There are numerous ways and methods that can be used to enhance a state relaxation and wellbeing. Simple methods include reading a book, painting, listening to music that you find relaxing.
Research has highlighted how many people find walking or exercising in greenspaces such as parks, forests and the countryside very relaxing. For others, walking in blue spaces such as a beach, lakeside or a coastal path reduces stress and enhances relaxation too.
Health educators and trainers, therapists, doctors, practice nurses, health coaches and psychologists may recommend a variety of relaxation and breathing techniques that help to relax the body and mind. On this International Relaxation Day website some of these techniques are described. Click on the links below to find out more.
- Positive Relaxation Imagery
- The RE-LAX Technique
- Reducing Stress Through Deep Breathing (includes video)
- Box Breathing (includes video)
- Reduce Stress Through Guided Imagery (includes video)
- Progressive Muscle Relaxation (includes video)
- Laura Mitchell Physiological Method (includes video)
- Self-massage techniques to relieve tension (includes video)
- Mindfulness (includes video)
Decide which technique is most effective for you. When using these methods to relax, do attempt to stay awake so you can experience the physical and psychological benefits of The Relaxation Response. You may wish to use smartphones with alarms to ensure you wake up if are you are prone to fall asleep when relaxed. Only practice these techniques when it is safe to do so.
If you have access to a pulse oximeter or other instruments/technology to measure blood pressure and heart rate, you will be able to monitor the effectiveness of the relaxation techniques you use. Take a measurement at the start and finish of a relaxation exercise and see if your readings have improved.
Sounds of nature
Many people find just listening to the sounds of seawaves, rain falling, birdsong and literally just walking along a beach or in the countryside very relaxing. We have listed a number of internet radio stations that provide these natural sounds 24/7 throughout the day and year.
Self-Help Books for Relaxation
There are numerous books on relaxation, managing stress, meditation and mindfulness. We have listed a short list of books currently available. We will be adding to this list over the coming months.
Notice: Please check out the our notice page about the use of techniques before using them.