Stress is part of life, but chronically feeling overwhelmed and stressed out can be harmful to your mental and physical health. Being able to relax can help reduce the symptoms of stress, such as headaches and stomach pain, and may even lower blood pressure. Relaxing regularly can also boost your immune system and promote better sleep, which can help with weight loss.
There are many ways to relax, and each person might have different preferences. For example, some people might find it helpful to imagine a peaceful setting, like a beach or a forest, while others might prefer progressive muscle relaxation, which involves slowly tensing and relaxing muscle groups. While most relaxation practices are safe for healthy people, talk to your doctor if you have questions about what might be best for you.
The simple act of breathing can calm your body and mind. Sit or lay down in a comfortable position and put one hand on your belly and the other on your chest. Breathe in to a count of three and then out to a count of three, and pay attention to the rise and fall of your stomach. Repeat this five times or as often as needed to feel relaxed.
For those who need more visuals, there are videos that can provide soothing images of nature scenes and outer space, or the sound of waves crashing on the beach. Music can also soothe and distract the mind.