Relaxation and Stress Reduction

Meditate to help yourself relax. Two simple forms of meditation are simply to follow your breath and pay attention to your body. Meditation simply means to hold the attention of your mind some place and maintain it there. when you follow your breath, you can just have a seat, sit up straight, and be with your breath. Pay attention, notice it, and follow it as you breathe in and hold, and then breathe out and hold. Keep staying with your breath, noticing it every second and every moment. If your mind starts to wander and think about other things, that OK. Just return to your breath. Do it for as often as you like. Start doing it immediately when you worry. Another form of meditation is to pay attention to your body. Scrunch up and tense up a certain part of your body such as your feet for a few seconds, release. Or, simply pay attention to the sensation of your feet. Move up your body. Your ankles, skins, knees, thighs, hips, stomach, chest, shoulders, arms, hands, lips, nose, eyes, top of your head. Keep paying attention to each section of your body. Go back down from the top to the bottom of your body.

Deep breathe. Do deep breathing as described in the Staying Healthy article. With each deep breath relax more. Release more of your body.

Pray to reduce stress. Even if you are not religious, you can pray. Pray for humanity, pray for the greater good, pray for your future, pray for the health of your loved ones. Praying definitely calms your mind and body.

Do something enjoyable. See the article on Entertainment and Having Fun and do something that you like.

Do something repetitive. Do something repetitive and that each time you do it, it makes you feel relaxed. After you do it each time, you feel even more relaxed than the previous time. Therefore, the cumulative sum of relaxation events makes you extremely relaxed at the end of the entire activity. It really does not need to be anything complicated. Even folding pieces of paper, putting clothes away, sweeping the floor, or maybe even washing dishes relaxes you with each repetition. One way of choosing an activity is to choose a simple one where you get a success each time very easily, but that perhaps takes a 
reasonable amount of time, such as half an hour, to do. Hopefully, you will not be thinking bad thoughts while you are doing the activity because that is counterproductive to the repetition because that will probably make you more tense instead of more relaxed each time you do it.

Help others. Help your family members, your friends, or volunteer to help an organization whose work and mission you believe in. Helping others often makes us forget about our own problems and gives us a sense of joy and accomplishment that we have made someone else's life better. We've made them happier, perhaps, and that can do wonders for our own self esteem, joy, relaxation, and stress reduction. Alternatively, just send an email to people to see how they're doing. Just some concern for others will take the attention off of yourself and give you mental stress relief.

Do something really different. One of the reasons that people travel to reduce stress is to see and experience something new. That way, their attention will be totally focused on that new place. In the same way, you can do something radically different or something you have never done before (don't do anything dangerous, though), and your attention will be totally captivated in that activity. All your senses will be engaged in learning or doing that 
activity, or paying attention to what is happening around you. That will definitely make you more relaxed afterwards because you will not have spent the time and your mind fretting or worrying about what it was you were worrying about.

Massage or stretch. Massage or stretch the part of the body that is tense. When stretching, don't bounce up on down on the stretch - hold it for a few seconds before letting go.  Another method is to make that part of the body even tenser than it already is on purpose, hold it for a few seconds, and release. It should make that part of your body more relaxed.


Try to incorporate relaxation and stress reduction techniques on a daily and hourly basis.  You will find life to be much more tolerable.

In summary, to relax and reduce stress, try to 

A. Meditate.

B. Deep breathe.

C. Pray.

D. Do something enjoyable.

E. Do something repetitive.

F. Help others.

G. Do something really different.

H. Massage or stretch.

Life Skills > Healthy Lifestyle Skills > Relaxation and Stress Reduction


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Last Checked 2015