Relaxation Techniques to reduce stress
- Breath focus. In this simple technique, you take long, slow deep breaths (also known as abdominal or belly breathing).
- Mindfulness meditation – involves sitting comfortably, focusing on your breathing, and bringing your mind’s attention to the present moment without drifting into concerns about the past or the future. Research suggests it may be helpful for people with anxiety, depression, and pain.
- Yoga, tai chi, and qigong – Three ancient arts combine rhythmic breathing with a series of postures or flowing movements. The physical aspects of these practices offer a mental focus that can help distract you from racing thoughts. They can also enhance your flexibility and balance. Always check with your doctor before starting a new exercise regimen.
- Guided imagery – Conjure up soothing scenes, places, or experiences in your mind to help you relax and focus. You can find free apps and online recordings of calming scenes that you find soothing and that have a personal significance or connection for you.
- Repetitive prayer – You silently repeat a short prayer or phrase from a prayer while practicing breath focus. This method can be appealing if religion or spirituality is meaningful to you.
Try sampling several to see which one works best for you. Try to practice for at least 20 minutes a day, although even just a few minutes can help. But the longer and the more often you practice these relaxation techniques, the greater the benefits and the more you can reduce stress.