Relaxation Techniques – How to Relieve Stress and Anxiety?

Did you know – mental stress and anxiety is some of the primary reasons for a host of health problems? 

Most people experience stress, anxiety, depression and related mental conditions at some point in their life. Depending on the severity, it can impact one’s life ad lead to sleepless nights, lack of focus, exhaustion, excessive worry and irritability. 

Stress is nothing but the body’s reaction to a trigger and is often considered a short-term experience. It can impact you positively or negatively depending on the circumstances and severity. When stress kicks and helps you pull off that deadline you thought was a lost cause, it’s positive. On the contrary, if the stress results in restless behaviour, insomnia or any health condition – it’s negative. 

What are the symptoms of stress and anxiety?

There are several symptoms associated with stress and anxiety, some of which are – sleep disturbance, frequent headaches, back/neck pain, frequent illness, irritability, rapid heartbeat, muscle tension, low energy, forgetfulness, lack of sexual desire and so on.              

Taking care of long term physical and mental health is quite an important part of stress management. However, managing stress is not about just taking a nap or reading your favourite novel. It needs a lot of practice and patience to overcome stress and lead a healthy lifestyle. 

The above symptoms of stress can change over time. Learning to cope up with stress requires a trial and error approach. It is important to practice relaxation techniques to relieve stress and anxiety. 

Relaxation techniques to overcome stress and anxiety

When you feel stressed, your body responds by releasing hormones that raise your heart rate or increase your blood pressure. You need to activate your body’s relation response such as meditation, deep breathing, yoga and visualization. Those living with recurring stress and anxiety should consider practising some relaxation techniques. Also, it’s important to have a variety of stress-relieving tools at your disposal.   

Here are the best relaxation techniques that help you relieve stress and anxiety. 


Meditation is an effective way to relieve short-term and long-term stress. Different forms of meditation have their benefits. You might consider repeating a mantra in your mind – while taking slow breaths. 

You might also consider practising mindfulness – which involves being in the present moment. All you need to do is pay attention to what you see, hear, touch and smell. This small act will relieve you from stress instantly.  

When you are focused on the present moment, you won’t be able to regret something that has already happened or worry about something in the future. Practising meditation and Mindfulness need a lot of patience and effort. Being consistent in your efforts will give you fruitful results. 

Muscle relaxation

For many of us, relaxation means watching a movie or flopping on the couch. However, one should know that this does not reduce the damaging effects of stress. You need to activate your body’s muscles to bring your mind and body back into balance.

Relaxing the body muscles is another method to relieve stress. Sit comfortably with your back straight and give your muscles a smooth relaxation. Practice and tighten the muscles in the group, starting with the forehead and moving down the hands, legs and toes. 

You will learn to recognize the tension points with some practice and be able to relax more easily. Each time you practice this technique, you will feel the stress-relieving from the body.  

Focused breath

Focusing on your breath for some time can make a big difference in your stress levels. The breathing techniques not only calm your mind but your body for a few minutes. Deep breathing is the cornerstone of many relaxation techniques. It can be combined with other relaxation techniques such as music and aromatherapy. 

Sit comfortably and breathe through the nose and fill your tummy with air. Count slowly as you inhale and hold for 1-2 seconds. Exhale slowly – while counting to three. Repeat the technique multiple times by imagining you are inhaling peaceful and calm air – while exhaling all your stress and tension. 


Visualization is an effective relaxation technique that involves imaging a scene in which you feel calm and peaceful. Practice visualization with an app or on your own. You can also choose to visualize in silence. 

To practice visualization, close your eyes and imagine yourself in your favourite place. Picture it the way you want. If you are visualizing a peaceful lake – feel the noise of birds, feel the cool water, enjoy the warm breeze and smell the pine trees. 

Enjoy the feeling of worries drifting away – while you explore your favourite place. You can also experience the feeling of muscle twitches, heaviness in your limbs or yawning. Don’t worry! It’s quite normal. 

Stress-relief techniques at home

Besides the above, there are several stress management techniques at home that help you relax fast. Whether you have a tough day at work or are stressed about the next day meeting, – these strategies will give you some relief. 

  • Hug your loved one, as physical touch can do a lot to relieve your stress. 
  • Incorporating aromatherapy into your day to feel more relaxed and energized
  • Get in touch with your creative side like – drawing, painting, cooking etc
  • Consume healthy diet like – eggs, walnuts, avocado etc support mood regulation and balances energy levels
  • Take time for leisure activities, hobbies, games or extra fun
  • Develop the habit of positive self-talk – instead of harsh criticism
  • Be thankful for what you have and count your blessings

Finding the best stress relief strategies need some experimenting. When it comes to stress relief, there isn’t one size that fits all. What works for your friend or family member may not work for you. 

Sometimes, it takes time and practice to reap the rewards of relaxation techniques. The more consistent you are – the quicker are the results. 

If you have difficulty managing stress and anxiety, you should talk to your healthcare provider. It is important to identify triggers and adopt strategies that work for you.