Relaxation is important because it helps manage stress, which can lead to anxiety and even depression. Plus, it can help ease symptoms of some health conditions, such as pain from headaches or lower back problems, and improve sleep quality.1
However, relaxing can be difficult for many people. Maybe they don’t feel they have time to take a break from busy work or home responsibilities, or they may not know what activities will truly help them de-stress. Luckily, there are lots of ways to unwind.
Some of the best relaxing tips include taking deep breaths, doing a mindfulness exercise, or engaging in repetitive prayer. Yoga, tai chi, and qigong can also be effective, since they combine rhythmic breathing with physical movements.
Another great way to calm down is listening to calming music, such as classical or ocean-inspired tunes. Other popular choices include a warm bath, a long walk, or reading a book.
Lastly, it’s important for adults and kids to get some sun on their skin. Exposure to sunlight can help reduce moodiness and make you feel energized. Splashing cold water on your face or wrists can be a quick way to calm down, as well. (Although you should avoid this if you have a psychiatric condition or epilepsy.)
Kids can have their own unique stressors, from peer pressure to school expectations and sports competition. To help them learn how to relax, start by asking them what they find calming and soothing. Then, practice an activity with them that involves visualizing something they find restorative and comforting, such as a trip to the beach where they can imagine its sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and tactile feelings.