Relaxation means different things to different people. However when you are stressed, relaxation becomes important in giving you a way to cope physically and mentally. Relaxation is the opposite to the body’s stress response, reducing blood pressure, heart rate and stress hormones and increasing mental focus and problem solving ability.
As well as using hobbies or pastimes to relax, there are techniques to help you when your stress levels are high. Relaxation techniques do not come naturally to many people and they are skills which need to be practiced. It can be compared to learning to play a musical instrument, more practice, more skill. This practice should be done for 10 to 20 minutes every day, building up to longer if you can. Sticking to a routine will help to build in relaxation time in your day. Some relaxation techniques are less effective when you are tired but others may help you to sleep better when you are more skilled at doing the breathing exercises.