How to Relax: 8 Relaxation Techniques That Work

Relaxation is very important for our health. We need to relax when we are feeling anxious or stressed out. People who know how to relax tend to be happier and less likely to develop mental and physical health issues. The reason for that is when we are angry or stressed out, our sympathetic nervous system gets activated, resulting in increased heart rate and blood pressure, tense muscles and shallow breathing. Our bodies release stress hormones, such as adrenaline, norepinephrine and cortisol making us feel awful and we look for the ways to feel better.

There are a lot of relaxation techniques out there that you might want to try. However, the problem with most of them is finding motivation to use them. Because of that, we have picked the top relaxation techniques that have some research support and are proven to be the most effective. Fight your tough times easier!

1. Breathing is The Key

Don’t forget to breathe. It is the most simple way to relax fast. Take a short break, close your eyes, sit up straight, relax and try to breathe deeply and slowly. Inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth. This relaxation technique will lower your heart rate and blood pressure, relieve your anxiety and stress.

2. Focus on Your Senses

When you spend time in the moment and focus on your senses, you should feel less stress. Take 5 minutes and try to intentionally orient yourself to your surroundings. Try to recognize what is around you, feel the air on your face, enjoy the view from the window, watch the trees. No matter how silly this technique might seem, but when you are tense or stressed out, you almost always stop paying attention to your surroundings and feel completely consumed by your negative thoughts related to something that is not present where you are. Focusing on your senses will help you to relax and to recognize your immediate surroundings.

how to relax

3. Take a Walk

No matter where you are at the moment of stress or tension, take a 5-10 minutes break and get moving. You don’t need to go to a gym or run a marathon to relieve your stress. Any form of physical activity will help you to relax. Go for a short walk, run down and up the stairs, do some yoga, stretching exercises or dancing. Exercise will give you the peace of mind, improve your levels of concentration and let you gather your thoughts.

4. Talk to Somebody

Don’t hesitate to accept help from others. Invite your friend, family member, co-worker or loved one for a coffee, or at least call them on the phone and talk about your stress. Talk it out! Sharing will help to release your anxiety and strengthen the connection with the people close to you. Moreover, other people can see your situation from another angle and provide different, fresh perspective. Maybe after all, the reason of your stress and the whole situation will not seem that bad anymore.

Alternatively, you might want to cuddle with your pet. Animals can help to relieve stress, instantly raise the mood and even boost self- esteem.

Related: How to Boost Your Low Self-Esteem?

how to relax - talk to a friend

5. Laugh

Laughing increases blood flow and immune system defense, lowers body’s stress hormone cortisol and boosts endorphins, brain chemicals which can raise your mood. Lighten your load by reading comics, talking to someone who always makes you laugh or check out some funny videos on YouTube. You might want to try the world-famous JustForLaughsTV channel in YouTube – these videos will give you a good belly laugh.

6. Listen to Music

Music has a healing power, so go ahead and listen to your favorite soundtracks! According to recent research, listening to music can lower your heart rate, blood pressure and relieve your stress. Try listening to soothing music or nature sounds and focus on the instruments, singer’s voice and melodies. Music therapy is amazingly effective and widely recognized as a way to improve mental health.

7. Have a Cup of Tea

A cup of tea can calm you down after stress. This easy relaxation technique actually works! Tea has been used decades ago in traditional medicine as a cure for anxiety and stress. The following teas are all great at helping your body deal with tension: camomile tea, Siberian ginseng tea, passionflower tea or simple black tea.

relaxation techniques - tea

8. Allow Yourself Some Downtime

Take time for yourself to relax no matter how busy you are. You might want to spend some time alone to gather your thoughts and emotions. Turn off your phone, take a nap or do something you enjoy – your stress will get better. Truth is, the world won’t collapse if you allow yourself some downtime.

how to relax

Life can be pretty tough sometimes but what is important is how you deal with it. Relaxation is a very effective way to live happier and healthier life. Do you have your own favorite ways how to relax?