Relaxation & mindfulness

Relaxation and mindfulness techniques can help increase your sense of calm and reduce worried and anxious thoughts and feelings. They can help slow heart and breathing rates, reduce blood pressure and decrease muscle tension. The goal is to be more connected to the present moment.

These techniques include:

Progressive muscle relaxation

This is about learning to feel the difference between tension and relaxation and trying to respond to the first signs of tension in your muscles.

  • You methodically tense and relax different muscle groups in your body, so you might tense and relax the muscles in one leg and then the other, then move on to another area, or
  • You focus on the sensations in each part of your body so you become aware of where the tension is: the neck and shoulders are common stress points, and then you methodically relax these areas.

Deep breathing

Deep breathing helps to focus you on the present moment by concentrating on the ‘in and out’ of your breaths.
In Eastern philosophies, mastery of the breath is the key to controlling the body’s energy.

  • You focus on sensing the air passing in and out of your nostrils
  • With every inhalation, you imagine drawing energy in
  • With every exhalation, you let go of tension


Mindfulness is about breathing slowly and becoming consciously aware of your surroundings with a sense of curiosity and interest. A quick and simple mindfulness exercise is to:

  • Breathe slowly in and out
  • Gradually take notice and accept what you can:
    • see
    • hear
    • smell  
    • feel and
    • taste


Created on 28/08/2013 | Updated on 10/12/2015
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