A Guide To Quick Relaxation Techniques

July 30, 2010 | SpaHub's Editors

Quick Relaxation Techniques
In today's world, life can come at you quickly and hard, leaving your nerves on end and your body stressed. Learning how to relax can improve not only your quality of life but also your productivity and overall mood. While there are several relaxation exercises you can learn and do almost anywhere, they all begin with getting as comfortable as possible, letting your mind wander and focusing on surrounding sounds while breathing as naturally as possible. Once you've done this, you can proceed to the following exercises.

Whole Body Tension

With this exercise you will begin by tensing your entire body and holding it for as long as you can without pain. Then, slowly release the tension, focusing on the feeling of it leaving your body and loosening your muscles. After repeating this exercise three times, your mind should be clear and your body should feel at ease. The key to this exercise is focusing on how every part of your body feels before, during and after you release the tension.
  • Relaxation Tips Includes tips for any relaxation exercise as well as recordings of well known relaxation exercises.
  • Benefits of Relaxation Details how relaxation exercises not only reduce stress but also aid in treating certain health problems.

Visual Imagery and Eye Fixation

Visual imagery begins with opening your imagination while simultaneously focusing on your breathing. Once your breath becomes calm and regular, imagine the air that you are breathing in is a cloud that fills you and leaves you gently. This cloud can be any color and any size as long as you are both focused and calm while breathing it in. The eye fixation exercise begins with keeping your head level and your body relaxed. Pick a focal point and then count five breaths backwards. With each breath allow your eyes to become heavy. When you get to the last breath, completely close your eyes and focus on the feeling of relaxation enveloping your body.
  • Visual Imagery Describes the practice of visual imagery as well as explains how it works.
  • Class Lesson A description of visual imagery and a lesson outline for teachers to introduce it to their class.
  • Hypnosis How the eye fixation technique can be used for self-hypnosis as well as for relaxation.

Counting Ten Breaths

For the breathing exercises, begin by allowing yourself to feel indifferent. Don't worry about work or home, loved ones or enemies. Then, begin counting each breath you slowly take from ten to one, allowing yourself to sink into your environment. With each exhale, gently push the tension in your body outwards and away from you.
  • Relaxation Techniques Details ways to use deep breathing to relax the body as well as offers other relaxation ideas.
  • Deep Breathing Provides ways to begin relaxation exercises as well as details different breathing exercises used to reduce stress.

Shoulder Shrug and Shoulder Rotation

The shoulder shrug is simple and especially useful if you are experiencing any muscle soreness. Raise your shoulders up towards your eyes, hold them there while counting to four, and release. Repeat this three times. For the shoulder rotation, rotate your shoulders in both a clockwise and counterclockwise direction, switching between rotating both shoulders simultaneously and separately. This exercise not only relaxes the shoulders but also the back, arms and neck.
  • Muscle Tension Provides different exercises to relieve tension all over the body including the shoulder shrug exercise.
  • Yoga Exercise A shoulder rotation exercise based on a yoga pose, complete with diagrams.
  • Shoulder Rotation Provides a new take on the shoulder rotation exercise that involves lying on the floor.

Cat Stretch

Begin by standing with your feet less than shoulder width apart and take a deep breath while stretching your arms over your head. Then gradually exhale that breath as you lean forward from the waist, bringing your arms and head down. Repeat this exercise five times as slowly and gently as possible. Afterwards, your muscles will feel loose and your head clear.
  • Stretching Exercises Provides photos and descriptions of different stretching exercises as well as the pilates version of the cat stretch.


To meditate, find a quiet place away from others and get yourself in the most comfortable position possible. While many chose to sit cross legged on the floor, you can lie down, relax in a chair or stand. Once you are comfortable, chose a word or phrase you can focus your attention on such as “calm” or “let it go”. Recite this word or phrase silently with each exhale. Allow any thoughts or feelings outside of this phrase to drift away, focusing only on your inner voice and breathing. Practice this for ten to twenty minutes a day.
While these exercises are intentional ways of relaxing your body, you can counter stress by doing things you enjoy. Try listening to relaxing music, reading a good book or magazine, or enjoying a nice warm bath in a dimly lit room. The truth is any activity that requires your undivided attention will help quiet both your mind and your body.