20 Best Ways to Relax Your Body and Mind

If you follow these simple tips to relax your body and mind, you are on the best way to find relief from tension and anxiety, cope better with everyday problems, be emotionally stronger, and improve your concentration. You can become more positive, more tolerant and get more out of life. Generally the most effective way to overcome stress and anxiety is not so much to try to change the situations themselves, but simply to change the way you deal with them.

There are many ways to relax body and mind, ranging from the physical (massage, acupressure etc), to the emotional (influencing the subconscious) and spiritual (tapping into the universal life force and your inner spirit). In this article I will give you a few starters so you can instantly begin to relax. There is always more to learn!

  1. Improve your fitness – a fit body is much more able to cope with stress and there is a lot of satisfaction to be gained from physical fitness and achievement. Start slow and don’t overdo it – but steadily build up your strength.
  2. Improve your eating habits – You are what you eat – try eating more vegetables and less fat and see how quickly your body will react and your ability to relax will improve.
  3. Improve your drinking habits – instead of coffee, have a glass of water or herbal tea. If you are feeling anxious, try to cut down on stimuli like caffeine or alcohol which will stress your body even more.
  4. Improve your posture: slumped shoulders and a dropped neck inhibit breathing properly. Straighten up and feel how good it feels to stand up to yourself.
  5. Get comfortable: To be able to calm and relax, remove your shoes, undo your tie or neck button, loosen your belt, unclasp your bra, slip into something comfortable. This is the prerequisite of any relaxing exercise.
  6. Fresh air: Open the windows and breathe in the fresh air.
  7. Slow down: Instead of talking and searching for company at any cost, take a couple of minutes outdoors to slow down. Nature has its own way of calming your mind.
  8. Silence: find a place in silence – treasure it, absorb it, immerse yourself in it, hang on to it as long as possible. Many relaxing exercises will start with a place of silence.
  9. Control Your Breathing: Straighten up and take a deep slow breath through your nose, deep into your tummy, do not let the chest rise, relax your shoulders – then release the breath slowly through your mouth.
  10. Muscle relaxation: Sitting or lying comfortably tense the muscles of one arm – hold it – then let them go limp and feel the difference. Savour the relaxed feeling. Do the same with the other arm and the legs one at a time
  11. Shoulders and neck: Slowly rotate one shoulder backwards and forwards, then up and down. Do the same with the other shoulder. Gently let your head fall down on your chest, then bring it up and backwards. After that, tilt your head on the left and right shoulder. Repeat this slowly.
  12. Jaw release: Open your mouth wide, then close. Repeat this a few times. Then put your fist under your chin, open your mouth and press the lower jaw against the fist. Hold this for a few seconds, then release.
  13. Hands: Clasp fingers tightly and press, then release. Become aware of how tension feels. Then nestle your left in your right hand, the thumbs gently touching each other. Remain like this and relax.
  14. Motivation: motivate yourself to continue on your path to calmness. Actively seek it; if you are certain that you can achieve it the positive energy will push you forward.
  15. Reject stress: Distinctly reorganize your priorities. Reject anything that will put pressure on you. Learn to say no and become more positive and energetic.
  16. Affirmation: This is a whole wide field of possibilities. Try to visualize a certain situation (you being able to cope with a stressful situation for example), then imprint this picture onto a stone or small object you can fit into your pocket. Then every time you touch it you will see this picture and affirm yourself that you can achieve it.
  17. Autogenic Training: This as well is a big field and is a good method for emergency stress response. Lie down and think of your arms. Feel them getting heavy. Think: “My arm is getting heavy”, again and again. Do the same with the other arm and each leg. You can also think: “My arm is getting warm” and repeat that. Feel it getting warm.
  18. Influence your subconscious: To reinforce messages to your subconscious, like “I am calm and can cope with this situation”, there is no way like this: repeat, repeat, repeat.
  19. Visualization: Go to sleep with a picture in your mind how you would like to be. Do this again and again, every night. Try to wake up with this picture in your mind.
  20. Concentrate on the task at hand: If you immerse yourself totally in a task, so that you achieve the very best result you are capable of (this can be anything at all, for example washing the dishes, ironing, driving a car or mowing the lawn), you will find that task becomes like a meditation in itself. Time flies, you derive satisfaction from your efforts and you spend at least this time completely in the here and now, not worrying about past or future.