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4 relaxation techniques to combat stress and anxiety

Life can be really busy.

Whether you’re doing school work, socialising with friends or playing sport, sometimes it can be easy to forget to take some time out just for yourself.

If you don’t give yourself have time to relax, you might start to feel:
• stressed
• no longer in control of your life or that you’re rushing from one thing to the next
• anxious
• overwhelmed

Relaxation can be a great way to relieve stress, worry and anxiety. Take a look at our other tips for dealing with your worries here.

If you’re finding it difficult to cope then support is available, reach out to a trusted adult or your school nurse.

Breathing exercises

Breathing exercises can take just a few minutes and can be done anywhere as a quick time out, whether you’re standing, sitting or lying down. But you’ll get the most benefit if you practice them on a daily basis.

There are loads of different techniques you can try, you can find some deep relaxation techniques on this guided breathing playlist.

Here’s a short exercise you can try anytime:

Square breathing

Some people also find it helpful to picture themselves in their favourite place whilst deep breathing. Try picturing yourself in your favourite place and think about what you can see, smell and feel.

Go for a walk

Going for a walk after school or work is a great way to unwind and reflect on your day, leaving you feeling refreshed.

Take time away from screens

With phone alerts and notifications going off all day long it can be difficult to wind down. Why not take some time away from your phone to read a book, listen to music or practice a breathing exercise? Learn more about the effects of screentime on our health.


Being ‘mindful’ just means being aware of everything around you in the present moment. It can help to put thoughts into perspective and gives you a break from the stress of worrying about past or future events. This should help you to feel more relaxed throughout the day.

It’s about being aware of your surroundings and accepting them in a non-judgmental and welcoming way. Mindfulness might be more difficult to start with, and that’s okay. Just like with anything else, practice makes perfect, and each person will find that different things help them to be mindful of their surroundings.

Check out this two minute mindfulness guide to help you get started:

This video was not produced by Health for Teens and may contain adverts.

You can also try the exercises on Chill Panda, a free NHS app.

How to get help

If you have any more questions on this area or would like to speak to somebody about this topic, have a look at the links or search for your local services in the blue box below. Alternatively, you can always contact your school nurse.

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