The goal of learning and implementing anxiety reduction techniques is to help reduce the intensity of anxiety that a person feels. These techniques are also helpful in teaching people how to relax and manage stress. Many of the techniques are used in combination with each other. For example, a person may be taught diaphragmatic breathing while also engaging in relax ation techniques, a visualization and imagery exercise, and/or meditation.
Relaxation has been used to help women during childbirth and people with chronic pain. Relaxation has also been used to treat muscle tension, muscle spasms, neck and back pain, and to decrease perspiration and respiratory rates. Furthermore, relaxation can help with fatigue, depression, insomnia, irritable bowel syndrome, high blood pressure, mild phobias, and stuttering.
Visualization and imagery techniques have been helpful in treating general or specific anxiety, headaches, muscle tension and spasms, reducing or eliminating pain, and in the recovery from illnesses and injuries. Visualization and imagery techniques have also been used by athletes to help them achieve peak performance.
Diaphragmatic breathing has been found to help people reduce anxiety, depression, irritability, muscle tension, circulation, and fatigue.
Stress inoculation has been helpful in reducing interpersonal and general anxiety. For example, these techniques may be used when a person has an upcoming job interview, speech, or test. Stress inoculation has also been used to treat phobias, fear of heights, and chronic anger problems.
Meditation has been used to treat and prevent high blood pressure, heart disease, strokes, migraine headaches, immunization diseases, obsessive thinking, attention problems, anxiety, depression, and anger difficulties.
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