21 Best Relaxation Techniques To Calm Your Mind And Let Go Of Stress (2022 edition)
Last Updated: November 11, 2022 | by Aditya Jaykumar
Stress is one of the biggest problems faced by people in today’s post-pandemic world. It can cause all sorts of health problems, and it can be very difficult to calm down and relax.
With working from home, rising inflation, global lay-offs, and post-pandemic anxiety as our new reality, it has become significantly harder to get by.
That’s why we’ve put together a list of the best relaxation techniques out there. These techniques can help you calm your mind and let go of all that stress.
What are the best relaxation techniques for people who feel stressed?
As the saying goes, “you don’t know what you don’t know.” Therefore, it’s often helpful to simply become aware of more ways to relax your mind.
Whether you’re looking to reduce “work-related” stress, let go of negative beliefs, or just feel more grounded, having the right relaxation technique in your tool kit can help when you need it the most.
Here’s our list of favorite methods of calming the mind and relaxing the body.
Broadly speaking, Breathwork is an umbrella term for various breathing practices that involve controlling the breath to regulate the nervous system and influence a person’s emotional and mental state for positive health outcomes..
From the 100s of breathing practices, my vote goes to Soma Breath, a breathwork modality that I practice and am certified in.
SOMA Breath is a holistic, rhythmic breathwork system that draws from the ancient yogic breathing system of Pranayama and incorporates brainwave music, guided imagery, and mantra chanting to raise your vibrations to a whole new level.
- Reduced Stress: Soma Breath along with ancient pranayama techniques helps with quickly switching to a more relaxed parasympathetic state, making you feel relaxed and calm in minutes.
- Faster Healing: Soma breath uses strategic breath holds that induce a state called brief intermittent hypoxia. This leads to increased red blood cell production and improved stem cell circulation inside the body, which leads to faster healing outcomes.
- Increased Energy: Brief Intermittent hypoxia induced by breath holds leads to improved oxygen transportation to your cellular mitochondria, which is the powerhouse of your cells. This leads to enhanced energy production naturally!
The best way to experience a dose of Soma breath is by attending their Free masterclass.
2) Cold Therapy
Do you avoid cold showers? Here’s why you should try something new!
According to experts, regular exposure to cold in the form of cold showers or cold plunge tubs is linked to several profound, measurable health benefits.
Although the increased popularity of daily cold showers, cold plunge tubs, and cryotherapy tanks might seem like it’s a new trend, the practice of cold exposure has been used by ancient civilizations for 1000s of years, especially by the yogis of India high up in the mountains.
The key to why cold exposure is so beneficial may be due to the hormetic stress “healthy stress” response. This response is activated when you physiologically shock your body with cold water, ideally daily. These intermittent doses of small stress can trigger a series of cellular processes that enhance overall health outcomes.
Benefits include improved metabolism, quicker immune response, better sleep, aids in fat loss, decreased inflammation, improved pain tolerance, greater resilience, and boosted longevity.
The best part is that this relaxation technique is free and simple to experience. Just walk into a cold shower!
3) Oil Bathing
Enjoy a nice, long massage? Then you must try out an Ayurvedic oil bath!
The Oil bath, also known as Abhyanga in Ayurveda, is an ancient practice that has been passed down from parent to offspring in Indian households.
Our ancient elders believed that oil bathing is a physical expression of self-love when performed regularly made one feel saturated with love!
Frequent practice of oil bathing can balance your doshas, keep you relaxed, nourish your skin and enhance your longevity.
The top 5 benefits of Abhyanga “Oil Bathing” are:
- Body nourishment
- Increased blood circulation
- Stimulates internal organs
- Tones the muscles
- Aides in lymphatic drainage (detoxification)
Spending about 15 minutes massaging your body with an oil that suits your dosha and then finishing up with a nice, relaxing, invigorating warm shower can make the rest of the day feel blissful.
4) Crystal Healing
Crystal healing is a relaxation technique that has been used for centuries to help reduce stress and promote calmness.
The idea is that different crystals can absorb and release different energies, which can help to balance the mind and body. Crystal healing can be done in several ways, such as using crystal-infused water or placing crystals on the body.
Some people also like to meditate with crystals, holding them in their hands or placing them on their foreheads.
Ultimately, the aim is to allow the crystal’s energy to flow through the body, helping to reduce stress and promote relaxation.
I typically purchase my crystals from trusted and verified sellers on eBay. I’ve found some really beautiful ones over the years!
5) Chakra healing
Are your chakras balanced? If not, then chakra healing might be a relaxation technique that you’re interested in.
The seven chakras are said to be the energy centers of the body. When they are balanced, we feel good mentally, physically, and spiritually. However, when they become unbalanced, it can lead to physical and mental health problems.
Chakra balancing involves using different techniques to cleanse, balance, and align the chakras. This can be done through meditation, yoga, aromatherapy, crystal therapy, and sound therapy.
In you’re interested in the Chakra system, there are numerous books available on Amazon. I highly recommend reading books by Cyndi Dale, Vickie Howie or Anodea Judith. In fact, my favorite 7 chakras book is a book called The Key To The Chakras.
I like to use a combination of these chakra healing techniques when I’m feeling off-kilter. Once my chakras are balanced, I feel like a whole new person….no joke!
Have you ever tried a chakra healing meditation? Let me know in the comments below!
Qigong is an ancient Chinese movement meditation practice that helps to promote relaxation and stress relief within minutes.
The word “qigong” is made up of two Chinese characters: “qi” (pronounced “chee”), which refers to life energy, and “gong” (pronounced “gung”), which means work or skill. So, qigong literally means working with life energy!
There are many different qigong styles and methods, but they all involve moving the body in slow, deliberate movements while breathing deeply.
Qigong is a great relaxation technique for beginners because it is relatively simple to learn and can be done anywhere. Plus, there are endless variations to suit any fitness level or interest.
7) Crystal Singing Bowl Healing:
Playing or listening to a crystal singing bowl is a fun and enriching activity that assists with lowering blood pressure and reducing anxiety.
Crystal singing bowls are made from quartz crystal, which has a unique ability to absorb, store, release, and regulate energy. When the bowl is struck with a mallet, it vibrates and emits a pure tone that helps to promote relaxation.
The energy and healing power produced by the bowl can also help to balance the chakras and release negative emotions. The vibrations also help calm overactive adrenals and induce a deep state of trace-like relaxation.
If you’re looking for a relaxation technique that is both fun and effective, I highly recommend attending a crystal singing bowl healing session near you!
8) EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) or Tapping
EFT involves tapping specific acupressure points on the face and hands while focusing on a particular memory or negative emotion.
The theory is that by tapping on these points, you can release any trapped emotions or stress that might be causing problems in your life.
Tapping involves touching the body’s energy meridian points with your finger tips, which, according to some studies, has been shown to decrease cortisol (stress hormone) levels in the body.
Practiced worldwide, EFT is proving to e an effective treatment for anxiety, PTSD, and other mental health conditions.
9) Flotation therapy or Sensory Deprivation Tank
Want to feel like you’re weightless in the middle of space? Then you must experience floatation therapy!
Floating in a sensory deprivation tank is an incredibly relaxing experience. The tanks are typically filled with Epsom salt, which allows you to float effortlessly on top of the water.
The temperature of the water is set to match your body’s natural temperature, so you feel like you’re floating in nothingness. It’s the closest thing to zero gravity that you can experience on Earth!
Floating has been shown to reduce stress, anxiety, and pain. It’s also an excellent way to improve sleep quality and increase creativity.
If you’re looking for a unique relaxation experience, I highly recommend giving flotation therapy a try!
10) Sauna therapy
Sauna therapy is one of the most effective relaxation practices for reducing stress and tension.
The word ‘Sauna’ translates to Bathhouse in Finnish, and according to some sources, this practice was invented over 2000 years ago. It is no surprise then that Finns own more saunas per capita than anywhere else in the world—2 million, or about one per household!
The ability to sweat out impurities and toxins, release endorphins, and reduce muscle tension all contribute to a calming effect on the mind and body.
When used regularly, saunas can help to improve sleep quality, increase energy levels, and reduce anxiety and depression.
In addition to the physical benefits, saunas provide a space for social interaction and connection. Spending time in a sauna with friends or family can help to reduce stress and promote a sense of well-being.
Whether you are looking for a way to improve your physical health or simply want to find a more effective way to relax, sauna therapy may be the perfect solution.
Ever thought of trying Hypnotherapy? It is a form of therapy used to induce a deep state of relaxation and reprogram the subconscious mind.
During hypnosis, the therapist will guide you into a trance-like state where you are more open to suggestions.
In this deeply relaxed state called hypnotic trace, your mind is guided away from the troubles of everyday life and into a place of tranquillity and peace. This can be an effective way to change negative thought patterns, limiting beliefs and behaviors.
Hypnotherapy is an effective treatment for anxiety, depression, sleep disorders, and pain management.
12) Brainwave Music or Binaural Beats
Do you love music? Many relaxation techniques make use of sound and music to calm the mind.
One popular method is binaural beats, which involve listening to two different tones in each ear. This creates an auditory illusion, a low-frequency pulse that can help to alter your state of consciousness and promote relaxation.
The binaural beats effect was first discovered in 1839 by Heinrich Wilhelm Dove, by accident!
Some people use binaural beats to improve sleep quality, others use them for meditation and relaxation, and some even use them to increase creativity or boost their mood.
Another variant of brainwave music is isochronic tones, which use pulsating tones played via headphones. Isochronic tones are single tones that come on and off at regular intervals, assisting in the entrainment of the brain.
Research has shown that relaxation practices like these can be effective in reducing blood pressure and heart rate, as well as improving sleep quality.
So if you’re looking for a way to wind down and de-stress, give one of these sound-based relaxation techniques a try.
Aromatherapy is the practice of using essential oils and other plant-based products to relieve anxiety and promote relaxation.
Essential oils are concentrated, natural liquids that contain the aromatic compounds of a plant. When used in aromatherapy, these compounds can have a profound effect on the mind and body.
Some popular essential oils include lavender, chamomile, bergamot, tea tree, eucalyptus, sandalwood, and ylang-ylang. These and other essential oils can be used in a diffuser to fill the air with calming scents, or they can be applied topically with carrier oil.
Companies that specialize in producing essential oils include Young Living, Doterra, and Plant Therapy.
My all-time favorite fragrance is tea tree oil! Whenever I start to feel anxious or stressed, I just put a few drops in my diffuser and it helps me to relax.
14) Blue light Blocking Glasses
Do you find it hard to relax and unwind for bedtime? You might want to get yourself a pair of blue light blocking glasses.
People use blue-light glasses to improve sleep, reduce digital eyestrain, or prevent headaches.
These special glasses have a yellow tint that filters out blue light. Blue light is the type of light emitted by screens, such as computers, laptops, phones, and TVs. Exposure to blue light at night can disrupt your body’s natural sleep rhythms and make it harder to fall asleep.
If you often find yourself staring at a screen late at night, blue light blocking glasses can help to reduce eye strain and make it easier to drift off to sleep.
There are many different brands and styles of blue light blocking glasses available, so you can find a pair that suits your needs and budget.
15) Ho’oponopono prayer
Do you believe in the power of affirmations and prayers? Then you must try out this ancient Hawaiian practice for forgiveness and reconciliation.
Ho’oponopono is a Hawaiian prayer that means “to make right.” It is a way to cleanse oneself of negative thoughts, emotions, and memories.
To practice Ho’oponopono, you repeat the following four phrases:
I’m sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you. I love you.
You can say these phrases out loud, or you can repeat them silently to yourself. The important thing is to focus on the meaning of the words and to let go of any negative thoughts or feelings.
Ho’oponopono is based on the belief that we are all connected, and that by forgiving ourselves, we can also forgive others.
The next time you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed, try repeating the Ho’oponopono prayer. You might be surprised at how much better you feel afterward!
16) Grounding or Earthing
Do you notice that children love walking barefoot? Maybe they’re onto something!
Grounding, also referred to as “Earthing” involves doing activities such as barefoot walking that electrically re-connect you to the Earth.
The Earth is a natural source of electrons, and when you ground yourself, these electrons can flow into your body and help to reduce inflammation.
In addition to reducing inflammation, grounding has also been shown to improve sleep quality, reduce stress levels, and boost mood.
Research suggests that as little as 30 minutes of grounding can have positive, calming effects on the body, especially your blood.
So next time you’re feeling stressed and out of balance, take a break and go for a barefoot walk outside. You just might find that it helps to clear your mind and improve your mood!
A mandala is a geometric configuration of symbols that represent the universe.
Mandalas have been used for centuries by cultures all over the world for meditation and prayer. Many ancient spiritual traditions around the world have used mandalas to aid in meditation and assist with entering into nonordinary states of consciousness.
The word “mandala” comes from the Sanskrit language and means “circle.” Mandalas can be created with circles, squares, triangles, or any other geometric shape.
According to Vedic tradition, the most powerful mandala is the ‘Sri Yantra’ or ‘Sri Chakra’. The Shri Yantra, called the “queen of yantras,” (Rajayantra) is the symbol of the great divine mother principle, the source of all energy, power, and creativity.
Drawing or coloring mandalas is a great way to relax and de-stress. There are many mandala coloring books available, or you can find mandalas online that you can print out and color.
If you’re feeling creative, you can even create your mandala design!
18) Mushroom Coffee
Did you know that there are certain mushrooms called Adaptogenic mushrooms that have been used for centuries for stress relief and relaxation?
These mushrooms work by reducing the production of cortisol, the stress hormone. Some of the most popular adaptogenic mushrooms include reishi, chaga, cordyceps, and lion’s mane.
These mushrooms can be found in powder form, or you can find them in capsules. One of the most popular ways to consume them is by drinking mushroom coffee.
Mushroom coffee is made by adding a scoop of powdered mushrooms to your regular cup of coffee. You can find mushroom coffee at many health food stores, or you can order it online.
Potential benefits include reduced stress levels, improved sleep quality, increased energy levels, and enhanced cognitive function.
So when are you going to have your first cup of mushroom coffee?
19) Red Light Therapy
One of the most popular wellness trends these days, Red light therapy is a simple, non-invasive treatment that has shown to decrease stress, improve sleep, boost cellular healing, and slow down aging.
Red light therapy is a form of low-level laser therapy that uses red and near-infrared light to stimulate cellular regeneration.
These wavelengths of light can penetrate the skin and stimulate the mitochondria, which is the powerhouse of the cell. This results in increased production of ATP, which is responsible for cellular energy.
Red light mimics sunlight, without harmful UV rays or excess heat, and can help to regulate the body’s circadian rhythm. This is the internal clock that controls our sleep-wake cycle.
Especially if you live in an area that gets a lot of rain and less sunshine, red light therapy can help prevent SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) by improving your mood and increasing your energy levels.
Red light therapy is safe, gentle, and effective for all skin types. You can find red light therapy devices online or at many health and beauty stores.
Feeling stressed? Take out your favorite notebook or journal and just write them down.
Journaling helps bring clarity and peace of mind by getting all your thoughts and feelings out of your head. It can also help you to process difficult emotions and gain a new perspective on challenging situations.
There are many different ways to journal – You can write in a stream-of-consciousness style, make a list, or answer specific prompts.
Set aside time every day, or whenever you’re feeling stressed, to write in your journal. It can be for just five minutes, but the benefits are cumulative.
You don’t have to share your journal with anyone unless you want to. But if you’re struggling with a particularly difficult issue, it can be helpful to talk to a therapist or counselor about what you’re writing.
Journaling is a simple and effective way to reduce stress, so give it a try!
21) Body Scan
Do you find it hard to fall asleep and stay asleep?
A nightly body scan practice may help you come back to the present moment and experience a more relaxed state.
This is a mindfulness technique of gradually paying attention to parts of the body and sensations in sequence from head to toe.
This well-being practice can be done lying down or sitting, and usually takes about 20-30 minutes.
Begin by relaxing the body and focusing on the breath. Then focus on various sections of your body one at a time, noting any feelings that arise and stimulating the body’s natural relaxation response.
Allow whatever sensation is there to be as it is, without judging it or trying. The body scan practice can be done daily or as needed.
The purpose of the body scan is to develop a more intimate awareness of the body and to release any dormant muscle tension. It can also help improve mental health, enhance sleep quality and reduce stress levels.
Can relaxation techniques lower blood pressure?
Relaxation techniques have been shown to be an effective way to lower blood pressure. But can relaxation techniques also help to lower blood pressure? The answer appears to be yes.
A study published in the Journal of Hypertension found that relaxation practices can help people with high blood pressure reduce their systolic blood pressure by an average of six points.
The research suggests that relaxation techniques can be as effective as medication for some people with high blood pressure.
Relaxation techniques work by reducing stress levels, which can have a positive impact on blood pressure. When we are stressed, our heart rate increases and our blood vessels constrict, which raises blood pressure.
Relaxation techniques help to counter these effects by promoting stress relief.
While more research is needed to confirm these findings, relaxation techniques may offer a simple, drug-free way to help lower blood pressure.
Can relaxation techniques relieve pain?
Relaxation techniques, especially those mentioned in this article, have been shown to help with pain relief in several different ways.
One of the most common relaxation techniques is deep breathing, which helps to promote relaxation by decreasing the levels of stress hormones in the body.
Other relaxation practices such as progressive muscle relaxation and guided imagery can also help to reduce both chronic and acute pain.
In addition, relaxation techniques can help to improve sleep quality, which is often impaired in those who suffer from chronic pain.
By getting enough rest, the body is better able to repair itself and recover from pain. Therefore, relaxation practices can be an effective way to relieve both chronic and acute pain.
Can relaxation techniques help you sleep?
Relaxation practices as those outlined in this article are becoming increasingly popular as people look for natural ways to combat insomnia and falling asleep in the post-pandemic world that we live in.
Many people find relaxation practices, such as yoga or meditation, to help clear their minds and relax their bodies before bed. Relaxation techniques, such as progressive muscle relaxation or deep breathing exercises, can also help to reduce stress and muscle tension, making it easier to fall asleep.
While there is no one perfect solution for insomnia, some of the relaxation techniques shared in this resource can be a helpful way to promote better sleep.
So, which relaxation technique is best for you?
It’s really up to you and what you feel most comfortable with. But we hope this article has helped give you an idea of the many options available and shown you that there’s no one size fits all approach to relaxation.
Once you find a technique or two that work for you, be sure to add them to your wellness toolkit!
And don’t forget to share this article with your friends and family – they may be looking for new ways to relax too.
What are your favorite techniques? Let us know in the comments below.
About The Author
Aditya Jaykumar (AJ)
After receiving over 6.5 million downloads and completing over 500 interviews with wellness experts from around the world, Aditya decided to document the knowledge that he came across on this blog. As a certified Breathwork instructor, he has hosted over 200 breathwork workshops and has worked with some notable clients including movie directors, successful entrepreneurs and leaders to help them reduce stress and avoid burnout.
Follow or connect with him on Instagram @mysevenchakras