There are many different ways to relax, so it’s important to find a technique that works for you. Some people find meditation or calming music helpful, while others prefer deep breathing, which can be done almost anywhere. You can also try visualizing a calm place or situation, which often helps reduce stress and anxiety instantly. Other popular relaxation techniques include tai chi and yoga, which combine rhythmic breathing with flowing movement. Those with health problems or who are physically limited might find these techniques too challenging, though, so check with your doctor before trying them.
Progressive muscle relaxation involves tensing and relaxing each of the body’s muscles, starting with the feet and ankles and working up to the neck and head. You can practice this in a quiet, private place, and you may want to use an audio download or smartphone app to guide you through the process.
When you’re feeling stressed or anxious, you may tense up physically, too. Holding a squeeze ball, squishing modeling clay, or hugging a stuffed animal can help release that tension, and it will distract you from the worries on your mind.
Meditation is a great way to relax, and studies have shown it can lower your risk of heart disease. You can try meditating for as little as 10 minutes a day and see how you feel. Practicing regularly can quickly decrease your feelings of stress and anxiety, and it’s okay if you don’t feel relaxed right away; it takes time to learn how to relax.