Simple Relaxation Techniques
Relaxation helps relieve stress that can make it difficult for you to concentrate, sleep or recover from illness. 
There are many ways to relax.  Here are some techniques you can try:


DEEP BREATHING

Deep breathing from your diaphragm is more relaxing than breathing from your chest.  It also exchanges more carbon dioxide for oxygen, giving you more energy. To practice deep breathing:

Sit comfortably with your feet flat on the floor.

Loosen tight clothing around your abdomen and waist.

Place your hands in your lap or at your side.

Close your eyes if it helps you to relax.

Breathe in slowly through your nose while counting to 4.  Allow your abdomen to expand as you breathe in.

Pause for a second and then exhale at a normal rate through your mouth.

Repeat until you feel more relaxed.
 

PROGRESSIVE MUSCLE RELAXATION

This technique involves relaxing a series of muscles (e.g., your feet, then calves, then thighs, etc.) one at a time.  First, raise the tension level in a group of muscles, such as your feet, by tightening the muscles and then slowly relaxing them.  You can count to 4 as you tighten and then again as you loosen the muscles.  Concentrate on letting the tension go in each muscle.  Then move on the the next muscle group.
 

WORD REPETITION

Choose a word (e.g., "Peace") or phrase that is a cue for you to relax and then constantly repeat it.  While repeating the word or phrase, try to breathe deeply and slowly and think of something that gives you pleasant sensations of warmth and heaviness.  If you are a religious person, you might try "God loves me" or "I am healed by love"
 

GUIDED IMAGERY

Lie quietly and picture yourself in a pleasant and peaceful setting.  Experience the setting with all of your senses, as if you were actually there.  For instance, imagine lying on the beach.  Picture the beautiful blue sky, smell the salt water, hear the waves, and feel the warm breeeze ot your skin.  The messages your brain gets helps calm and relax you.