Teachers spend their day with numerous students every day and follow very demanding schedules. Since children are susceptible to infections as their immunity is still developing, teachers are prone to these infections as well. Depending on the work, muscle pull, sprain, back injuries, blood pressure and strain are commonly seen as complaints from teachers. They are also prone to stress and occupational burn out. Stress regulated due to long work hours, number of students to handle, number of classes and paperwork, tends to affect the entire body. Mood fluctuations, sleep issues, anxiety, headache, anger, behavioural changes are some of the repercussions, in turn.
Relaxation is a good way to keep one's health in check and manage stress. It helps keep teachers fit and healthy. Some methods that teachers can follow are mentioned below.
Benefits of relaxing:
Practicing relaxation techniques can reduce symptoms by:
- Optimising heart rate
- Reducing anger and frustration
- Reducing blood pressure
- Lowering fatigue
- Reducing activity of stress hormones
- Improving concentration and mood
- Increasing blood flow to major muscles
- Reducing muscle tension and chronic pain
- Boosting confidence to handle problems
These relaxation techniques, along with other coping methods such as positive thinking, finding humour, problem-solving, managing time, exercising and getting enough sleep, can be very beneficial.
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Types of relaxation techniques
Substituting medicines with relaxation methods increases awareness in the body and gives a calming effect. Following them on a regular basis will help gain long term benefits. Some of them are:
- Autogenic relaxation- In this technique, visual images and body awareness are used to reduce stress. For example, you may need to imagine a peaceful setting and then focus on controlled breathing.
- Progressive muscle relaxation- It is done by tensing and relaxing the muscles from your toes and progressively working your way up to your neck and head. Contract your muscles for at least five seconds and then relax them for 30 seconds, then repeat.
- Visualisation- This method tries to use senses of smell, sight, sound and touch. If you imagine relaxing by the ocean, for instance, think about the smell of salt water, the sound of crashing waves and the warmth of the sun on your body.
Other relaxation techniques include:
- Deep breathing
- Music and Art therapy