Muscle Relaxation: A Scientifically Proven Method To Reduce Stress And Anxiety
The human body is a complex machine with many different parts. When one part fails or becomes damaged, it affects other parts. If all the various parts are working properly, then there will be no problems.
However, if any of them fail at the same time, they may cause damage to each other causing a chain reaction leading to severe symptoms such as pain and even death.
When stress levels rise, our bodies try to reduce these symptoms by releasing chemicals called endorphins. These chemicals act like natural opiates which make us feel good when we use them. They also give us a sense of well being and calmness.
Unfortunately, too much endorphin release can lead to physical dependence and addiction in some cases. Endorphins are released during exercise, sexual activity, eating certain foods and even breathing deeply (breathing out).
Endorphins have been shown to reduce anxiety and increase feelings of happiness. However, they do not work for everyone. Some people cannot get rid of their stress through relaxation methods because they lack the right type of brain chemistry.
Other times, the way stress is managed causes a buildup of stress hormones which eventually leads to physical dependency and addiction. There are several ways to manage stress but none seem effective for everybody.
A common misconception is that writing about your problems will make you feel better. Some people even take it a step further and think they can make money by writing a book about their problems. While it might seem like a good idea, research has shown that this process can actually cause long-term damage.
Instead of putting all your energy into describing how you feel, try to direct all that energy into physical exercise instead. The reason why professionals rely on medication is because it works. Doctors know what they are doing so if they recommend medication then you should take it especially if it can keep you from doing damage to your body.
There is a lot of controversy on whether or not doctors should be allowed to hand out painkillers so freely. The overprescription of pain medication has been shown to cause addictions in some patients. Many people who go to the hospital for a broken bone leave with a handful of pain pills even if they don’t need them.
This leads to some people taking the drugs not as prescribed and becoming addicted.
Addiction does sometimes occur even if you go to the hospital and get the drugs from a doctor. Many people try to self-medicate with alcohol or street drugs such as marijuana or cocaine in an attempt to reduce their stress levels. While this may relieve them of some of their problems in the short term it can cause bigger ones in the long term.
Mood altering substances of any kind can lead to a variety of health problems.
Research has also shown that the human body is capable of naturally producing painkillers similar to opiates. For this to happen, you need to either be really happy or really scared. Many people use sports as a way of triggering these natural endorphins.
Whenever a person is really into a sporting event such as a football game or a car race, their body releases chemicals making them feel happy.
Even getting a shot can be enough to trigger these endorphins. Many doctors will give a small dose of pain medicine before giving you a shot just so you don’t feel any pain. This method is effective in most cases but it is not 100% foolproof.
There are a few rare cases where people were not able to feel any pain even before the shot due to a medical condition.
Research has found that there are two different types of people in the world. Some people feel less pain when they are really happy and others feel less pain when they are really scared. Many warriors throughout history probably enjoyed their battles because it caused them to not feel as much pain.
Some describe a “tunnel vision” state where all they can think about is the battle at hand and nothing else.
One interesting phenomenon is that feeling fear or anxiety can sometimes cause pain as well. For example, a person with a fear of needles may feel pain when getting a shot. These types of fears are called “social anxieties” and they can cause more than just a feeling of pain.
For example, a person with social anxieties may not be able to leave their house or even have a job.
Many doctors believe that medical marijuana should be legal for patients to use to help reduce their anxiety before going to the hospital. In some cases, it has even helped patients with PTSD or social anxieties. However, many doctors are still reluctant to prescribe medical marijuana because they are concerned about the side effects of the drug and they believe that patients can reduce their anxiety in other less harmful ways such as meditation.
If you are ever prescribed any form of pain medication, it is very important that you take it as directed. It can be tempting to take more than the recommended dose but this can cause problems for two reasons. The first reason is because taking too much of any drug can lead to an overdose.
The other reason is that pain medications such as Vicodin and OxyContin are often very easy to get addicted to.
Please take this information and use it wisely. Thank you for watching this briefing. We’ll see you next time.
Sources & references used in this article:
Differential effects of mindful breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, and loving-kindness meditation on decentering and negative reactions to repetitive thoughts by G Feldman, J Greeson, J Senville – Behaviour research and therapy, 2010 – Elsevier
Effects of a single session of large-group meditation and progressive muscle relaxation training on stress reduction, reactivity, and recovery. by SM Rausch, SE Gramling… – International Journal of …, 2006 – psycnet.apa.org
Muscle biofeedback and transcendental meditation: A controlled evaluation of efficacy in the treatment of chronic anxiety by M Raskin, LR Bali, HV Peeke – Archives of General Psychiatry, 1980 – jamanetwork.com
Effects of transcendental meditation and muscle relaxation on trait anxiety, maladjustment, locus of control, and drug use. by DC Zuroff, JC Schwarz – Journal of Consulting and Clinical …, 1978 – psycnet.apa.org
Biofeedback and meditation: Effects on muscle tension and locus of control by LD Zaichkowsky, R Kamen – Perceptual and Motor Skills, 1978 – journals.sagepub.com
Biofeedback and meditation in the treatment of psychiatric illnesses. by BC Glueck, CF Stroebel – Comprehensive Psychiatry, 1975 – psycnet.apa.org