Relaxing can sound simple enough — but for many, it’s not always easy. You may feel like you have no time to unwind, or your day-to-day stresses make it challenging to refocus. And if the relaxation techniques you’re using don’t work, it could be an indication that your stress levels are too high to respond to them effectively.
That’s why it’s so important to find a few ways to relax that work for you, experts say. That way, when you do get the chance to recharge, it’ll actually be restorative.
One of the most common relaxation tips involves deep breathing, which can be done anywhere and at any time. Just sit or lie down in a quiet place, close your eyes, and imagine the place where you feel most calm. Think about the sights, sounds, smells, and even tactile sensations associated with that place (think a sandy beach or the soft touch of your favorite sweater).
Another option is to massage your jaw, which can help relieve tension from clenching and grinding teeth, experts say. Similarly, you can gently stretch your arms and legs, or try progressive muscle relaxation, which involves tensing and then relaxing each body part.
If you struggle to find the right way to relax, consider making it a habit to practice one of these techniques every day. And if you’re not seeing the results you’re hoping for, it might be time to talk to your health care provider about other options.