Statistics from the Mental Health Foundation have reported that in 2018, 51% of adults who felt stressed reported feeling depressed, and 61% reported feeling anxious. Also, in the past year 71% of people reported feeling so stressed they have been overwhelmed or unable to cope.
Trying a relaxation technique might not make whatever you’re stressed or worried about disappear, but it can give you a break and help you to refocus.
We’ve put together a list of our favourite relaxation techniques to help combat feelings of stress, anxiety or worry.
Yoga is a great physical activity that facilitates feelings of relaxation mentally and physically. About 300 million people worldwide practice yoga, making it one of the most popular forms of exercise out there. In yoga, relaxation refers to the loosening of tension in your body and mind. It uses a specific set of breathing exercises and asanas (postures) to help decrease the production of cortisol – a hormone that increases the feelings of stress.
Try a breathing exercise – it’s a quick and simple technique that can be done anywhere. Add it into your daily routine to optimise the benefits. Switching to deliberate, slow breathing allows us to relax and recover, releasing powerful feel-good endorphins.
Spending time in nature
Tackle your physical and mental health at the same time by spending time outdoors in nature. Going for a walk in the great outdoors promotes mindfulness which can help us to take a mental break from life stresses. So, what is mindfulness? Mindfulness is a mental state achieved by focusing on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting your thoughts and feelings.
Taking a break
Taking time out for yourself can be one of the most effective ways to relieve stress. Stepping back from your normal routine can provide space and distance to help you feel calmer. But taking a break doesn’t always have to mean booking time off work. Get some fresh air, read a book, or run a bath. Relaxation doesn’t have to take up lots of your time.
There are many benefits that inspire people to meditate. Mental benefits can include reduced stress levels, better sleep, and ability to focus better. Meditation has also been shown to reduce your risk of heart disease, pain, slow your heart rate, and increase blood flow. The most popular type of meditation is practicing mindfulness, originating from Buddhism. Through this form of meditation, you focus on your thoughts as they enter your mind. The aim is to observe your thoughts without judging them.
Being key for our mental health it is important to make time to relax. Feelings of stress, anxiety and worry can sometimes feel infinite, however there are several quick and simple relaxation techniques that can significantly reduce these negative feelings. Non-pharmacological treatments and techniques are most effective when practiced regularly.