It's the middle of summer and if you're like a lot of people, you're on vacation right about now.  It feels wonderful to sleep in, read a book, or just lounge in the sun.  For me, give me a book, some sun and the beach and I am instantly relaxed.  What is it that relaxes you? 

It's pretty easy to feel relaxed when the weather is perfect and you have vacation time, but what about those times when it's not so easy? There are 3 relaxation techniques that work almost entirely across the board.  Some take practice to perfect, but the practice is well worth it in the end.

1. Deep Breathing is the most common way to instantly bring relaxation.  It's the body's first self-healing mechanism.  In order to properly do this, sit or lie down.  Breathe in through your nose until your lungs are filled up and let it out slowly through your mouth until your lungs feel deflated.  When filling up, your diaphragm should expand to make room for the air in your lungs, so you should feel your stomach push out more.  Do this 5 times and you'll feel instant relief.  Practice daily for a more relaxed feeling overall.

2. Guided imagery can take us away from the stress we're feeling.  For those at work or even those stay-at-home parent's, sometimes the easiest way to get this is to go to the bathroom and close the door.  Imagine that peaceful place we thought about in the first part of this post.  Let that vision sink in until you feel your shoulders start to relax, your fists unclench and your breathing go back to normal.  At that time, take a deep breath and face whatever you need to.

3. Exercise or any movement will help bring the body's senses back to normal.  When we're stressed or anxious, our body goes into fight or flight mode and we can "work" our body out of it by taking a brisk walk, jogging in place or even rocking back and forth from foot to foot.  This takes a bit longer than the previous two to bring your heart rate back to normal, but it will work.

What relaxation techniques have worked for you?  Comment below!

Karen Becker is an author, speaker and personal growth coach.  She has a Master's Degree in Counseling and applies these skills when coaching clients.  She has years of experience coaching clients in all areas of life: parenting, co-parenting after divorce and in personal growth/wellness.  She can be reached at

Kaern Becker, MA Life Coach