You may have heard that relaxing is good for you, but it’s not always easy to do. It can be hard to know where to start if you’re new to relaxation techniques or if you’ve tried them before and found that they weren’t helpful. It’s also common to find that one type of relaxation doesn’t work for everyone, so it’s important to try different ones and figure out what works best for you.
Some ways of relaxing can be very simple, such as sitting in a quiet place and breathing deeply, or counting your breaths, like ‘one, two, three, four’, as you breathe in and out. Other types of relaxation include visualizing a relaxing place, such as the ocean, and focusing on the senses, including smell, sight and touch. You can also use progressive muscle relaxation, where you systematically tense and then relax different groups of muscles, to become more aware of how each part of your body feels.
Music can also help you relax by connecting you to your emotions and allowing you to disconnect from stressful thoughts. Try playing soothing instrumental music, or a playlist of your favorite songs that make you feel calm. You can also listen to your favorite podcasts or watch YouTube videos with calming content to relax. Getting in touch with your creative side can also be relaxing, whether through painting, drawing or crafts. You can also exercise in a way that feels good to you, such as yoga, tai chi or qigong, which combine rhythmic breathing with flowing movements.