Relaxation techniques refer to a wide range of different activities and practices. Some of these techniques have been specifically designed to promote relaxation while others have relaxation as a side-effect. All of these practices have the effect of releasing tension from the body, and this is a desirable outcome because it provides many physical and mental health benefits.
The Benefits of Relaxation Techniques for People in Addiction Recovery
Those individuals who are recovering from an addiction can gain particular benefit from using relaxation techniques. These are some of the most prominent ways in which these techniques can aid in recovery:
- Anger and resentment can be a real problem for people who are recovering from an addiction. These are dangerous emotions because they can act as relapse triggers. By practicing relaxation techniques the individual can reduce the amount of anger they experience.
- Early recovery is often described as an emotional rollercoaster as people learn to deal with their feelings. The addict is able to escape dealing with their emotions by using alcohol and drugs, but this option is no longer available in recovery. This means that early sobriety can be a particularly stressful time; relaxation techniques can help the individual deal better with this stress.
- Those in early recovery can have problems getting to sleep at night. These techniques will make it easier for them to fall asleep. They can be practiced at night in bed to induce sleepiness.
- When people first become sober they often complain of a type of mental fogginess. They can use relaxation techniques to improve their concentration levels and focus.
Additional benefits of using relaxation techniques include:
- Relief of stress
- Sleeping better at night
- Improved concentration
- Increased ability to learn
- Improved memory
- Increased blood flow to major muscles
- Reduced feelings of anxiety
- Increased confidence in the face of challenges
- Reduced feelings of anger and frustration
- Combats hypertension (high blood pressure)
- Slowed the heart rate
- Slowed respiration
- Relieved muscle tension
- Reduced pain intensity
- Improved immune system functioning
- Reduced risk of developing heart problems or suffering a stroke
- Looking healthier and fresher
- Improved mental health
- Potentially improved symptoms of a number of different medical conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome, arthritis, psoriasis, tension headaches, fibromyalgia, panic attacks, and diabetes.