Reduce stress: Why it’s so important to practise relaxation

Do you face numerous challenges in everyday life? Job, family, hobbies, household – do you always get everything done now? Doing things this way often increases stress, resulting in not enough time to take care of yourself and relax. Sure, it can be nice to put your feet up after a long day and watch your favorite series on TV. But do you really feel relaxed after such an after-work routine? Unfortunately, the fact is that the tension that you might feel inside doesn’t go away by itself, which makes it an important topic for the body and mind. We explain what causes stress and what options there are to simply incorporate regular relaxation into everyday life.

Stress and relaxation

What are the triggers for stress?

According to a 2016 study by Techniker Krankenkasse, six out of ten adults in Germany are under constant stress. Even one in four states that they are frequently stressed. The greatest stress factors are daily work (46%) and high demands on ourselves (43%). Equally, 33% of those surveyed also feel stressed by having too many appointments in their free time. 30% can be unbalanced by road traffic and 28% by digital stress.

What is digital stress?

Because smartphones, laptops, tablets and the like have become an integral part of everyday life from childhood onwards. Our lives are becoming more and more digitized, both at work or at school and at home. But permanent flooding, a lack of privacy, pressure to perform, omnipresence and constant availability can cause digital stress. This affects a large number of employees as well as children and young people more and more.

Can stress be caused by electrosmog?

A team of specialists in biophysics and cybernetic medicine as well as naturopathy has discovered the connection between the increase in electrosmog and increasing stress. Accordingly, these specific effects of electrosmog not only affect electrosensitive people, but effectively all people in high-tech regions. It seems that electromagnetic fields (EMF) block our organism’s stress reduction system. If this effect fails under the influence of EMF, the various stress loads gradually transform into permanent stress.

What happens in the event of constant stress?

Stress is our body’s natural response to a challenge. The sympathetic nervous system (Part of the autonomic nervous system) releases hormones such as adrenaline, dopamine and cortisol, which activate an emergency program:

  • Heart rate and blood pressure rise
  • Senses are sharpened
  • Breathing becomes faster
  • Muscles tighten
  • We feel less pain
  • and the body provides additional energy.

This energy enables us to:

  • work at full speed
  • respond immediately
  • think in a highly focused manner
  • complete tasks quickly and effectively.

What is problematic is when the stress becomes chronic. Because every phase of stress should be followed by a phase of relaxation for regeneration. If this does not happen:

  • stress hormones are no longer completely broken down
  • the tension remains
  • and our body is too stressed.

There is scientific evidence that cardiovascular diseases, high blood pressure, metabolic disorders, headaches, weakening of the immune system and even mental illnesses can be attributed to permanent stress.

EMF PROTECTION FOR YOUR OFFICE
Free: Checklist for EMF protection in your workplace

Electrosmog can often trigger health related problems, such as headaches and poor concentration.

What you’ll discover:

  • What is electrosmog and why it is so harmful to health;
  • How to mitigate EMF exposure in your workplace;
  • Easy and effective protective measures to promote wellbeing of every employee in your workplace.

What happens in the body when you relax?

When relaxing, however, messenger substances such as endorphins and GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) are released. The body activates the so-called parasympathetic nervous system, the part of the autonomic nervous system that is responsible for regeneration.

This has the following effects on the body:

  • Vasodilation (improved blood circulation)
  • Lowering the pulse rate and blood pressure
  • The state of tension in the muscles decreases
  • Decrease in breathing rate / steady breathing rhythm
  • Stress hormones are lowered in the blood
  • Change in brain activity

What types of relaxation are there?

Relaxation is different for everyone, because each of us has different needs. The level of stress also depends on the perception of each individual. So there are people who feel stress very early on and others who are not so easily disturbed. To address this, there is also a variety of relaxation methods that can be divided into passive and active forms.

Passive relaxation

We do not actively induce passive relaxation, but rather it arises, for example with something that you enjoy doing and that gives you satisfaction, such as making music, cooking, doing handicrafts, reading, or working in the garden.

Warmth

Warmth not only relaxes the muscles after exercise, but also during stress. A warm bath can therefore work wonders.

Regular saunas can also contribute to relaxation. A visit to the sauna strengthens the immune system and relaxes body and mind. Steam and heat ensure that the body detoxifies and toxins are transported out of the body. You should make sure that you take enough breaks between sauna sessions. Because if you spend too much time in the sauna, you expose your body to additional stress. Try different temperatures and choose the most comfortable one. There are Finnish, bio and steam saunas. The temperatures vary from 45 to 100 degrees.

Movement

Exercise also leads to the breakdown of stress hormones. Movement does not mean training to the limit of your ability. More suitable are light jogging, cycling or swimming, as well as a walk through nature.

Massages

Massages create short breaks in everyday life. Blockages can be released and your muscles relaxed. A massage also leads to the release of endorphins, which reduce stress and ensure well-being.

Foot reflexology massages are particularly suitable. According to this approach, some zones on the sole of the foot are connected to specific organs. Massage of these zones can have a positive effect on the organs.Thiis way you can reduce stress and recharge your batteries.

Reduce electromagnetic pollution

Reduce sources of electromagnetic interference in your home and business. Switch off the WiFi at night and do not carry your cell phone directly on your body.

Digital detox

Talk to your family members and employees about how to use technical devices carefully. Scheduling offline times and doing online activities in specific time windows can be a helpful method to reduce digital stress. In the meantime, many digital devices themselves already have functions for regulating media use: the flight mode setting, do not disturb function or the deactivation of notifications can help you to use digital media more consciously and independently. Apps that can be used to gain an overview of your own screen time or limit the usage time of individual apps can also serve as important tools.

Active ways to relax

There are also active relaxation techniques. They have a targeted and systematic effect on the organism and give it a balance and relaxation when it is tense. The effects have been scientifically well researched and proven. In the long run, this type of relaxation is more effective, but it also requires a certain amount of training.

Active relaxation techniques:

  • relieve tension and calm down
  • train body awareness
  • help to reduce physical and emotional excitement in stressful situations
  • make you more resilient and increase your stress tolerance
  • help you to become more relaxed and satisfied in the long term
  • reduce existing psychosomatic complaints such as tension headaches, cardiac or circulatory disorders
  • help with chronic complaints
  • can be used as emergency aid in acute stressful situations.

Breathing

Breathing plays an important role in most active forms of relaxation. It has been scientifically proven that breath has measurable effects on the processes in the body. When we breathe deeper and slower:

  • the heart rate drops
  • the muscles become slack
  • and blood pressure falls.

Even, deep and slow breathing has a calming effect. This can be seen, for example, in the fact that we engage in very shallow breathing when we are stressed. If, on the other hand, you consciously breathe long and deeply, your body relaxes. That is why in stressful situations it is often said: First take a deep breath!

Yoga

Yoga is a millennia-old philosophy, the positive effects of which have been very well researched. A classic yoga class includes mediation phases, physical exercises (asanas) and various breathing techniques.

Regular practice has a positive effect on the regulation of the nervous system. Hormones like serotonin and melatonin make you more alert and content. A study showed that breathing exercises and meditation in particular can regulate high blood pressure. In addition, researchers found in a review that the relaxing effects of yoga can help alleviate birth pains.

Meditation

The effectiveness of some mediation methods has also been scientifically proven. Meditating regularly helps to feel less stressed and more alert. This was confirmed by the brain researcher Richard Davidson, among others. He interviewed people before and after meditation and found that they recognized hidden numbers on a screen better than before.

Other scientists found that meditating regularly can help process emotions better. As with yoga, there are also indications that meditation can lower blood pressure and help you focus on the moment, resolve negative thoughts and find clarity. In this way, mindfulness is trained, which makes it easier to become aware of one’s own emotional and physical states.

Mindfulness training

The main aim of the different mindfulness techniques is to improve self-perception and to pay more attention to one’s own feelings and thoughts. Mindfulness training includes, among other things, various forms of meditation, such as the body scan, a method in which one mentally wanders through the body. Forest bathing is another technique, where you pay special attention to smells, noises or other sensory impressions. Mindfulness-Based-Stress-Reduction (MBSR), a standardized procedure that combines elements such as meditation and breathing exercises, has been well researched.

Autogenic training

The relaxation technique that the psychiatrist Johannes Heinrich Schultz developed at the beginning of the 20th century comes from hypnosis and is based on his observation that people can bring themselves into a relaxed state even without external guidance.

Autogenic training is also based on the interaction between body and mind. By focusing on the body, you are suggesting a deep relaxation to yourself. The autonomic nervous system, which is responsible for breathing, blood pressure and circulation, is positively influenced by this.

Progressive Muscle Relaxation

This method was developed by the American doctor Edmund Jacobson at the end of the 1920s. While lying down or sitting, tense the muscles of different parts of the body one after the other, only to relax them shortly afterwards. With this method, inner restlessness, states of excitement and tension can be alleviated.

Tai chi and qigong

These relaxation techniques come from traditional Chinese medicine. They combine slow movements with breathing exercises.

In tai chi you perform certain martial arts and movements very consciously and in a gently focused manner. This increases life energy and strengthens self-awareness and sensitizes you to the physical early warning signals of stress. Tai-Chi also helps against osteoarthritis and pain.

Qi-Gong is based on directing the life energies (Qi) back into the right direction. The result: tensions are reduced and body awareness is increased.

Are active relaxation methods always safe?

No, because not every relaxation method is suitable for everyone. For instance, some yoga exercises can damage the joints or increase intraocular pressure, especially if you have previously had problems with your joints or eyes.

In meditation, stressful thoughts can increase. This was shown by a study at University College London, in which scientists interviewed 1,000 people with meditation experience. A quarter of them reported unpleasant experiences. There were also differences in the type of meditation: people who used mindfulness techniques were less likely to have negative thoughts. Depression or anxiety disorders can also intensify during autogenic training.

Anyone who is unsure which active relaxation method is the right one should seek advice and look for professional guidance, especially people with mental health problems.

Tips for your personal relaxation practice

Regular time out is important

It is particularly important to allow yourself regular relaxation breaks. How it looks is up to you. Often, giving yourself a few minutes is enough to recharge your batteries and relax. As soon as you have found a method that suits you, you should incorporate it into your everyday life on a regular basis. This will make it easier for you to relax.

Exercise and perseverance is crucial

You can learn an active relaxation method in a few weeks. However, it does not work without practice. As with physical training, you need some time for this – around 20 minutes a day, preferably at a fixed hour.

Find a place just for you

Find a quiet place in your home or elsewhere. It is best to always practice in the same place at the beginning. Make sure that you are not disturbed. A sign on the door or a brief note to your family will often help. The best you can do is ban the cell phone from your exercise area.

Come to rest

Sit or lie down comfortably and loosen tight belts or uncomfortable clothing. Close your eyes, inhale and exhale a few quiet times, and focus on your body. Adopt a passive attitude. You don’t have to do anything. And then practice the relaxation method that you have chosen.

After the relaxation exercise

Your body shuts down during relaxation. Blood pressure drops, muscles relax, your breath becomes calm. After deep relaxation, it is therefore important to actively adjust to everyday life again. To do this, slowly open your eyes, take a deep breath, and straighten up. Only then do you get up slowly.

Simple relaxation exercises for everyday life

Individual relaxation exercises that you can do without much effort can be perfectly integrated into everyday life. These exercises don’t take a lot of time or training to do properly.

Stretch the body

Reach your arms up and keep pulling them towards the sky. The back is straight and stretched in the same way. Also elongate your thighs, calves and feet. Try to make every muscle long. Yawn while doing it. This loosens your muscles.

Shake the body

If you are currently burdened with a lot of things and negative feelings arise, you can easily shake them off. Try to get rid of stress by shaking your whole body vigorously.

Tension – relaxation

Tense all of your muscles. Try to use every muscle in your body. Hold your breath and remain in this position for up to five seconds. Exhale strongly and loosen up your body.

Breathing exercises

  • Inhale through your nose for five seconds and exhale through your mouth for five seconds. You can also choose any other interval, depending on what is comfortable for you. It is important that you breathe calmly and evenly.
  • Exhale for twice as long as you inhale, for example, inhale for three seconds and exhale for six seconds. By exhaling longer, your body will automatically breathe in a little longer and deeper in the next step.
  • Lie on your back and your hands on your stomach. Inhale into your stomach through your nose so that your hands are raised. Hold the air in your body for a few seconds. Finally, exhale through your mouth again. Repeat this process a few times until you are completely calm and relaxed.

Smile

A very simple and effective technique for relaxation is smiling. It releases endorphins and natural pain relievers. The muscles can relax and you will feel happier.

Relaxation as preventive health care

Regular relaxation practices have a long-term positive effect on your health. In addition, giving yourself relaxation breaks are an opportunity to do something for yourself, to take your time, to get to know yourself better and to cope with everyday life with more energy and serenity.

Waveguard recommends individual relaxation

At Waveguard, we are aware that more exercise and a balanced diet create a basis for balance. We believe that relaxation, resilience building techniques as well as the reduction of electromagnetic radiation can promote your energy, focus and wellbeing. For this, we can recommend alternative solutions that are right for you.

We have also developed Qi technology, which works with natural frequencies and is the elixir of all our Qi devices. Qi technology can support you in all relaxation techniques thanks to natural light frequencies.

Any questions? We are here to help.

Did you like our article? Read more about relaxation techniques and EMF protection in our Waveguard blog.

References

EMF PROTECTION FOR YOUR OFFICE
Free: Checklist for EMF protection in your workplace

Electrosmog can often trigger health related problems, such as headaches and poor concentration.

What you’ll discover:

  • What is electrosmog and why it is so harmful to health;
  • How to mitigate EMF exposure in your workplace;
  • Easy and effective protective measures to promote wellbeing of every employee in your workplace.

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Anne Usadel

Anne Usadel

Anne Usadel M.A. studied literature and linguistics. Since then, she has worked as a freelance editor in the fields of art, culture and health. She has been researching the topic of electrosmog for Waveguard since 2015.

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