woman meditating on the beachGoing through drug or alcohol rehab is a stressful time physically, emotionally and spiritually. The mind and the body are interconnected; how one feels greatly affects the other. Having a calm state of mind can help to improve your body’s recovery and reduce anxiety and stress.

Have you ever noticed that when you recall a happy memory, your body tends to relax? Conversely, when you visualize a traumatic episode, your shoulders may tense up, and your heart begins to race. With a bit of practice, you can use a variety of relaxation and breathing techniques to improve well-being. Here are a few self-help exercises to practice during rehab.

Breathing Exercises

Something as simple as taking deep breaths can do wonders for relaxation. When the body feels stressed, many people tend to take short, shallow breaths, or even subconsciously hold their breath which only exacerbates the situation. Getting oxygen flowing through the body is a good starting point. The next time you feel angry, anxious or stressed, try this breathing exercise for 5 minutes:

  • Close your eyes. Either sitting cross-legged or lying on your back, place both hands on your stomach. Take a deep breath in through your nose and feel your stomach fill like a balloon. Exhale slowly through your mouth. Try to clear your mind and only focus on your breaths. Do this twice a day.

Muscle Tension and Relaxation

This technique helps you feel the difference between tense muscles vs. relaxed muscles. To begin, focus on one area of your body, such as your shoulders. Squeeze your shoulders for 5 seconds and hold this pose. Then let go of the tension and allow your muscles to relax for 10 seconds. Notice how better your shoulders feel when relaxed.

Many people do not realize they are “tensing up” during times of stress. Muscle tension and relaxing exercises improve body awareness. You can do this exercise sitting upright in a chair and start from the top of your body and slowly move down through the different muscles all the way to your toes.

The Power of Music

Music has a special ability to tap into a primal part of human nature and affect our mood. It can also conjure up happy memories. Make a playlist of songs that inspire, calm or make you happy and listen to them whenever you need a ‘pick-me-up.’  Beachside offers Music Therapy that helps those recovering from substance abuse to enjoy the healing powers of music through group listening, instrument playing or singing.

These are just a few exercises that help to create a calmer mind during rehab. There are many other holistic healing practices available at Beachside Rehab that we’d love to introduce you to. Call us today at 866-349-1770 to learn more.