Looking at the wide variety of ”wellness”, ”chill-out”, ”relaxation” offers and similar strategies to achieve calmness, you get the impression that tension is bad and relaxation is good.
But it seems that in today’s ever-changing world many people have trouble maintaining that balance. Mental and physical tensions reinforce each other, resulting in knots and pains not just in the muscles but in the soul, which not even the best massage can alleviate. Some try relaxation exercises as a form of mental massage to resolve these issues. If those home remedies (like the “nightcap”) fail then it’s time to seek professional medical and psychological help - because relaxation training is no panacea!
However, if used correctly and at the right time, relaxation exercises can bring a multitude of benefits beyond short-term relaxation, ranging from relief for tension headaches, insomnia, digestive issues, stress reactions, anxiety (e.g. test anxiety or fear of flying), and restlessness.
But human needs cannot be simmered down to a simple formula. Tension is a necessary factor in the rhythm of life, and it can even be attractive: We read crime novels for the suspense, we watch action and horror movies, we pour ourselves into our workouts, we follow sports events or even participate in competitions, we play exciting games and we draw motivation from our professional challenges. Tension can be a positive thing, as long as it’s balanced and deliberate.
This website, www.progressive-muscle-relaxation.com, is meant to be used as a starting point for those interested in learning more about the benefits of different relaxation techniques.