Staying healthy with conscious breaks and active relaxationDiseases and frequent infections can be caused and promoted by a certain way of life. Too little exercise, an unhealthy diet or little sleep can weaken the immune system. But stress and constant tension can also be reasons for an increased susceptibility to infections and fatigue. Relaxation measures and conscious phases of rest contribute significantly to a better quality of life and good health.
At a glance
– Stress and excessive demands can take a toll on mental and physical health in the long term. Relaxation therefore belongs next to exercise. Balanced diet among the pillars of a health-promoting lifestyle. – If you allow yourself regular rest periods, you can prevent certain illnesses – but also remain resilient and become more efficient. Relaxation techniques such as autogenic training can be learned at any age. Integrating relaxation into everyday life without much effort.
Important to know: Not only excessive demands, but also insufficient demands can trigger stress and put a strain on health: for example, particularly passive phases during an illness or when unemployed. A healthy balance between challenge, which can also be fun, and rest can therefore be seen as particularly beneficial to health.
Relaxation can be practiced: techniques to imitate
Some people find it easy to “come down”, while others need to relearn how to truly relax. If the stress level is very high, the tension often does not completely subside even during rest phases – when relaxing after work, during a walk or even during sleep.
Regular exercises can help to better let go of tension and constant alertness and to “train” the organism to come to rest more easily and quickly. Techniques such as autogenic training, progressive muscle relaxation according to Jacobsen, mindfulness exercises or meditation are particularly suitable for this purpose.
What distinguishes these relaxation techniques: Methods such as focusing on certain parts of the body, conscious concentration of thoughts or the targeted alternation of physical tension and relaxation help to facilitate, reinforce and internalize relaxation reactions. And: External stimuli are perceived less, which in turn promotes inner peace.
This has also been recognized in the world of work and by health insurers: Companies and health insurers now offer numerous programs and courses on relaxation and stress management as part of their health promotion and burnout prevention efforts.
Examples of relaxation techniques offered are:
– Progressive muscle relaxation according to Jacobson: individual muscle groups are specifically tensed to promote greater self-awareness and subsequent relaxation. – Autogenic training: With the help of autosuggestion, the subconscious mind is trained. You repeat formulaic phrases that focus on areas of the body one after the other, for example, “My right foot is heavy and warm”. – Meditation: by sitting or lying quietly and concentrating on body sensations, phrases repeated in the mind, or inner images, the bouncing mind should calm down. – Mindfulness-based stress reduction: by focusing intensely on one thing, action, movement, or thought, you practice staying in the moment. This will improve the concentration. Promoting inner peace. – Yoga combines mental and physical exercises as well as breathing exercises for relaxation. One goal is to harmonize body and mind.
Relaxation exercises can also help to alleviate existing illness complaints. Thus such techniques can support cancer patients or humans with depressions to be able to deal better with their illness. For children there are age-appropriate techniques such as playful yoga-. Mindfulness exercises or fantasy journeys (to read aloud or as audio files).
Important to know: There are now numerous studies on the positive effects of relaxation techniques, but also criticism of promises of salvation in connection with yoga, meditation and Co. One should always keep in mind that such techniques are only to be considered as accompanying support and cannot replace medical treatment. Patients with mental illnesses should talk to their doctor or psychotherapist before starting a certain relaxation method.