One of the questions I usually ask people when they come to see me with help for anxiety, stress and many other issues is:

‘How do you relax?’

Because as a whole it seems that we humans aren’t generally that good at simply relaxing. We’re always busy doing something or distracting our minds (e.g. with TV) or worrying about what we’ve still got to get done.

And when we never give our brains a chance to switch off, it’s no wonder that we have problems sleeping, we comfort eat or drink or we start to feel anxious and stressed.

Sometimes we haven’t got 20 minutes to lie down in a dark room, close our eyes and relax so we need ways to relax that we can do on the move – where ever we are - particularly if we are on our way to an important meeting or interview, or heading towards a situation that can cause us anxiety or stress.

So here are three simple ways to start feeling more relaxed, to give our minds and bodies a break and to quieten down all that constant chatter in our minds.

Three Simple Ways To Relax

As with anything in life, the more your practice these the easier they are to do whenever you need to - and the better the results.

1) Focus on your breathing

One of the first things that usually changes when we feel a bit of anxiety or stress is our breathing. We start breathing from our chest rather than our belly and we may also speed up our breathing rate.

Yet because our breathing happens all by itself 24 hours a day, we often don’t notice that anything has changed (and generally we don’t notice what anyone else is doing with their breathing either – unless they stop, hyperventilate or exert themselves).

So the first way to relax is to simply focus on your breathing. Close your eyes (if safe to do so) and just focus on your breathing. You don’t have to try and change your breathing although it may change all by itself.

Anytime your mind wanders to something else, just bring it back to your breathing and put your focus there.

The more you practice putting your attention on your breathing, the easier you’ll find it is to relax wherever you are.

2) The energy shield

Imagine you are surrounded by a shield of energy – it completely surrounds every part of you like a force-field or energy bubble. You can even give it a colour that represents calmness, confidence and safety so that you are completely relaxed inside this energy shield.

Only you can decide what you let in to reach you within this energy shield, so you can let all stress, anxiety and worry simply bounce or slide away. You may even find that the more stress and worry that comes your way, the stronger the shield becomes.

It may seem a bit strange or weird to even think about having an energy shield – however, your mind can’t tell the difference to a large extent between something you imagine and something that is real. So if you imagine being calm within your energy shield, you will be.

3) Go for a walk

It doesn’t get any simpler than going for a walk!

How many times have you paced around the house, or been unable to concentrate on any one thing, or worked yourself up into an anxious frenzy? Or maybe you just sit in front of the TV and use food and alcohol to plaster over how anxious and stressed you feel inside.

The simple fact is that just by going for a 5–10 minute walk you will soon find yourself feeling more physically and emotionally relaxed. It doesn’t matter where you walk or who with or even what the weather is like, all you have to do is get up and go out and walk for 5 minutes.

Then when you get home you can notice how much more relaxed you already feel.

There are many other ways you can simply relax more often. Give these three simple methods a few goes and notice how you feel more relaxed.


Dan Regan

Hypnotherapist & Coach

Hypnotherapy Ely, Cambridge, Newmarket