When was the last time you felt really, truly, blissfully relaxed? If you’re straining your brain to remember, you’re not alone: We are a nation of busy people. But relaxation is important. Scratch that: It’s essential. That’s why we’re here to share with you the best ways to relax.
The Best Ways to Relax for Anyone Who’s Too Stressed
Now, we’re not advocating for a complete life of leisure; Work is necessary, after all, and challenges are what make us grow. Really, it’s all about balance. A good bit of downtime makes us more productive, recharges us, and keeps us healthy.
So take a deep breath, and say goodbye to your stresses with 52 of the best ways to relax.
Meditation and relaxation go hand in hand. But sometimes the thought of being isolated with your thoughts, as much as you may try to hush them, is just not that appealing. (You feel us, right?)
Enter guided meditations, where all you need to do is sit (or lie, or walk, or whatever) and let a calming voice lead you into a state of sheer serenity. Podcasts add the benefit of being regular, varied, and free. Here we share 10 of the best meditation podcasts that will help you find your calm anywhere, any time.
You don’t have to have the flexibility of a human pretzel to get the benefits of yoga. The 11 poses we break down in this post are simple enough for anyone to try—and all you need is a little bit of space and your good self.
There’s no requirement to do them all; pick the ones that work for you and stretch and breathe your way to relaxation.
You do it all the time. In fact, you’re doing it now. But are you actually conscious of the breath flowing through your lungs? Are you conscious of how much power your breathing has to influence the way you feel?
Studies show that breathing exercises can melt away stresses, decrease anxiety, lessen pain, and more. So here are three deep-breathing exercises to get into your life now.
Did you know that working out with others has added benefits over working out alone? So says research, and we’re not that surprised: Working out with a pal keeps you motivated and is frankly just way more fun.
Enter The Power Partner Workout. In this post we not only give you the program, we give you videos of each move to make it even easier to follow. And while busting out squats might not feel relaxing, the stress release that goes with them most certainly will.
Gratitude journaling is a way to slow down, anchor yourself in the present, and tap into the good things in your life. There’s a small mountain of research that shows gratitude is one of the best ways to relax as it makes people happier, not to mention more likely to get some peaceful z’s come nightfall.
So for a few minutes of relaxation in your day, get out your pen and try one of these 13 gratitude journal prompts.
Speaking of peaceful sleep, it’s pretty hard to achieve when your mind is on a constant hamster wheel. Finding a way to wind down and relax pre-sleep makes for a calm and restful night. For that, you might like to get your hands (or ears) on a super simple yet effective evening meditation. Naturally, we have you covered with this post.
Mindfulness can be practiced while sitting, while walking, even while drinking that sweet morning cup of coffee. And those small moments of mindfulness? They add up to big gains in stress reduction.
In this post we take you through three mindfulness exercises that anyone can do, including one particularly relaxing one that takes you to your place of calm—without you even leaving the couch. You’re welcome.
If you love reading, you’ll hardly need someone in a lab coat to tell you that curling up with a good book is a certified way to calm your frazzled nerves. Nonetheless, science backs us up here: Reading is relaxing. We’d even say it’s one of the best ways to relax.
A good book can take your mind away from its vortex of anxious thoughts and place it firmly in the pages. And so to get your reading-as-relaxation hobby underway, here are 9 inspiring reads to add to your booklist.
Here’s a novel idea from the Harvard Business Review: To manage your stress, learn a new skill. This advice comes from research involving more than 300 U.S employees, which found that activities like picking up a new skill or seeking out intellectual challenges so happen to be excellent stress busters. Too right. Choose something that fits your interests, and learning can be a reinvigorating, relaxing way to spend your downtime.
Your turn: What are your best ways to relax? Let us know in the comments.
Author: Tania Braukamper
Tania Braukamper is an Australian-born writer and photographer. She believes in curiosity, kindness, and adventure as a state of mind.