It’s really important for your mental wealth that both your body and mind have time to rest and recharge. If you never relax, it could contribute to mental health issues such as anxiety or depression.
Some people chill out by listening to music, going for a jog, catching up with a mate, swimming or walking.
But sometimes you need more – you need to go next-level in your relaxation.
Research shows we can manage stress and anxiety by practising deep relaxation for 5 to 30 minutes each day.
Relax through breathing
If you want to go next-level with your relaxation, learn to control your breathing.
When we’re anxious or stressed, our breathing tends to get shallow and fast. To relax, we need deep, slow breaths (which comes from our abdomen).
Practise this 3-step technique every day (not when you’re anxious!):
- Gently breathe in and hold your breath for five seconds.
- Breathe out through your nose counting to five.
- Breathe in and out slowly for 10 breaths counting to three with each breath in and out.
Use this technique when you feel stressed or anxious and repeat steps 1-3 until you feel calm again.
The more you practise, the more helpful this technique will be for when you need it!
If you feel uptight or tense, relaxing muscle groups throughout your body can help a lot. Try this muscle relaxation activity for 20 minutes a day.
- Lie or sit somewhere comfortable, safe and where you will not be distracted (turn off your phone!).
- Tense up all the muscles in your body and hold it as long as you can (without feeling pain).
- Slowly release the tension and feel it leave your body.
- Repeat 3 times.
Different relaxation techniques suit different people.
Download Smiling Mind app for free guided relaxation techniques