Relaxation and Meditation

Relaxation and meditation can help decrease pain, stress, and anxiety. Relaxation and meditation also help regulate your breathing and decrease your blood pressure and heartbeat.

What are some types of relaxation?

  • Slow, deep breathing can help relax your body and mind. Deep breathing can be done at any time.
  • Progressive muscle relaxation decreases tense muscles. With this therapy, you relax certain muscle groups until your entire body is relaxed. Start at one end of your body and move to the other end, such as from your feet to your head.
  • Autogenic training, or self-control relaxation , helps increase the blood flow to your limbs and helps you sleep. With this therapy, you try to replace painful or uncomfortable thoughts and feelings with pleasant ones.
  • Guided imagery uses your imagination to help you feel peaceful and calm. You try to see, hear, smell, and taste things that you picture in your mind. For example, you might imagine lying on a beach, feeling the sand, and hearing the waves.
  • Distraction uses activities you enjoy to help you take your mind off of pain, stress, or anxiety. Distraction may include, listening to music, painting, reading a book, or exercise.

What are some types of meditation?

Meditation is a mind exercise that helps to relax your body and free your mind of worry. You sit quietly in a comfortable position, close your eyes, and relax your muscles. Your thoughts are relaxed while your body stays alert. Meditation can be done alone or with other people.

  • Mantra meditation is when you think or speak a certain word or phrase over and over. The word or phrase often has a smooth sound. The mantra is used as a way to help you focus. The sound is believed to make vibrations that have different effects on people.
  • Mindfulness meditation is when you focus on what is happening in your life at that point in time. You become aware of your thoughts and feelings in the present without making any judgment. You learn not to worry about your past and future.