Relaxation exercises for stress: so you can finally calm down

Written by: Konstantin Neumann



Time to read 7 min

Stress is a mass phenomenon, almost every fourth person is partially or even chronically affected by it. The consequences can be fatal, because stress makes you sick in the long run. You can do a lot to reduce the stress you feel. For example, there are numerous relaxation exercises to combat stress and ways to develop a stronger mindset. We tell you what you can do yourself for your inner balance and more peace!

The consequences of stress - why exercises for relaxation are beneficial to health

Many people don't notice stress at all because they are so used to hustle and bustle, as well as overworking in everyday life. We expect too much of ourselves, voluntarily taking on tasks for the boss or colleagues. At some point, body and mind reach a state of exhaustion. Suddenly, nothing works as it should and, in the worst case, even panic attacks can develop. But what actually happens?

When you are stressed, your body starts to release hormones. These in turn trigger a stress response and activate your brain's sympathetic nervous system. As a result, your cortisol level rises, you become more alert for a short time, and your circulation works at full speed. If you manage to combat inner restlessness with relaxation exercises and the like, there is a balance for you and your body. But if you don't succeed or if you don't do relaxation exercises when you're under stress, there is a risk of physical consequences. These include:

  • Burn-out: At some point, your mind breaks down, you feel burnt out, permanently exhausted and can no longer actively participate in everyday life.
  • Sleep disorders: In the evening, you can no longer find peace and reach for sleep-inducing medications. (Small tip: Here, relaxation exercises to fall asleep can be the better and, above all, healthier solution.)
  • Immunodeficiency: If your body is under constant stress, this has a negative impact on your immune system. It no longer works as strongly, and you are prone to infections.
  • Mental illness: Whether depression or anxiety disorders, stress is capable of triggering such dreaded mental illnesses.

As you can see, mental health is a foundation for your general well-being. To ensure that this foundation remains strong and resilient in the long term, you should take care of it - otherwise, cracks and the like can make it brittle.

How do relaxation exercises work for stress?

When you get home in the evening, you snuggle up on your sofa and feel relaxed. But what about measurable stress - does it reduce it? Not in most cases, because stress doesn't just go away. This is exactly where relaxation exercises for stress come in.

They help to reduce the existing stress hormones in the body and shut down your circulation. The heart beats less quickly, breathing calms down and blood pressure is also reduced. So when you do exercises to relax, you are actively helping to reduce stress.

Which relaxation method suits me?

There are several stress relaxation exercises that can help you relax your mind and body. So-called anti-stress exercises are designed so that you can often do them on the go. In addition, there are also relaxation exercises for home, for which you should take a little more time. We present you the most important relaxation techniques that are suitable for different types of stress.

Relaxation exercises against stress and for muscle relaxation:

Stress causes tension and as a result, neck pain, back pain and headaches quickly occur. The good news is that with the right exercises, you can conjure up relaxation for your muscles. The so-called progressive muscle relaxation is one of the relaxation exercises for stress that you can feel. Here, you actively tense your muscles and then consciously relax them shortly afterward.

Yoga - varied relaxation exercises for stress

Yoga is as diverse as it is relaxing. The well-known relaxation techniques originate from ancient India, but are now one of the most popular sports in this country. Yoga is an interplay of various breathing exercises, physical positions and stretches of your body. The stretching during this relaxation exercise loosens the muscles and pain can disappear. The breathing techniques cause your mind to calm down, and you can be more mindful of yourself and your body.

Autogenic training for relaxation - exercise in complete silence

Have you ever been on a mind trip? Autogenic training is one of those relaxation techniques that doesn't require you to exert any physical effort. Instead, it's a form of self-hypnosis designed to bring you deep inner peace. Your focus in the respective relaxation methods is placed on you and certain formulas that you repeatedly memorize yourself like a mantra.

If you are not yet familiar with these relaxation exercises for stress, you can also do guided autogenic training. There are podcasts, audiobooks or videos that will guide you through the first steps.

Meditation - long-term relaxation exercises for stress

The topic of meditation has long become popular, more and more people rely on such relaxation exercises for stress. The idea is to strengthen concentration and sharpen the mind. During the relaxation exercises, you focus on a particular mantra, imagine an image or think of a very specific feeling. Meditations are also very popular relaxation exercises against anxiety, as the effect can spread to your general well-being. For a meditation, you need silence to focus on yourself and let yourself fall. Take your time and space to relax.

Mindfulness - short-term relaxation exercises for stress

Experienced practitioners can often eliminate anxiety, stress and restlessness in a very short time with mindful relaxation exercises. The goal here is that you focus on the here and now to calm the thoughts. Mindfulness means that your feelings and thoughts are allowed to come and go because you are mindful and actively aware of yourself. These relaxation exercises for stress also help you to rely more on your feelings. Since you can do mindfulness exercises anytime and anywhere, they are perfect for the office or other stressful situations.

3 methods against stress: Yoga, Meditation, Mindfulness

Learn the right relaxation technique very easily

Appropriate relaxation exercises for stress are a valuable tool that you can use to train yourself and your resilience. For example, did you know that some people can withstand stress much more than others? This is also due to your own attitude towards problems.

Humans are fundamentally designed to accomplish a lot, and to do so over a long period of time. This is where mindset comes into play. We perceive negative stress as a burden; it is also referred to as distress. But there is also a corresponding counterpart, the eustress! This is a beneficial type of stress in which your perception and attention are sharpened, but your body does not suffer.

If you want to use stress relaxation exercises for yourself, you have many options. As a complete beginner, it is advisable to learn relaxation methods with guidance. Take the opportunity to attend a yoga course or participate in a video seminar. It is crucial that you find the right relaxation exercises for you when you are stressed. There are people who prefer autogenic training and those who prefer yoga to get physically exhausted.

Eustress vs. Distress

Harmonize psyche and mind with relaxation exercises

The goal of relaxation exercises for stress is that you stop letting stressful symptoms get to you. In most cases, you will not be able to prevent stress. But if you know a relaxation method, you can counteract the consequences.

Imagine you've been working under pressure all day, and just before closing time, you get into an argument with a colleague. The day was a disaster for you, and you go to bed frustrated. Assume that your subconscious will do everything in its power to prevent you from falling asleep. If you succeed anyway, you take the thoughts and fears with you into sleep. Many people process problems during REM phase and toss and turn in stressful dreams.

You can prevent sleep problems with relaxation exercises for stress. The goal is not to suppress the problems, but to take the burden off your body. In acute situations, exercises that take place in a quiet and safe environment are helpful. It is best to use your bed, because then you can comfortably fall asleep after the relaxation exercise.

The right relaxation exercises for anxiety

Are you affected by anxiety and panic attacks? As cruel as it feels in the acute situation, you are not alone with it. In medicine, such disorders are treated almost exclusively with medication. The problem is that drugs for acute cases can become addictive very quickly.

Just as relaxation exercises can help with stress, you can often reduce anxiety and acute panic attacks with breath relaxation exercises. Because you can regulate and relax your breathing, blood flow and thoughts during relaxation exercises, you often feel calmer after just a few minutes.

Expand your senses and open your mind - your relaxation on a retreat

If you are often stressed and want to slow down a bit, a complete change of scenery can be a good option. It doesn't have to be long - a weekend can have a decelerating effect, and you can get away from it all. There are various retreats; with yoga for relaxation, with special nutrition or another special program. Especially for relaxation, psychedelic substances can also be an option. On a MODERNmind retreat, you can take a journey to yourself and gain mind-expanding experiences with psychedelic substances. Mental health affects many areas of your life. As an important foundation, you should take good care of it. On a retreat, we offer you a protected place with psychological support to embark on a journey to yourself. Besides relaxation, you can gain important insights for yourself.

Help yourself with relaxation exercises for inner restlessness

You will never be able to avoid stress completely, but relaxation exercises for stress give you a tool to create a balance. It's up to you to decide whether breathing relaxation exercises (which can also be done on the go) or other techniques are the best way to calm down.

There is nothing to stop you from combining meditation, autogenic training, yoga and progressive muscle relaxation in your relaxation exercises. While many people tend to focus on one area, the combination quickly increases the effect.

Please remember that in acute emergencies, you are also allowed to say "no" once in a while and take some time off. If relaxation exercises no longer help with stress, and you feel tired, exhausted and burnt out, you don't have to go through it alone. Find someone who can help you with stress in addition to relaxation exercises.