Feature Archive

Blissing Out: 10 Relaxation Techniques To Reduce Stress On-the-Spot

If your hectic lifestyle has got you down, experts say relaxation techniques can bring you back into balance—some in five minutes or less.

By Jenny Stamos Kovacs
WebMD Medical News

Reviewed By Jonathan L Gelfand, MD

The kids need a ride to school, your husband can't find his shorts, your boss has just scheduled an online meeting, and your best friend desperately needs your help—all at the same time.

Is it any wonder that you can't find a minute for relaxation? In fact, if you're like most women, you may have even forgotten how to relax.

And while experts say that some stress is good for you—it can sharpen your senses and your mind—too much stress is bad for your mental and physical health. At the same time, relaxation can do wonders to restore balance in your life—and may even reduce some of the health risks associated with stress.

WebMD talked to the experts to learn more about relaxation—and how to attain it. What follows are 10 on-the-spot techniques you can use—any time and almost anywhere—to reduce the tension in your life.

1. Meditate

If you're thinking meditation means twisting your body into an uncomfortable position and uttering "oohs" and "omms" for an hour, guess again. Any repetitive action can be a source of meditation, says Herbert Benson, MD, author of The Relaxation Response anddirector emeritus, Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. This includes walking, swimming, painting, knitting—any activity that helps keep your attention calmly in the present moment.