graphic - McKinley Health Center grachic - University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign UIUC Logo

 General Information


 Immunization & Travel
 Medical Clinics
 Mental Health
 Women's Health


Health Education:
 Peer Education
 Sexual Health
 Special Populations
 Stress Management

 SportWell Program

Additional Links:
 Calendar of Events
 Health Resource Ctrs.
 Professional Staff
 What is Wellness?

Contact Us

McKinley Home

Notice of Privacy Practices

Updated: August 2011

Relaxation Benefits and Tips


The benefits of using a relaxation technique are overwhelming. Regular practice of relaxation techniques will assist you in relieving muscle tension, reduce anxiety, and improve your overall wellbeing. Other physiological benefits include:

  • Decrease in heart rate
  • Decrease in respiration rate
  • Decrease in blood pressure
  • Decrease in muscle tension
  • Decrease in metabolic rate and oxygen consumption

Practicing relaxation exercises 2030 minutes on a daily basis can produce, over time, a general feeling of relaxation and increased wellbeing that benefits every area of your life. When you feel relaxed and at ease, you feel more in control which leads to calm, realistic responses.

Download Relaxation Exercises


 Find a Quiet Environment
  • Eliminate distractions
  • Minimize noise, light, odor, movement, etc.
 Adopt a Passive Attitude
  • Empty your mind of any thoughts and distractions
  • Allow your body to let go
  • Don't worry about how well you are doing
  • You can best control the exercises by not controlling them
 Use a Mental Devise of Some Type to Dispel Distractions
  • A word or phrase may be repeated over and over again to forget distractions
    - "I feel calm, and relaxed"
    - Relax and let it go"
    - Relax, recharge, rejuvenate"
  • A visual device may be an object or a symbol to keep you focused and relaxed
 Assume a Comfortable Position
  • You will remain in this position for about 20 minutes, so make sure you are not sitting in a position where you are using your muscles because this could create tension and work against relaxation.
  • Sitting or lying down is fine. If you are using a relaxation technique in the morning to get yourself going, lying down may not be best.
  • Some relaxation techniques are portable, such as deep breathing. Once you feel comfortable and experienced with the technique you can use it while walking, sitting, or lying down.
 Loosen Constricting Garments
  • Remove jewelry
  • Loosen clothing appropriately
 Practice at Least Once a Day for 20-30 Minutes
  • To incorporate relaxation into a stress management regimen, you need to schedule time for you relaxation. Make sure it is enough time!
  • Work at our relaxation routinely. The more consistent you are with taking time for yourself to relax, the better you will be in facing the unexpected which tends to cause stress levels to rise.
  • Expect to feel and see results in 2-4 weeks. Don't go for the quick fix. Be sure to give a technique a good try before moving on to another choice.

Download Relaxation Exercises


<< McKinley Stress Management Resources

<< back to health education

 © 2011 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign