breathing Relaxation
Head & Neck Relaxation
This exercise will take you less than 6 minutes. It can be down while sitting in a chair, or standing. It is perfect for when you are sitting at the computer, perhaps working on a paper, and begin to feel tension in your neck and shoulders.
Download: Head/Neck Relaxation