Relaxation techniques have been developed to help us manage our mind and body’s response to stress, anxiety and worry. Knowing how to relax is really important for our mental and physical health.

Youth Mental Health RelaxationIf your child knows how and makes an effort to relax when they need to, it can be a great coping strategy to help when feeling stressed.

People who’re able to relax are more likely to bounce back from tough times, tend to be happier and have better physical health. They’re also less likely to develop serious mental health difficulties.

Ways to relax

There are a lot of different ways to relax. A lot of things, like walking and sitting quietly, are really simple, easy to do and don’t take much time. Others require more discipline and some training.

It’s important to encourage your son or daughter to find which form works for them.

Relaxation activities to try could include:

  • listening to music (music impacts our heart-rate, so quieter, less intense music is more likely to help)
  • go for a walk
  • play a sport they enjoy
  • watching sport
  • taking a bath
  • going to the cinema or watching a DVD
  • reading a book
  • socialising with friends
  • learning yoga
  • meditation
  • practising mindfulness.


Mindfulness is about being fully aware of living in the moment. Being in the present moment can help us all cope better with our lives and feel happier.

It’s a simple, but powerful way of keeping us in touch with what’s really important about our lives. Mindfulness helps us not to get bogged down by past mistakes or worrying about the future.

Reducing stress

More people across the world are recognising the benefits of mindfulness. If someone is stressed or anxious, they often worry about what might happen in the future rather than what is happening in the present. Mindfulness brings attention to the present moment as opposed to focusing on what might happen.

Mindfulness has also been used in cases of depression. It has been found that mindfulness training helps people who are depressed to become aware of their thoughts and redirect their attention to other aspects of the present moment.

When we’re mindful, it:

  • gives us a clear head
  • slows down our thoughts
  • slows down our nervous system
  • gives our body time to heal
  • lets us relax
  • helps us to concentrate and make the most of every moment
  • helps us cope with stress
  • helps us to be more aware of ourselves, our body and the environment.

Tips to develop mindfulness

  • Be still for a few moments each day – sit quietly doing nothing and observe your breath going in and out. Try to keep your mind clear.
  • Take time to eat quietly and slowly, savouring every bite, thinking about where the food has come from and how it tastes and feels in your mouth.
  • Take time to go for a walk outside, not going too fast and noticing everything around you – really looking at things, and hearing all the sounds around you, not getting caught up by your thinking.
  • Yoga and Tai chi can help you become more aware of your body and how it really feels to be you.


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