In this article, we look at a comprehensive list of relaxation methods that have use in relaxing the mind even if stress is not a problem for you. Even if you don’t have stress its important to find ways to unwind and lighten-up the senses especially on the last few days before a fight.
- Breathing exercises
- Leisure activity
- Ganzfeld Mindwave Goggles
- Muscle relaxation through breathing techniques
- Tai Chi training
- A good night’s sleep
- Music therapy
- Planning your outfit
- Humor therapy
Visualization: This technique is a method to practice and strategize your moves against your opponent. This activity gives a grappler or combat athlete food for thought and has a calming effect since it takes your mind off your anxieties.
Meditation: There are several meditation techniques that can help you relax. The quietness and the single-minded focus required in meditation can relax the mind and restore a sense of well-being.
Breathing exercises: Breathing exercise is the simplest and quickest form of relaxing and calming yourself for the game, and it can be done anywhere and anytime. Any good yoga instructor can provide the right guidelines to proper breath control.
Exercise: You can use any form of exercise that you are comfortable with including jogging. Exercise has the ability to increase blood flow and oxygen to the brain resulting in the release of chemicals that create a positive mood effect.
Leisure activity: Ask yourself this question: What would you like to do for fun? What activity cheers you up and relaxes you? It could be anything from shopping to cooking to playing a video game to even planning your costume for the fight.
Ganzfeld Mindwave Goggles: A very recent invention. Mindwave Goggles’ are a non intrusive way to work on your mind and consciousness to bring about deep relaxation. When you use the Ganzfeld Mindwave Goggles, your entire field of vision is filled with an even light. It’s a device that helps you enter into a meditative state where you can rid your mind of worries and also rid the mind of the surface noise or chatter of unnecessary thoughts.
Muscle relaxation through breathing techniques: It’s a method of alternately tensing and relaxing all muscles in the body while following a set-breathing pattern. You hold in your breath and then relax the muscles while exhaling, You relax each muscle and gradually relax the whole body, This method has a calming effect on the senses, too, since the person gets completely engrossed and does not think of any worrying thoughts. In meditative or yoga methods, breath control is targeted at increasing blood flow and circulation. In this technique, you clear the mind while actually relaxing the muscles.
Tai Chi training: Tai Chi is a martial arts meditation technique that teaches you to relax the muscles, loosen the joints, and clear the mind. Tai Chi relaxes the whole body and calms the mind. Tai Chi is part of the formidable martial art system called Tai Chi Ch’uan and is considered enormously beneficial for good health. Tai Chi is a series of gentle physical movements combined with breathing techniques that facilitate the experience of the meditative state. It will help you to:
- be calm
- become rejuvenated
- reduce your stress
- give you a sense of well-being
- maintain a balance between the body and mind
- improve your energy and drive
- increase endurance and delay the onset of fatigue during a match
- improve your ability to focus
A person who adopts Tai Chi principles will be able to balance the yin and yang “life force energy” of Chi. Yin and yang represent the widely acknowledged symbols of Chinese culture that are based on the concept of opposite forces that make up the life force energy. Yin and yang are complementary, but opposing forces. For instance, yin is still and yang moves. Yin is passive; yang is active, and so on. Tai Chi builds in the balance of the yin and yang by developing the ability to balance the “yielding” and “aggressive/attacking” characteristics of martial arts combat.
Yoga: There are many forms of yoga. Almost all yoga techniques rejuvenate the mind without exhausting the body. Yoga can train the muscles and the mind simultaneously. Yoga can dramatically increase your flexibility of movement, which is a big benefit for a grappler and contact athlete, and mentally you will become more alert and attentive.
The benefits of yoga become apparent if you stick with a regular daily pattern and carry out the exercise in a consistent and disciplined manner. Yoga is not something you can do two days before the match and expect it to work for you. It takes a few weeks, though you will start noticing perceptible changes within a few days of starting the exercises. The suggested ideal time is 45 minutes per session for best results, but you can spend a shorter time, especially if you have identified just a few key exercises that you want to go with. Yoga gurus usually suggest that there should be at least a three-hour gap between a meal and a yoga session.
The book, entitled Light on Yoga: The Bible of Modern Yoga by B. K. S. Iyengar, is suggested. Another book by Iyengar, Light on pranayama: The Yogic Art of Breathing covers breathing exercises through yoga. Iyengar is an acknowledged guru and considered a top authority on the practice of yoga.
Prayer: Many athletes find prayer to have the therapeutic effect of taking away all worries and giving a sense of divine support. When you talk in your mind during prayer, your deepest anxieties get expressed, and when you seek blessings, it has a cathartic effect on you.
A good night’s sleep: A good night’s sleep is without doubt one of the most important requirements to feel fresh and relaxed for a fight. Adequate sleep also ensures that your alertness is at peak levels.
Methods to help you sleep:
- Meditation a half hour before you sleep
- A 10Ag bath
- Avoid watching TV – the flickering lights and the brightness of colors and light from a TV can keep you wide awake
Music therapy: Music can lift the mood; create a calming effect and a sense of well being. Music is an enjoyable sensory experience that works in a passive way. You don’t have to actively participate in the process of listening. It enters your mind irrespective and works its magic. Music can calm the senses for some; soothing music has a tranquil effect. You can also use any music of your choice to help clear the mind, free you from your tensions, and unwind completely.
Music! Music! Music! I used korn slipknop paparaoch and more… that’s my mental preparation, Iii to clear everything from my head. – a martial artist
Humor therapy: “Laughter is the best medicine.” We’ve all heard that. Humor is one of the best ways to lift the spirits and take your mind off tensions. It is a scientifically proven way to effectively reduce stress. According to the experts, laughter has the power to relax tense muscles, lower, blood pressure, and transform your mood.
You have to find your own laughter triggers, but given below are some suggestions:
- Watch a funny movie
- Watch a sitcom on television
- Read a joke book
- Share a joke – shared laughter is even better than laughing on your own, in lifting spirits
- Watch a TV talk show like Jay Leno
- Attend a stand-up comedian’s performance
The positive emotions brought on by laughter can create neurochemical changes in the brain reduce the effects of stress or anxiety. Humor lightens your mood and gives you a welcome break away from anxiety.
Lloyd Irvin is a martial arts coach. He holds the rank of 7th degree black belt in Thai Jitsu, 2nd degree black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, 1st degree black belt in judo. In 2002 he was named The United States Judo Federation International Coach of the year. Lloyd’s coaching experience includes having taught Secret Service, FBI & SWAT. Read more on: http://www.lloydirvin.com