Time to unwind

Time to Unwind

There are various relaxation techniques you can use to calm the mind and reduce the muscle tension anxiety can cause.

If you’ve any medical conditions, such as problems with your breathing, speak to your GP before trying any relaxation exercises.


How Often?

You should try to set aside 30 minutes each day to practice these techniques. The more you practice, the better you will get and the more effective they will be.

It’s important to keep using these techniques, even if you don’t feel better straight away. It will take time and regular practice before you start to feel the benefits.

Relaxation Preparation

Before you start relaxing, make sure your mind, body and surroundings are just right. To prepare yourself:

Find a cool and quiet room where you’ll not be disturbed
Lie down or sit comfortably with your legs uncrossed
Put on comfortable clothes and take off your shoes
Lightly close your eyes, or focus on a spot in front of you
Clear your thoughts and focus on your breath

Don’t worry if you can’t relax immediately. Thoughts might pop into your mind. Don’t focus on them just let them pass through. Make a note of how relaxed you were before, and after, the exercises to see if it's helped.

Breathing To Relax

Breathing too quickly, and deeply, can make you feel dizzy, faint or even more anxious. Taking slow, regular breaths can help you to control anxious thoughts and feelings, and make you feel calmer.

To control your breathing:

1. Place one hand on your chest and the other over your stomach. You want your stomach to move more than your chest as you breathe
2. Take a slow, regular breath in (through your nose if you can). Watch your hands as you breathe in. The hand on your stomach should move and your chest should not
3. Breathe out slowly through pursed lips
4. Repeat this 10 times, twice a day

It might take time to master this technique. Once you have, you won’t need to watch your hands or put them on your stomach.