Pregnancy comes along with a lot of stress. It is imperative for you to manage this stress and stay calm in tough times ahead. As a pregnant woman or a new mom, it is important to understand your bad-stress zones and stay away from situations that cause stress. For example, you might not be getting along with your boss – and you feel like pulling out your hair. Can you simply quit your job and move away from work-related stress? Most of us really can’t. Let’s be practical.
Every time a stress situation presents itself, give yourself a moment to relax. Remember this simple relaxation technique – stop for a moment, take a deep breath and count to 10 slowly. Always take a moment to pause and relax. Try this simple relaxation technique post your exercise routine. This will give you some quiet time for yourselves. In a state of relaxation and meditation, your brain gets a moment to recuperate, grow and heal itself. Women who practice relaxation and meditation regularly tend to be calmer in stressful situations.
When you practice relaxation correctly, it is almost like meditation. Most of us have the misconception that meditation means spending hours doing nothing in a quiet, remote place. Actually, meditation can be just a few minutes of quiet, calm time you spend with yourself.
Here are some relaxation techniques that will help you in your pregnancy:
Breathing: This is a very simple relaxation technique. Set yourself a predetermined time – even 5 minutes is fine. Simply focus on your breath and think about your inhalation and exhalation. Make your breathing very slow.
Remember not to hold your breath. If you start thinking about anything bring your attention back to your breathing. You can practice this any time of the day. All you need to do is switch off, close your eyes and focus on your breath. Mothers who practice this technique report that they feel less tired and have higher energy levels.
Breath counts: This one is easy. If you find your attention wandering, set a predetermined number of breath counts. Say 20. Now sit in a relaxed position, make sure your cellphone is on silent. Now slowly close your eyes, exhale and start counting. Keep going till you reach 20. You can do this little routine a few times every day as well. Next time you are late for a meeting and stuck in a traffic jam, just give it a try. You will realize that you won’t feel so irritated in stressful situations.
Word chant: Many Indians believe in this form of relaxation – simply chanting a word slowly. And the most preferred word is Om, which signifies something pure and spiritual. However, you can also devise a word of your own choice. Make sure that the word is neither too long nor is it a tongue twister.
Sit in a relaxed position, close your eyes, breathe slowly and with every breath chant your chosen word. You could chant it aloud or in your mind. Just so long as your mind is chanting it.
Body awareness: You can perform this relaxation technique by sitting or lying down. It can be done after your exercise routine. While doing this, close eyes, breathe normally and slowly think about every part of your body As you become aware of each part, think of relaxing and releasing any tension in this body part. Start from your feet and move toward you head. So think feet, heel, soles,toes, ankles, calves, knees and so on. If you do not have time to do this with your exercise routine, do it just before bedtime. It will help relax you and allow you to experience a more restful sleep.
Music: Soothing and relaxing music is something which has been used over generations. Don’t pick something with lyrics. The words will distract you. However, if it is just repetitive words, its fine. Instrumental music works best. Listen to it every day to unwind. Your baby is learning to relax with this music and it could be used later as an aide to calm him.
Massage: Nothing works better for relaxation than a soothing massage given by someone you love. If your partner can give you a gentle back rub, or massage your shoulders just before bedtime, it can help you unwind. All gentle massage strokes are considered safe for pregnancy. This few minutes of touch therapy will make a mom feel relaxed and will help her unwind.
There are many techniques that could help you relax. You may also come up with your own unique method and that’s fine too. Make sure that you find those few precious moments for yourself where you can relax your mind. You and your baby will reap many emotional benefits of being relaxed.