Relaxation (quotes)


What is relaxation?


Relaxation is loss of tension

  • Relaxation: The state of being free from tension and anxiety.  Recreation or rest, especially after a period of work.  The loss of tension in a part of the body, especially in a muscle.  Oxford Dictionary
  • Relaxation: Abatement or relief from bodily or mental work, effort, application, etc.  com
  • Relaxation: An activity or recreation that provides such relief; diversion; entertainment.  com
  • Relax: To relieve from nervous tension.  To become lax, weak, or loose.  To seek rest or recreation.  Merriam Webster
  • Letting goCalmnessTranquilityInner peaceContentmentRest and renewalPleasure

The rewards of relaxation


To reduce anxiety, we need to activate the body’s relaxation response

  • Briefly stated, the relaxation response is defined as the response that is the opposite of the “fight- or- flight” or stress response. It is characterized by the following: decreased metabolism, heart rate, blood pressure, and rate of breathing; a decrease or “calming” in brain activity; an increase in attention and decision-making functions of the brain; and changes in gene activity that are the opposite of those associated with stress. Herbert Benson
  • To effectively combat stress, we need to activate the body’s natural relaxation response. You can do this by practicing relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, rhythmic exercise, and yoga. Fitting these activities into your life can help reduce everyday stress and boost your energy and mood. Lawrence Robinson
  • The pause-and-plan response drives you in the opposite direction of the fight- or- flight response. Instead of speeding up, your heart slows down, and your blood pressure stays normal. Instead of hyperventilating like a madman, you take a deep breath. Instead of tensing muscles to prime them for action, your body relaxes. Kelly McGonigal
  • Anxiety

Relaxation reduces stress and makes us healthier

  • One simply cannot be relaxed and stressed at the same time. Try it. You can’t. Relaxation drives out anxiety and vice versa. Robert Emmons
  • Relaxing also quiets the fight-or-flight sympathetic nervous system, since relaxed muscles send feedback to the alarm centres in the brain that all is well. When you’re very relaxed, it’s hard to feel stressed or upset. Rick Hanson
  • Store up reservoirs of calm and content and draw on them at later moments when the source isn’t there, but the need is very great. Rupert Brooke
  • Time deals gently only with those who take it gently. Anatole France
  • Relaxation drains away anxiety like pulling the plug in a bathtub. Rick Hanson
  • There is no way to get dark out of a room other than to let light in. The only way to get stress out of your being is to let in relaxation. You cannot be relaxed and stressful at the same time. Josè Silva and Burt Goldman
  • These studies have established clearly that eliciting the relaxation response through any of a wide variety of techniques will actually change the body’s gene activity or expression. Herbert Benson
  • Relaxation drains away anxiety like pulling the plug in a bathtub. Rick Hanson, Ph.D
  • The poor long for riches, the rich long for heaven, but the wise long for a state of tranquillity. Swami Rama
  • Sometimes a headache is all in your head. Relax. Hartman Jule
  • The bow too tensely strung is easily broken. Publilius Syrius
  • People who routinely relax have improved expression of genes that calm down stress reactions, making them more resilient. Rick Hanson
  • A cheerful frame of mind, reinforced by relaxation… is the medicine that puts all ghosts of fear on the run. George Matthew Adams
  • If I want to heal, it is essential for me to feel. I am safe in my heart, feeling relaxed.  Dr Darren R. Weissman
  • Practice relaxation techniques. A daily relaxation practice can help relieve symptoms of depression, reduce stress, and boost feelings of joy and well-being. Try yoga, deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, or meditation. Jeanne Segal
  • StressHealth

Relaxation alleviates anxiety and worry

  • Anxiety is more than just a feeling. It’s the body’s physical “fight or flight” reaction to a perceived threat. Your heart pounds, you breathe faster, your muscles tense up, and you feel light-headed. When you’re relaxed, the complete opposite happens. Your heart rate slows down, you breathe slower and more deeply, your muscles relax, and your blood pressure stabilizes. Since it’s impossible to be anxious and relaxed at the same time, strengthening your body’s relaxation response is a powerful anxiety- relieving tactic. Robert Segal
  • Problems can’t exist in the face of total relaxation. Physical, mental, emotional, spiritual problems have nothing to stick to in the face of total relaxation. John C. Parkin
  • This is the yesterday that will not matter tomorrow. Ashleigh Brilliant
  • You get peace of mind not by thinking about it or imagining it, but by quietening and relaxing the restless mind. Remez Sasson
  • AnxietyWorry

Relaxation connects us to our higher self and our intuition

  • Relaxation is the prerequisite for that inner expansion that allows a person to express the source of inspiration and joy within. Deepak Chopra
  • Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are. Chinese Proverb
  • …breathing deeply and regularly is not only the key to remaining calm, but also instantly connects us to a higher vibration. When we’re stressed or fearful, we tend to hold our breath, which cuts us off from our Higher Self and our intuitive vibes. Sonia Choquette
  • If you want to learn to trust your vibes, you must maintain a peaceful and relatively calm attitude. When you’re tense, nervous, or anxious, your energy gets tangled up and blocked and can’t enter your heart centre, where your Higher Self and your vibes communicate. Sonia Choquette
  • Don’t seek, don’t search, don’t ask, don’t knock, don’t demand–relax. If you relax, it comes. If you relax, it is there. If you relax, you start vibrating with it. Osho
  • Since pure awareness of nowness is real Enlightenment, in openness and contentment I found the Truth in my heart. By simply relaxing in this uncontrived, open, and natural state, we obtain the quality of effortless freedom of whatever arises. Dudjom Rinpoche
  • Intuition

Being relaxed makes us more effective and productive

  • Everything you do can be done better from a place of relaxation. Stephen C. Paul
  • Your power is proportional to your ability to relax. David Allen
  • Everything you do can be done better from a place of relaxation. Stephen C. Paul
  • The more tranquil a man becomes, the greater is his success, his influence, his power for good. Calmness of mind is one of the beautiful jewels of wisdom. James Allen
  • For he who has no tranquillity there is no concentration. Bhagavad-Gita
  • The pursuit, even of the best things, ought to be calm and tranquil. Marcus Tullius Cicero
  • The less effort, the faster and more powerful you will be. Bruce Lee
  • Follow effective action with quiet reflection. From the quiet reflection will come even more effective action. Peter Drucker
  • Being relaxed, at peace with yourself, confident, emotionally neutral, loose, and free-floating – these are the keys to successful performance in almost everything.  Wayne Dyer
  • Calmness is the cradle of power. G. Holland
  • The cyclone derives its powers from a calm centre. So does a person.  Norman Vincent Peale
  • Don’t seek, don’t search, don’t ask, don’t knock, don’t demand – relax. If you relax, it comes. If you relax, it is there. If you relax, you start vibrating with it. Osho
  • No matter how much pressure you feel at work, if you could find ways to relax for at least five minutes every hour, you’d be more productive. Dr Joyce Brothers
  • When it comes to the basic skill of relaxing into a quieter state of mind, effort generally turns out to be counter- productive. Peter Russell
  • Your ability to be productive is directly proportional to your ability to relax. David Allen
  • EffectivenessProductivity

Relaxation turns our melodramas into mellow dramas

  • Being more relaxed involves training yourself to respond differently to the dramas of life—turning your melodrama into a mellow- drama. Richard Carlson
  • Remaining calm no matter what’s going on around you is an incredible challenge, but it will liberate your psychic sense and will probably add a few years to your life as well—after all, getting worked up about things only makes them worse. Life is always full of drama and challenges, but you don’t have to overreact to any of it if you choose not to. Sonia Choquette
  • Begin with the small things. We tend to let ourselves get bothered by the little, meaningless things that happen every day. For example, somebody beeps at you at the stoplight. As these little things happen, you will notice your energy change. The moment you feel a change, relax your shoulders and relax the area around your heart. The moment the energy moves, you simply relax and release. Play with letting go and falling behind this sense of being bothered. Michael Singer

Relaxation can open us to creativity and inspiration

  • Do you remember the story of Archimedes? He was having a quiet bath one day, slopped some water over the side, then suddenly leapt in delight from his tub and ran naked through the main street of Athens shouting “Eureka!  I’ve got it!”  He had discovered an important theory.  It took just a moment of inspiration while relaxing in the bath, doing nothing much. Time is like that: cussed when we try to speed up, a dear friend when we slow down.  Richard Koch
  • Good ideas and creativity usually do not appear under stress. When you are relaxed and rejuvenated, creative ideas usually come rather naturally. Take a walk on the beach, take a nap, go and play some sport or do whatever it is that relaxes you so that your brain can be more creative when you get back to work.  Diann Daniel
  • I often joke with my audiences that I make most of my income on a ski pole. People smile but they get my point. You need to make time for your genius to flow. We get our creative bursts, those idea torrents that take our business and personal lives to the next level, while we are skiing or drinking coffee in a Starbucks or walking in the woods or meditation with a sunrise. Those pursuits are not a waste of time. Creativity comes when you are relaxed, happy and enjoying the moment. And when it comes, it brings ideas that rock your world. Robin Sharma
  • Neuroscientists estimate that your unconscious database outweighs the conscious on an order exceeding ten million to one. This database is the source of your creative potential. In other words, a part of you is much smarter than you are. The wisest people regularly consult that smartest part. You can, too, by making space for incubation. So, how do the greatest minds do this? We rarely get our best ideas when we’re officially “at work. If we want to enter the domain of genius, we’ve got to take time for solitude and relaxation. Michael Gelb
  • Sometimes the most productive thing you can do is relax When you relax, your brain shifts into alpha state–the time when million-dollar ideas present themselves.  Marc and Angel Chernoff
  • We rarely get our best ideas when we’re officially “at work. If we want to enter the domain of genius, we’ve got to take time for solitude and relaxation. Michael Gelb
  • When the mind is relaxed, no longer making an effort, when it is quiet for just a few seconds, then the problem reveals itself and it is solved. That happens when the mind is still, in the interval between two thoughts, between two responses. In that state of mind, understanding comes. Jiddu Krishnamurti
  • Your mind will answer most questions if you learn to relax and wait for the answer. William S. Burroughs
  • Your most brilliant ideas come in a flash, but the flash comes only after a lot of hard work. Nobody gets a big idea when he is not relaxed and nobody gets a big idea when he is relaxed all the time. Edward Blakeslee
  • CreativityInspiration

Relaxation makes our thinking clearer

  • Make important decisions when relaxed and rested. Gary Marcus
  • Meditation is a tool that you can use to give your thoughts more focus and power. It is much easier to visualize what you want and inject substance (feelings) when you are relaxed and free from distractions. Henri Junttila
  • Quietness with thoughtful reflection and relaxation can be empowering. Cynthia Wright
  • ThinkingClarity

Relaxation can put us into a heightened state of awareness

  • A heightened state of awareness comes when we look, and then look again, and then relax into whatever situation we are in. When we have a capacity for fascination with simple things, we are able to sit peacefully for hours on a park bench, or in an airport, engrossed by the different gaits and gestures of people as they walk, talk, and stand.  We develop the ability to be patient as we stand in line at the grocery store because we have the ability to look with fascination and wonder at all that surrounds us.  Charlotte Davis Kasl
  • Awareness

Relaxation increases empathy

  • A way of strengthening compassion is to understand and then release what prevents it from arising. For example, tension and stress limit compassion. When we’re stressed, we’re usually too preoccupied for empathy to operate. However, when we’re relaxed, our capacity for empathy increases. People who cultivate deep states of calm often find it naturally opens their hearts to great capacities of compassion and love. Gil Fronsdal
  • Empathy

Relaxation reduces cravings and addiction

  • Anxiety, Anger, Frustration and Stress are amongst the biggest triggers for cravings. So learning some relaxation techniques can be a life-saver. If you’re not so tense, you’re less likely to act impulsively. And if you’ve been using alcohol to relax for years, then you are going to have to learn some other methods. Tobin Hunt
  • Recovering people should regularly practice meditation and relaxation techniques. These techniques can lower stress and help to turn off cravings. Gorski
  • CravingsAddiction

Relaxation helps in the management of pain

  • By practicing stress reduction techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, and guided imagery, you can relax both your body and mind. As you learn to live a more relaxed, stress-free life, you will progressively be able manage your pain more effectively. Knowing how to access a mental escape will be of great benefit for moving out of your pain and into a more peaceful state of mind. Valerie Johnston
  • Check your stress and anxiety levels. Anxiety will make pain worse. Try anything that reduces stress to normal levels. Try doing breathing exercises. Relaxation therapy is also helpful. Dr Maryellen Smith
  • Relaxed mindfulness of our own suffering increases our ability to feel empathy for others’ difficulty and pain. Gil Fronsdal
  • There are a number of techniques that you can learn to do for yourself to help reduce the pain, which will make you less anxious, such as relaxation exercises, biofeedback, and self-hypnosis. Do whatever feels most comfortable to you. Sign up for classes in meditation, yoga, or tai chi (also called “moving meditation”), or find a trained biofeedback therapist. Practice deep, slow breathing, or go for a long walk or bike ride. Evelyn Corsini
  • PainPhysical pain

Relaxation helps us sleep better

  • If you make a consistent effort to relax and unwind before bed, you will sleep easier and more deeply. A peaceful bedtime routine sends a powerful signal to your brain that it’s time to wind down and let go of the day’s stresses. Jeanne Segal
  • Relax before bed. Don’t do anything before bed that could get you anxious or excited. Avoid doing work in the evening or even getting into serious discussions with your spouse. Instead, try focused relaxation or breathing exercises. Morgan Griffin
  • Wind it down Give yourself time to unwind before bed. Develop a relaxing routine. Get any worrying or forward planning you have to do out of the way earlier in the day. Look for ways to make your life less stressful. Sarah Berry
  • Sleep

How to relax


There are many methods to elicit the relaxation response

  • The participants in the genetics study used a number of different meditative, relaxation, and prayer- based techniques. These included repeating a mantra, mindfulness meditation, Transcendental Meditation, Vipassana meditation, breath focus, Kripalu or Kundalini yoga, and repetitive prayer. Despite the variety, all techniques yielded the same gene expression. We found that our minds and bodies, all the way down to the genetic level, are built to experience a common relaxation response state, regardless of the technique used to elicit it. Herbert Benson
  • There is no single, correct approach for triggering the relaxation response or employing any other mind body technique. For one person, a repetitive action, such as walking or jogging with a focus on regular footfalls, may be the answer; for another, a repetitive phrase or prayer, said silently or audibly, may provide the gateway to healthful inner physiologic and genetic changes. Herbert Benson


  • Breathing from your diaphragm oxygenates your blood, which helps you relax almost instantly. Robert Cooper
  • Take in a deep, slow breath. Let your attention stay on this breath. Hold the breath in for 5 seconds, then slowly exhale and pause for another 5 seconds at the end of the exhale. Repeat a few times if you like. Leo Babauta
  • By breathing deeply from the diaphragm, you can reverse anxiety symptoms and calm yourself down. Robert Segal
  • Focused breathing can help you control your physical responses to stress. Put your tongue on the roof of your mouth behind your teeth, inhale deeply through your nose, and fill up with air until your stomach sticks out like a baby’s.  Then slowly release the air through your nose or mouth.  Do this at least three times.  It will help you to loosen up and settle down.  Stephen Covey
  • Let out a big sigh, dropping your chest, and exhaling through gently pursed lips. Now imagine your low belly, or center, as a deep, powerful place. Feel your breath coming and going as your mind stays focused there. Inhale, feeling your entire belly, sides and lower back expand. Exhale, sighing again as you drop your chest, and feeling your belly, back and sides contract. Repeat 10 times, relaxing more fully each time. Joan Borysenko
  • Smile, breathe and go slowly. Thich Nhat Hanh
  • Feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky. Conscious breathing is my anchor. Thích Nhất Hạnh
  • Fear is excitement without the breath. Fritz Perls
  • Learn how to exhale, the inhale will take care of itself. Carla Melucci Ardito
  • One way to break up any kind of tension is good deep breathing. Byron Nelson
  • Let go.  And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure.  Oprah Winfrey
  • Slow breathing is like an anchor in the midst of an emotional storm: the anchor won’t make the storm goes away, but it will hold you steady until it passes. Russ Harris
  • As we free our breath (with diaphragmatic breathing) we relax our emotions and let go our body tensions. Gay Hendricks
  • Do not jump into reaction mode at the first appearance of negative energy. Just breathe, and relax. Neale Donald Walsch
  • Even when feeling angry, fearful, and sorrowful, breathe evenly and fully. Keep your body relaxed. Dan Millman
  • Every out breath is an opportunity to let go and relax. Joan Borysenko
  • From your higher perspective—activated in the prefrontal cortex in your forehead—you make executive-brain decisions about the level of danger, the appropriate action to take, and when it’s safe to relax. Fortunately, you don’t need to learn how to give this signal of safety; you simply exhale and give a sigh of relief, which instantly signals the body’s relaxation response—from the parasympathetic branch of the autonomic nervous system—to take over and release muscle tension and reduce stress hormones. Neil Fiore
  • Most of the time, we think too much, and mindful breathing helps us to be calm, relaxed, and peaceful. Thich Nhat Hanh
  • Remind yourself to breathe deeply through your nose and into your abdomen. Breathe out through your mouth, slowly. This relaxes and releases stress. Focus on your breath and notice your body and mind saying goodbye to tension. Henri Junttila
  • Breathing


  • Meditation gives you an opportunity to come to know your invisible self. It allows you to empty yourself of the endless hyperactivity of your mind, and to attain calmness. It teaches you to be peaceful, to remove stress, to receive answers where confusion previously reigned. Wayne Dyer
  • Many types of meditation have been shown to reduce anxiety. Mindfulness meditation, in particular, shows promise for anxiety relief. Research shows that mindfulness meditation can actually change your brain. With regular practice, meditation boosts activity on the left side of the prefrontal cortex, the area of the brain responsible for feelings of serenity and joy. Robert Segal
  • Like water which can clearly mirror the sky and the trees only so long as its surface is undisturbed, the mind can only reflect the true image of the Self when it is tranquil and wholly relaxed. Indra Devi
  • Meditation isn’t just about relaxing the mind, it’s about finding a relaxed wakefulness. This enables you to focus better, take more effective action and be more response- able. Martin Boroson
  • Stillness within finds stillness without as the framework through which all activity occurs. Breathe deep and full. Relax always. Grace unfolds from within to dance about in joyous recognition. Rob Campbell
  • The whole of meditation practice can be essentialized into these 3 crucial points: Bring your mind home. Release. And relax! Sogyal Rinpoche
  • Meditation

Practice mindfulness

  • Mindfulness is the here-and-now approach to living that makes daily life richer and more meaningful. It’s approaching life like a child, without passing judgment on what occurs. Mindfulness means focusing on one activity at a time, so forget multi- tasking! Staying in the present-tense can help promote relaxation and provide a buffer against anxiety and depression. Claire Michaels
  • Creating equanimity in your mind means attempting to let go of negative judgments about what you are experiencing and replacing them with an attitude of loving acceptance and gentle matter- of-factness. Creating equanimity in your body is maintaining a continuous relaxed state over your body as sensations (both pleasant and unpleasant) wash through.  Shinzen Young
  • Mindfulness is the here-and-now approach to living that makes daily life richer and more meaningful. It’s approaching life like a child, without passing judgment on what occurs. Mindfulness means focusing on one activity at a time, so forget multi- tasking! Staying in the present-tense can help promote relaxation and provide a buffer against anxiety and depression. Claire Michaels
  • Mindfulness was experienced as not holding onto the past, the future, or ‘nowness:’ but relaxing into the immediacy of whatever was happening. Alan Wallace
  • Mindfulness

Consciously let go of physical tension

  • When anxiety takes hold, progressive muscle relaxation can help you release muscle tension and take a “time out” from your worries. The technique involves systematically tensing and then releasing different muscle groups in your body. As your body relaxes, your mind will follow. Robert Segal
  • Consciously relax. I’m not talking about taking a nap, or assuming the position of a couch potato in front of your television set. I’m talking about deliberately scanning each part of your body to reduce muscle tension and physical fatigue. Andrew Newberg
  • Relax in odd moments. Let your body go limp like an old sock. Dale Carnegie
  • I let my neck release, to let my neck go forward and up, to let my back lengthen and widen. Each movement is a chance to release and lengthen with my head leading. Each part of me releases and lengthens out of the nearest joint. I am supported from below. I think upwards for downward movements. My head floats on a water fountain. Alexander Technique
  • Every movement I make is an opportunity to let go and release.
  • Stop a minute, right where you are. Relax your shoulders, shake your head and spine like a dog shaking off cold water. Tell that imperious voice in your head to be still… Barbara Kingsolver
  • Letting go


  • All you have to do to trigger a deep yawn is to fake it six or seven times. Try it right now, and you should discover by the fifth false yawn, a real one will begin to emerge. But don’t stop there, because by the tenth or twelfth yawn, you’ll feel the power of this seductive little trick. Your eyes may start watering and your nose may begin to run, but you’ll also feel utterly present, incredibly relaxed, and highly alert. Not bad for something that takes less than a minute to do. And if you find that you can’t stop yawning—I’ve seen some people yawn for thirty minutes—you’ll know that you’ve been depriving yourself of an important neurological treat. Andrew Newburg
  • The relaxation and rib release results of a yawn certainly allow for greater breathing, volume, balance and ease while inviting a greater state of calm. Patt Lind-Kyle
  • Yawning helps us relax. It lifts our moods. It’s good stuff. And it’s free. Patt Lind-Kyle
  • Yawning will relax you and bring you into a state of alertness faster than any other meditation technique I know of. Andrew Newburg
  • Yawning


  • The physical symptoms of anxiety are caused by the ‘flight-fight’ response, which floods the body with adrenaline and other stress chemicals. Exercise burns up stress chemicals and promotes relaxation. Robert Cooper, Ph.D.
  • Exercise

Practice Yoga

  • The autonomic nervous system is divided into the sympathetic system, which is often identified with the fight-or-flight response, and the parasympathetic, which is identified with what’s been called the relaxation response. When you do yoga — the deep breathing, the stretching, the movements that release muscle tension, the relaxed focus on being present in your body —you initiate a process that turns the fight-or-flight system off and the relaxation response on. That has a dramatic effect on the body. The heartbeat slows, respiration decreases, blood pressure decreases. The body seizes this chance to turn on the healing mechanisms. Richard Faulds
  • Yoga is invigoration in relaxation. Freedom in routine. Confidence through self-control. Energy within and energy without. Ymber Delecto
  • Yoga

Listen to relaxing music

  • Music can calm the heartbeat and soothe the soul. So, when the going gets rough, take a musical stress detour by aligning your heartbeat with the slow tempo of a relaxing song. And you might want to make that a classical tune. Research shows that listening to 30 minutes of classical music may produce calming effects equivalent to taking 10 mg of Valium. Jenny Stamos Kovacs
  • Music

Get some physical contact

  • Induce the relaxation response by cuddling your pet, giving an unexpected hug to a friend or family member, snuggling with your spouse, or talking to a friend about the good things in your lives. Studies have also shown that physical contact – – like petting your dog or cat — helps lower blood pressure and decrease stress hormones. Deborah Rozman
  • Sex increases levels of endorphins, those mood-boosting chemicals in the brain, and it’s one of the best total-body relaxers around. Louanne Cole Weston
  • Touch

Live in the moment

  • When you no longer worry about the future, and no longer have regrets about the past, you exist purely in the moment. If you concentrate on that moment you instinctively know, that as long as you have life you have hope. Enjoy the moment. Breathe easily. Relax. Paul Wilson
  • Live in the present

Spend time in nature

  • Flowers have a mysterious and subtle influence upon the feelings, not unlike some strains of music. They relax the tenseness of the mind. They dissolve its rigor. Henry Ward Beecher
  • Nature

Take breaks

  • Every now and then go away, have a little relaxation, for when you come back to your work your judgment will be surer. Go some distance away because then the work appears smaller and more of it can be taken in at a glance and a lack of harmony and proportion is more readily seen. Leonardo da Vinci
  • If a man insisted always on being serious, and never allowed himself a bit of fun and relaxation, he would go mad or become unstable without knowing it. Herodotus
  • Living a life in balance means taking the necessary time to renew yourself. It’s all up to you. You can renew yourself through relaxation. Or you can totally burn yourself out by overdoing everything. Stephen Covey
  • Taking time out each day to relax and renew is essential to living well. Judith Hanson Lasater
  • The beauty of doing nothing is that it teaches you to clear your mind and relax. Just like your body, your mind needs an occasional break from its hectic routine.  when you allow your mind to take a break, it comes back stronger, sharper, more focused and creative.  Richard Carlson
  • The time to relax is when you don’t have time for it. Jim Goodwin
  • Rest and renewal

Count to ten

  • Count to ten. When you feel yourself getting angry or stressed, take a deep inhalation and relax your body. Count from one to ten, breathing and relaxing each time. Richard Carlson


  • Experts who measure such things say the relaxation response after a good laugh lasts up to 45 minutes. Jim Hartness
  • When people use humour, the autonomic nervous system just tones down a bit to take it off high gear, and that allows the heart to relax. Mehmet C. Oz, M.D.
  • LaughterHumour


  • Smiling is a two-way mechanism. We do it when we’re relaxed and happy, but doing it can also make us feel relaxed and happy. Smiling transmits nerve impulses from the facial muscles to the limbic system, a key emotional centre in the brain, tilting the neurochemical balance toward calm. Robert Cooper, Ph.D
  • A smile can relax hundreds of muscles in your face. Thich Nhat Hanh
  • Smiling


  • The importance of reading, for me, is that it allows you to dream. Reading not only educates, but is relaxing and allows you to feed your imagination – creating beautiful pictures from carefully chosen words. Eric Ripert
  • Before bed, read something spiritual or uplifting. This may help you relax. Don’t read anything stimulating, such as a mystery or suspense novel, which has the opposite effect. Joseph Mercola
  • Reading

Straighten up …

  • Straighten Up. When people are under stress, they slump over as if they have the weight of the world on their shoulders. Slumping restricts breathing and reduces blood and oxygen flow to the brain, adding to muscle tension and magnifying feelings of panic and helplessness. Straightening your spine has just the opposite effect. It promotes circulation, increases oxygen levels in your blood and helps lessen muscle tension, all of which promote relaxation.  Robert Cooper, Ph.D.

… and open up

  • We all operate in two contrasting modes, which might be called open and closed. The open mode is more relaxed, more receptive, more exploratory, more democratic, more playful and more humorous. The closed mode is the tighter, more rigid, more hierarchical, more tunnel-visioned. Most people, unfortunately spend most of their time in the closed mode. John Cleese

Practice, practice, practice

  • Relaxing is like playing an instrument. To become proficient, we must practice, practice, practice.
  • Learning the basics of these relaxation techniques isn’t difficult, but it does take practice. Most stress experts recommend setting aside at least 10 to 20 minutes a day for your relaxation practice. If you’d like to get even more stress relief, aim for 30 minutes to an hour. Lawrence Robinson
  • What is the answer to this fatigue? Relax! Relax! Relax! Learn to relax while you are doing your work! Dale Carnegie
  • Practice

Stop pretending to be what you are not

  • My whole teaching is: Just be what you are and don’t care a bit about the world. Then you will feel a tremendous relaxation and a deep peace within your heart. That is your original face, relaxed, without tensions, without pretensions, without hypocrisies, without the so- called disciplines of how you should behave. Osho
  • Self-confidence is so relaxing. There is no strain or stress when one is self-confident. Our lack of self- confidence comes from trying to be someone we aren’t. Anne Wilson Schaef
  • You are the best friend you will ever have. In the presence of your true self you will become the most peaceful, the most relaxed, the most natural person possible. Bartholomew
  • Be who you are

Get spiritual

  • By altering the neurochemistry of the brain, spiritual practices bestow a sense of peace, happiness, and security, while decreasing symptoms of anxiety, depression and stress. Andrew Newberg
  • Studies show that compared with those who profess no faith, religious and spiritual people are calmer and healthier. Michael Castleman
  • Spirituality

More techniques to activate the relaxation response

  • Pay attention to your body and mindset throughout the day. Notice any tightness.  When you do, do the following: 1. Visualize it dissipating. Just imagine the tightness floating out of you and into the air, dissolving into little bits and then being blown away by the breeze. 2. Go from tight to loose. 3. Breathe. Take in a deep, slow breath.    Smile. This transforms everything.  You can now approach any activity, any moment, with an attitude of relaxed enjoyment.  Leo Babauta
  • Loosen up. Relax. Except for rare life-and-death matters, nothing is as important as it first seems. Jackson Brown, Jr.
  • Start every journey ten minutes early. Not only will you avoid the stress of haste, but if all goes well you’ll have ten minutes to relax before your next engagement. Paul Wilson

Relax by learning to let go and flow with life


Let go of needing to control everything and go with the flow more

  • Relaxation means releasing all concern and tension and letting the natural order of life flow through one’s being. Donald Curtis
  • Do you see that everything in the Universe is simply doing its dance, expressing itself the only way it can… and this is happening in every moment. Seeing this clearly brings instant relaxation and peace. Why? Because if everything is doing the only dance it can, what is there to worry about? Michael Jeffreys
  • Everything in the universe flows. You can’t get hold of water by clutching it. Let your hand relax and you can experience it. Wayne Dyer
  • I relax my consciousness. I unset my heart. I wear the world as a loose garment. I learn to dance with grace on the constantly shifting carpet. I go with the flow. Susan Jeffers
  • Learning to let go should be learned before learning to get. Life should be touched, not strangled. You’ve got to relax, let it happen at times, and at others move forward with it. Ray Bradbury
  • Let-go means no competition, no struggle, no fight… just relaxing with existence, wherever it leads. Not trying to control your future, not trying to control consequences, but allowing them to happen… not even thinking about them. Let-go is in the present; consequences are tomorrow. And let-go is such a delightful experience, a total relaxation, a deep synchronicity with existence. Rajneesh
  • Linguistically, surrender means surrender to somebody, but spiritually surrender simply means trust, relaxing. It is an attitude rather than an act, you live through trust. Osho
  • Life is a series of ups and downs. Relax, let go a little, and enjoy the ride.
  • Relax into the moment and let the universe do the driving. If there was a secret to happiness in life, I’d say that was it. Jed McKenna
  • Everything will resolve itself in time – this is the way of the world. This is also the way of Zen. Walk through life without stress or strain, and everything will return to its place. Daniel Levin
  • The clouds above us come together and disperse; The breeze in the courtyard departs and returns. Life is like that, so why not relax? Who can keep us from celebrating?  Lu- Yu
  • You are learning too much, remembering too much, trying to hard… relax a little bit, give life a chance to flow its own way, unassisted by your mind and effort. Stop directing the river’s flow!  Mooji
  • You’ve got to relax, let it happen at times, and at others move forward with it. Ray Bradbury
  • Going with the flowControlLetting go

Learn to trust life

  • To have faith is to trust yourself to the water. When you swim you don’t grab hold of the water, because if you do you will sink and drown. Instead you relax, and float. Alan Watts
  • Trust

Let go of incessant busyness and haste

  • Busyness is something that keeps us away from quiet time, from meditation, from friends and family, from reading, from relaxation. And these are the things that help us to re-create ourselves, to rejuvenate ourselves, and to grow and develop as human beings.  Making the decision to step away from being busy can help us in many different ways, some of which are completely unimaginable to us while we’re still busy, while we’re still so scattered in our thoughts that we can’t focus on anything else but the immediate task at hand.  We owe it to ourselves to take care of ourselves, and being perpetually busy is neither healthy or wise for the vast majority of us.  Tom Walsh
  • If you insist on being in a hurry, you’ll move very quickly — and often get nowhere. Take a breath. Find your peace.  Neale Donald Walsch
  • Learn the art of relaxing, of just “being” rather than “doing,” for a few minutes each day. Just sit still and notice your thoughts and feelings.  For many of us, our lives are so filled with stimuli, not to mention responsibilities, that it’s almost impossible for us to sit still and do nothing.  People are no longer human beings.  We should be called human doings. Richard Carlson
  • Walk slowly at a relaxed pace and you will not stumble. The Tao
  • When your schedule is out of hand, it’s a signal that it’s time to slow down and re- evaluate what’s important rather than power through everything on the list. When you’re feeling out of control, rather than roll up your sleeves and “get to it,” a better strategy is to relax, take a few deep breaths and go for a short walk. Richard Carlson
  • BusynessHaste

Embrace effortless action

  • Effortless action isn’t something that is achieved overnight. In fact, if you try too hard to achieve it, you’ve defeated yourself already. Instead, when you find yourself in a whirlwind of activity, and pushing hard, slow down, relax, and do less. Eliminate some of your motions so that you’re moving with economy. Push less, and flow more. Slowly learn to do less, and then do less, finding ways of doing that require little action but lots of effectiveness. Learn to let things unfold naturally instead of pushing them to happen. Let people learn on their own instead of controlling them. Set things up so they happen without you having to steer everything. Slowly learn to use less effort, and then less than that. Leo Babauta
  • Zen is not effort. Effort is tension, effort is work, effort is to achieve something. Zen is not something to achieve. You are already that. Just relax, relax so deeply that you become a revelation to yourself. Osho
  • When you try too hard, you sink. When you relax, you float.
  • Effortlessness

Let go of the need for perfection

  • Instead of trying to achieve perfection, simply relax and enjoy human imperfectability. With that perspective, you achieve the ultimate godhead. Robert H. Rimmer
  • Perfectionism

Learn to let go and become non-attached

  • Once we see that everything is impermanent and ungraspable and that we create a huge amount of suffering if we are attached to things staying the same, we realize that relaxing and letting go is a wiser way to live. Jack Kornfield
  • People think that if they had no cravings, they’d be like deadwood. But in fact they’d lose their tension. Get rid of your fear of failure, your tensions about succeeding, you will be yourself. Relaxed. You wouldn’t be driving with your brakes on. That’s what would happen. Anthony de Mello
  • Relax any sense of “gotta have it.” Feel into the ways your life is and will be basically all right even if you don’t attain a particular goal. Seek results from a place of fullness, not scarcity or lack. Rick Hanson
  • Letting goNon-attachment

On a lighter note

  • Hurry up, inner peace, I don’t have all day!
  • Don’t just do something, sit there. Zen Proverb
  • Get out of my way! I’m in a hurry to get home and relax. Ashleigh Brilliant
  • God didn’t do it all in one day. What makes me think I can?
  • I try to take one day at a time, but sometimes several days attack me at once. Jennifer Yane
  • If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs, it’s just possible you haven’t grasped the situation. Jean Kerr
  • Half of our life is spent trying to find something to do with the time we have rushed through life trying to save. Will Rogers
  • Fishing relaxes me. It’s like yoga except I still get to kill something. Nick Offerman
  • Get out of my way! I’m in a hurry to get home and relax.  Ashleigh Brilliant
  • Husband Day Care Center – Need time to relax? – Need time to yourself?  – Want to go shopping?  – Leave your husband with us! We look after him for you! You only pay for his drinks!   Sign
  • I love lying back, relaxing in the bath. Sometimes I even put water in it.
  • If you think golf is relaxing you’re not playing it right. Bob Hope
  • It’s relaxing to go out with my ex-wife because she already knows I’m an idiot. Warren Thomas
  • Women and cats will do as they please and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea. Robert Heinlein
  • I’ve learned to use meditation and relaxation to handle stress. Just kidding. Chocolate!
  • My regimen is lust and avarice for exercise, gluttony and sloth for relaxation. Mason Cooley
  • When it seems like the sky is about to collapse, relax, that’s just the roof caving in. Jarod Kintz