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How to Eliminate your Anxiety and Calm Down-From Barrington, Huntley and Cary

Apr 16, 2008
A certain amount of irritability and agitation is normal. However, if you are continuously or chronically annoyed or irritable, you may have an undiagnosed anxiety or depressive disorder.

The good news is that you can reduce or overcome much of your agitation or grumpiness by learning and applying some proven coping skills. Scientifically proven relaxation techniques are the most helpful of these drug-free methods.

Deep breathing is one of the most well-known and effective relaxation methods. It causes you to reduce your level of tension by using paced breathing techniques to create a state of serenity and calm.

Some people with overwhelming amounts of tension, however, may report a harder time getting the significant results they desire from this method alone. If you have a difficult time as well, do progressive muscle relaxation before you begin your deep breathing exercises.

Progressive muscle relaxation is time-tested, drug-free and scientifically proven; it is both simple and effective. This technique involves tensing and then relaxing your muscle groups in some sort of a pre-planned order.

Relaxing a group of muscles after first tensing them, has been proven to reduce more tension than just relaxing them alone. The particular order you use is completely up to you; the following order is just one example to consider.

To start, sit comfortably in a chair in a serene setting, then gently close your eyes and start pacing your breathing. Next, make a taut fist by tensing all the muscles in your right hand, count to eight, then totally relax your hand.

Remember, when making the fist, do not strain. Simply tense the muscles to make them tight, but not cause pain. Straining painfully, as in an overdone workout, is ill-considered and is not conducive to your goal.

Next, comes your lower arm: Start tensing, then relaxing the muscles there, then move to your upper arm and continue the same exercises with your shoulder. Next, move on to your left hand, arm and shoulder and do the alternate tensing and relaxing with them as well.

Proceed to your head and facial area. You can tense and then relax these muscle groups individually by lowering or raising your eyebrows, smiling or frowning and opening and relaxing your jaw.

Move on to your neck and tense those muscles by gently moving your neck to one side, then the other, forward and back, completely relaxing after tensing each muscle group. Progress down your back, legs and feet until you have alternately tensed and relaxed all of your muscle groups.

After finishing these progressive relaxation exercises, your breathing will have calmed and deepened substantially and this is the perfect time to transition into your deep breathing exercises. Since you are starting them with your body being relaxed, the effectiveness of your deep breathing will be significantly enhanced.
About the Author
Dr Shery is in Cary, IL, near Algonquin, Crystal Lake, Marengo and Lake-in-the-Hills. He's an expert psychologist. Call 1 847 516 0899 and make an appt orlearn more about counseling at: http://www.carypsychology.com
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