Readers Digest
Magazine subscription Podcast
HomeHealthHealth Conditions

What's Your Relaxation Style?


1st Jan 2015 Health Conditions

What's Your Relaxation Style?

If you find that, despite your best efforts, you fail to achieve the inner calm and tranquillity which meditation is meant to bring, it’s good to know that there are a number of other activities which can give relaxation to both mind and body. Take a look at the following five options that offer many people a great way of unwinding:


Not only does massage have several proven physiological benefits, including increased blood flow, muscle relaxation, reducing swelling and causing a decrease in the body’s inflammatory processes, it also has a number of beneficial effects on stress levels. Studies indicate that the type of massage you receive doesn’t significantly alter the effects it achieves, so why not take a look at what’s available locally and experience the deep relaxation that a therapeutic massage can provide?


It is well-known that exercise is can help the body release its feel-good hormones, so getting active is a great way to improve fitness as well as enhancing your inner calm. Many people find that a repetitive activity, such as running or cycling, provides a perfect way of allowing intrusive thoughts and worries to gently dissipate, bringing mental refreshment which lasts far beyond the duration of the exercise itself.

Take up a hobby

It sounds trite, but for a large number of individuals, doing something they love for an hour or two is a great way to get things in perspective and recharge their batteries. Creative hobbies have been shown to be particularly helpful for relaxation, so why not take up painting, or get started on that best-selling novel you’ve always intended to write? Remember that you don’t have to be world-class at what you do; it just needs to be a pastime from which you gain genuine pleasure.


Even if you find the meditation practices which form part of the yoga discipline are not for you, there’s no reason why you can’t obtain considerable benefits simply from regularly practising the poses. There are several different styles of yoga, so you may need to try two or three different classes until you find the one that suits you.


Whether you simply enjoy listening to music, play an instrument or take part in a choir, music is not only a pleasurable experience; scientific research has shown that the right music can improve concentration levels and reduce the sensations of pain. If you want to know more about music as medicine, a qualified music therapist would be able to give suggestions on how sound might work to meet your particular needs.

When it comes to relaxation, everyone is a little different. For this reason it’s important to look at a range of approaches that may help, in order to find the right combination for your needs. With such a wide range of different options available, taking a little time to discover what each can offer may enable you to find a relaxing, stress-busting activity which delivers demonstrable mental and physical well-being benefits.

This post contains affiliate links, so we may earn a small commission when you make a purchase through links on our site at no additional cost to you. Read our disclaimer

Loading up next...
Stories by email|Subscription
Readers Digest

Launched in 1922, Reader's Digest has built 100 years of trust with a loyal audience and has become the largest circulating magazine in the world

Readers Digest
Reader’s Digest is a member of the Independent Press Standards Organisation (which regulates the UK’s magazine and newspaper industry). We abide by the Editors’ Code of Practice and are committed to upholding the highest standards of journalism. If you think that we have not met those standards, please contact 0203 289 0940. If we are unable to resolve your complaint, or if you would like more information about IPSO or the Editors’ Code, contact IPSO on 0300 123 2220 or visit