Are you able to find time to relax? Can you set asi­de a few minu­tes ever­y­day to com­ple­te­ly relax? There’s some­thing about tho­se words — relax, be calm, and calm down — that trig­ger a deep emo­tio­nal respon­se in most of us. Don’t worry, we found some simp­le rela­xa­ti­on solu­ti­ons that you can do in your spa­re time.

If  you have Parkinson’s disea­se, you are likely to feel stress rela­ted to your tre­mors. Some­ti­mes, you may feel self-con­scious. That alo­ne is stress­ful. The­se simp­le rela­xa­ti­on solu­ti­ons open up natu­ral rela­xa­ti­on respon­ses which can help impro­ve your mood and ease your mind.

The Natio­nal Insti­tu­tes of Health (NIH) con­si­ders rela­xa­ti­on exer­ci­ses to be safe for most peop­le. Howe­ver, just like with exer­ci­se rou­ti­nes, peop­le with serious phy­si­cal health pro­blems such as Parkinson’s should dis­cuss the tech­ni­ques with their health­ca­re pro­vi­der befo­re star­ting a rela­xa­ti­on rou­ti­ne.

The­re are many via­ble tech­ni­ques for rela­xing. The­se inclu­de deep breat­hing exer­ci­ses, self-hyp­no­sis, and gui­ded image­ry. Each rela­xa­ti­on tech­ni­que goal is to pro­du­ce a natu­ral reac­tion from the body. This should inclu­de: lower blood pres­su­re, slo­wer breat­hing, and a sen­se of well-being.

We found five easy rela­xa­ti­on exer­ci­ses that are simp­le enough for most peop­le to do in a chair or while lying in bed.

The first two rela­xa­ti­on tips come from Har­vard Uni­ver­si­ty and the last three are from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Michi­gan.

Place your hand just bene­ath your navel so you can feel the gent­le rise and fall of your bel­ly as you brea­the. Brea­the in. Pau­se for a count of three. Brea­the out. Pau­se for a count of three. Con­ti­nue to brea­the deeply for one minu­te, pausing for a count of three after each inha­la­ti­on and exha­la­ti­on.

While sit­ting com­for­ta­b­ly, take a few slow deep breaths and quiet­ly repeat to yours­elf, “I am” as you brea­the in and, “at peace” as you brea­the out. Repeat slow­ly two or three times. Then, feel your ent­i­re body relax into the sup­port of your chair.

Rai­se eye­brows up and ten­se the mus­cles across the forehead and scalp. Feel the ten­si­on build and hold. Take a deep breath. As you exha­le say “relax” while let­ting the ten­si­on lea­ve your body.

Relax your faci­al mus­cles and allow your jaw to open slight­ly. Let your shoul­ders drop. Let your arms fall to your sides. Allow your hands to loo­sen so the­re are spaces bet­ween your fin­gers. Uncross your legs or ankles. Feel your thighs sink into your chair, let­ting your legs fall com­for­ta­b­ly apart. Feel your shins and cal­ves beco­me hea­vier and your feet grow roots into the floor. Now, brea­the in slow­ly and brea­the out slow­ly.

Obser­ve your abdo­men rising and fal­ling with each breath. Inha­le and press your navel toward the spi­ne then ten­se your abdo­men. Feel the ten­si­on build and hold it. Take in a deep breath. As you exha­le say “relax,” and let the ten­si­on lea­ve you.

Here’s a PDF with more rela­xa­ti­on tech­ni­ques from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Michi­gan.

The NIH reco­gni­zes the rela­xa­ti­on respon­se as having broad health bene­fits inclu­ding the reduc­tion of pain and res­to­ra­ti­on of sleep. In addi­ti­on, rese­arch on the rela­xa­ti­on respon­se has shown that this simp­le tech­ni­que can increa­se ener­gy and decrea­se fati­gue. It can increa­se moti­va­ti­on, pro­duc­tivi­ty, and impro­ve decisi­on-making abi­li­ty, too. The rela­xa­ti­on respon­se lowers stress hor­mo­ne levels and lowers blood pres­su­re.

The rela­xa­ti­on respon­se is your per­so­nal abi­li­ty to make your body release che­mi­cals and brain signals that make your mus­cles and organs slow down and increa­se blood flow to the brain. We hope the­se stress reli­e­ving solu­ti­ons help you find a rela­xa­ti­on rou­ti­ne that suits you so that you will con­ti­nue to prac­tice it each day.