Anxiety, apathy, sadness - many experience these feelings during self-isolation. The fear of illness and job loss, the stress of the transition of everything from paper to digital, the lack of live interaction with loved ones, or the opposite situation - too close communication with relatives. By compiling your list of stressors, you will understand which triggers trigger negative experiences. As they say, it is better to know the enemy by sight! Taking care of yourself is especially important during this challenging time. A psychologist talks about ways to restore the body's resources through bodily practices and training in self-regulation methods.
psychologist of the Moscow psychological aid service
Self-regulation - managing your psycho-emotional state with the help of words, mental images.In stress, the body tenses, we stop noticing muscle clamps and sometimes walk with it for years. This is called the muscle carapace, which blocks the circulation of energy in the body. As a result, the energy becomes small, pains may appear; where there is a shell, the organs receive less nutrients, weaken, and become more susceptible to diseases.
Jacobson's progressive muscle relaxation technique
Has it ever happened that you go to bed and your body is like a stone? Or do you sit quietly in your usual state and suddenly notice that your shoulders and jaw are clenched? If you have encountered this, then the technique below is for you.
“The essence of the technique is to alternate tension and relaxation of different muscle groups. You have probably noticed that after a good physical work, the body can be especially relaxed. Physiology: after tension, the muscles automatically relax,”the psychologist notes.
How to do
If you know that any kind of stress is contraindicated for you, go to the second part of relaxation - breathing. It is not recommended to do it in the postoperative period less than 3 months, during pregnancy, acute chronic diseases.
The exercise can be done while sitting or lying down. Hold the tension for 10 seconds, then relaxation for 20-30 seconds. Mentally say "I am relaxing, my (name part of the body) is relaxed." It is advisable to do two approaches for each muscle group. When holding on to tension, try not to hold your breath. At the moment of relaxation, try not to move and focus all your attention on the sensations in the body.
- Clench your fist as much as possible and bend your hand.
- Bend your arm at the elbow and press firmly with your elbow against the body or on the nearest surface.
Shoulders and neck
- Raise your shoulders to your ears.
- If you are lying, press the back of your head against the surface where you are lying.
- The hand presses on the forehead, the forehead on the hand.
Chest muscles and diaphragm
Take a deep breath, hold, hands in front of the chest, palm presses on the palm.
Back and belly
Tighten your abdominal muscles, bring your shoulder blades together, and arch your back.
Tighten the front and back muscles of the thigh, keeping the knee bent. If you are doing the exercise lying down, you can raise your legs or push your knee against your knee.
Pull your foot towards you.
- Raise your eyebrows as if you are surprised, your mouth in a big smile.
- Fold your eyebrows together, as if frowning, lips with a straw.
- Move your jaw forward, to the sides.
Finally, tighten your entire body.
At the end, reinforce with the phrase "my whole body is relaxed", "I am completely calm."
An additional express way to relieve tension is shaking: shake the relaxed muscles of the arms and legs. Be sure to move, movement and activity help you get through the stress you are experiencing faster and easier.
The next block of self-regulation is breathing practices. Breathing is a powerful way of working with the body. Under stress, the body is the first to react, the hormone cortisol is released into the bloodstream, which affects the further functioning of organ systems. The muscles contract, breathing and heart rate increase.
Breathing techniques can be a powerful preventive measure, but also a way to reduce the level of anxiety, to return to balance.
“As a rehabilitation psychologist, I have developed a breathing complex, carefully selected each technique, testing it on myself and applying it when working with clients. The result is a set of different directions and practices: psychology, yoga and meditation. Since these techniques are gentle, there are no restrictions on their implementation. After each step, note what happens to the breath, whether the sensations in the body have changed, what happens to the emotions and consciousness,”the specialist said.
- Sit comfortably, and can also be done while standing or lying down. If sitting, then the arms are lowered to the hips, legs at an angle of 90 ° at the hips / shoulders. You can keep your head straight or, by relaxing your neck, lower it onto your chest.
- Move your attention to the nostrils. Feel the cool air flowing through the sinuses, larynx, trachea. Feel the lungs expand as you inhale, and as you exhale, the oxygen cells disperse throughout the body, giving energy. 1 minute.
- Synchronize your breathing and attention.
A) With inhalation, attention slides from the coccyx to the crown of the head, with exhalation - from the crown of the head to the coccyx.
B) The second embodiment is from heels to crown.
C) The third option: if you perform while standing, then you can synchronize your breathing with the movement of your hands. As you inhale, your hands are simultaneously raised up until the fingers are directed towards the ceiling. With an exhalation, the hands gently fall down, the fingers are directed to the floor. In this variant, hypertension, problems of the musculoskeletal system may serve as a contraindication. 2 minutes.
- Place your left hand on your stomach and your right hand on your chest. Feel the warmth of the palms on the body: how this heat goes inward to the very spine, under it all tension dissolves and goes away. The right hand on the chest gives a feeling of support and support. Left - fullness and harmony. Notice which is more involved in breathing: chest or abdomen. Diaphragmatic breathing - with inhalation, the abdomen inflates, with exhalation, deflates. Without stress, evenly and calmly. 5 minutes.
- Breath counting. For 4-5 counts, inhale, for 5-6 - exhale, or at a rhythm convenient for you, but gradually with lengthening of exhalation. All attention is on the bill. 5 minutes.
- Alternating breathing. Exhale through both nostrils, close the right nostril with your right finger, inhale through the left, close the left, exhale through the right, inhale through the right, exhale through the left - 1 cycle. Each time you breathe out through a different nostril. You can close your eyes to focus on sensations. If the sinuses are clogged, try to free them first or not close the nostril completely, there should be no feeling of shortage of air.
- Bring your attention to the area of the heart, feel the heart rate. Imagine how your heart is connected to breathing. "Looking" into your heart, try to find words of gratitude to someone or something in your life. Gratitude fills the body with warmth and a sense of happiness. 2 minutes.
Important: note how the body has changed after the practice, what happened to the breath, emotions, consciousness. Most likely, you will feel lightness in your body and emptiness in your head, as if all processes inside have slowed down, and what is outside has ceased to exist for a moment.
Tip: While breathing, different thoughts may appear that distract from being here and now. Our thoughts are either in the past or in the future. Stop. Observe this thought, imagine that it is a cloud in the sky, flies by and flies away, you let go of it, returning to breathing. The entire breathing complex will take 15 minutes. You can start this setup for the day, or end the day by getting yourself ready for bed. Practice is key.