15 Science-Backed Methods to Relax

“How are you?”

“Oh, I’m alright. A bit stressed out, but going on.”

Doesn’t this sound like a conversation you’ve had numerous times? In today’s fast-paced world, people are getting more stressed and burnt out than ever before. We’re glued to our mobile devices, overwhelmed by work, and uncertain about the future; it’s no wonder we hardly find the time or energy to relax.

However, body and mind relaxation is essential for combatting daily stressors. Let’s dive into some targeted, science-backed ways to relax from the inside out.

Relax Your Muscles

When you practice progressive muscle relaxation, it can reduce stress quite significantly. This technique involves tensing the muscles when you inhale and releasing it as you exhale. According to a study, 20 minutes of this exercise five times a week for six months demonstrated reduced cortisol levels, an indicator of stress.


Meditation is a practice that helps you focus on your senses, emotions, and mind while eliminating any other distracting thoughts. Several meditation techniques, such as mental imagery, mindfulness-based therapy, and other integrative medication, can reduce cortisol levels. As a result, you will be able to control anxiety and stress.

Adult Coloring Books

Adult coloring is a trend that has picked massive popularity – and it’s highly effective as a relaxation technique, too. Research proves that adult coloring books can reduce anxiety. A coloring book with complicated mandalas or details to color will enhance the calming effect, and the focus it gives you will help clear your mind of other intrusive thoughts.

Soothing Music & Sounds

Studies have found that listening to soothing sounds, like waves, waterfalls, and birds chirping, can reduce cortisol, an essential stress hormone. Luckily, finding calming music is very easy online and can be used as a great relaxation technique.

Get a Massage

Getting a massage can be an excellent form of stress relief, but did you know it’s also scientifically backed? A study conducted on Japanese students preparing for their exams helps us understand the effect of back massages. The study concluded that students who had massages experienced less muscle stiffness and lower cortisol levels.

Exercise Frequently

For a relaxed mind, one should have a relaxed body, which, in turn, will send signals of control and calmness to reduce mental tension. When you exercise, you’re helping your body reduce mood-elevating hormones like endorphins and stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline.

Indulge In a Hot Bath

People who’ve had a stressful day will try to relax with a warm bath – and it works wonders! According to the NIH, a hot bath can increase blood flow and reduce joint pain and stiffness. As a result, less pain leads to a more relaxed mind and body.

Take a Cold Dip

A hot bath works wonders, but so does dunking in a cold body of water, like a river or beach. According to research, spending twenty minutes in cold water can increase parasympathetic activity, contributing to greater relaxation.

Take a Break from Your Phone

When we spend hours aimlessly browsing our mobile phones or the internet, it leads to higher levels of anxiety and depression. Reading or watching stressful videos or news or comparing your life with others affects your mental health. Instead, this time can be used to get involved in prosocial activities that have nothing to do with your phone.

Take Deep Breaths

You already know that taking deep breaths is an excellent way to calm yourself, so why not find the most efficient way? One scientifically proven deep breathing technique is SKY breathing. This relaxation technique consists of rhythmic patterns of breath where you do slow breathing of about two to four breaths per minute. This will be followed by fast breathing or 30 breaths per minute. The third step is to chant OM to relax the body and mind.

Spend Time with a Pet

Spending time with a pet and even the simple act of making eye contact can release oxytocin, which is the feel-good hormone. Besides, spending time with your pet means you’re not expecting anything in return from them, which also makes you enjoy the time a lot more!

Visualize Your Favorite Holiday Spot

It may sound a bit kooky to ask that you spend your time daydreaming, but it’s not just us recommending it – its science! Zoning out is a great way to relax, especially if your mind drifts to a calm and beautiful destination. Psychologists suggest that you spend about 15 minutes a day daydreaming.

Treat Yourself to A Vacation

If you can afford to go beyond visualizing a holiday spot, go on a vacation! Studies have consistently proven that people who took vacations felt happier and more relaxed than those who haven’t vacationed in a while.

Get Some Alone Time

Sometimes, all you need is some quiet away from people. Take a few minutes to spend time alone, as this is a helpful relaxation technique. It also gives you time to meditate, an excellent way to relax.

Get Enough Sleep

When you’re running low on sleep, you will feel irritable, angry, and stressed, thanks to higher levels of stress hormones like epinephrine and norepinephrine. These hormones make you feel edgy and restless. So, prioritize getting at least six to eight hours of sleep daily.