Techniques of Stress Reduction

An interesting article that explains some techniques for stress redu such as deep muscle relaxation, bio feedback, etc.

Techniques of Stress Reduction
Techniques of Stress Reduction

Techniques of Stress Reduction

Physical exercise, sports, and yoga, etc. are found immense value in preparing a person for relaxation. One such procedure is deep muscle relaxation. This technique assumes that mental relaxation follows muscular relaxation.

Deep muscle relaxation

The Veda is taught to experience both tension and relaxation alternately in each and every group of muscles in the body. Experience of relaxation and appreciation of the difference between tension and relaxation immensely helps the individual in maximizing the feeling of calmness. It is called progressive muscle relaxation because as the individual practices this technique, the experience of relaxation increases.

Bio Feedback

Another procedure that is generally adopted for inducing relaxation through altering bodily reactions is biofeedback. This procedure based on skin response (GSR), feedback in brain waves (EEG), and feedback on any other psychological parameters. The induvial is made to study the internal relations to stress and relaxation. By giving the individual feedback whether he/she in a state of stress or relaxation, the individual can be made to alter the reaction in favor of relaxation, which he/she will have to maintain as much as possible. Visual or auditory feedback is given. In the visual feedback, when the stress of the individual experiences, red light is on and relaxation is indicated by green light. Hence the goal is always to keep the green light on when induvial undergo treatment for the management of stress. Once the individual masters the art of relaxation through biofeedback, he/she can easily generalize the same state/level of relaxation to any other situation.

In the case of auditory feedback ‘beep’ sound will come whenever the individual is tense. Focus is given by the individual to put off the beep sound. As the very sound may at times prevent the individual from relaxation, visual feedback is performed more than the auditory one.


Yoga has 8 steps.

1 Yama; practicing self-regulation

There are five Yamas in total listed in Patanjali's Sutras:

  • Ahimsa (non-harming or non-violence in thought, word, and deed)
  • Satya (truthfulness)
  • Asteya (non-stealing)
  • Brahmacharya (celibacy or 'right use of energy')
  • Aparigraha (non-greed or non-hoarding)


2 Niyama; observing behavioral norms

Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra lists five Niyamas, or observances, which apply specifically to how you conduct yourself on a more personal level.

  • Saucha Cleanliness
  • Santosha Contentment
  • Tapas Self Discipline
  • Svadhyaya Self Study
  • Isvara-pranidhana Surrender


3 Pranayama; an exercise means to regulate breathing.

It makes the respiratory system works at its optimum thus ensuring proper supply of oxygen to the blood and improving blood circulation.

4 Asanas; are the physical aspect of yoga 

In which postures are checked and modified as required for setting right the imbalance of inner functions which include both physical and physiological aspects of the human body system. Asanas have preventive, curative, and promotive values.

5 Pratyahara

means withdrawing the senses from the external objects and turn them inward. Yoga helps us to train our sense organs to remain quiet without outer stimulation.

6 Dharna

is focusing the mind on a particular object. Dharana is the sixth limb of the eight-limbed path as defined by Patanjali, who compiled the Yoga Sutras. Dharana means “holding,” “concentration,” or “steady focus.” When you practice Dharana, you are “binding” the mind to one place, idea, or object.

7 Dhyan- is to study contemplation or meditation. 

Dhyana is the 7th limb of yoga, building upon asana (physical posture), pranayama (breath control), pratyahara (control of the senses, moving the focus to the inside), and Dharana (concentration). The word dhyana comes from the Sanskrit word dhyana, which means "to think of." When you practice dhyana, you focus your mind on a particular object or concept with the goal of becoming one with it. The best way to prepare for a dhyana practice is to first do some yoga to bring your body to a calm and relaxed state. Then you'll be ready to shut down your senses and focus your mind.

8 Samadhi- extreme level of dhyana when one loses the sense of time and place. 

Samadhi is oneness with the object of meditation. Samadhi is of two kinds, with and without the support of an object of meditation: ... Samprajnata Samadhi, also called savikalpa samadhi, and Sabija Samadhi, meditation with support of an object.


Rejuvenation guided or visual imagery, biofeedback, massage, healing your inner child, grounding, focusing, cue control relaxation, chanting of mantras, controlling the mind.

(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of MakeBetterLife.)

Raj Lakshmi Singh

1st year BA