Have you noticed it’s impossible to be worried and relaxed at the same time? The two just don’t go together. So, if you get good at relaxation, there’s less room for the worry.

We all think we know how to relax. But chilling out in front of the TV or computer isn't true relaxation. (Depending on what you're watching or doing, it could even make you more tense.)

The same is true for alcohol and drugs – they might seem to make you less anxious or stressed, but it’s a short-term fix. When the effects wear off you’ll probably feel worse than ever.

It’s really important for your mental health that both your body and mind have time to refresh and recharge their energy levels. If you never relax, it could contribute to some mental health problems such as anxiety or depression.

True relaxation is when both your body and mind are in relaxed mode.

Relaxation techniques that have a physical effect on the mind. For example, deep breathing helps to relax a major nerve that runs from your chest to your brain, sending a message to the entire body to let go and loosen up.

Here are a few things to try:

  • When your mind starts spinning, take a moment and let things calm down.
  • Go for a walk. Do some exercise. Not only will your body start producing feel-good endorphins but it’ll help you take your mind off any pressure
  • Concentrating on your breathing can calm you down. If you want to take that further, try yoga, tai chi or pilates
  • Thinking about your favourite place can let you escape the stresses of the moment
  • Catching up with a mate can take your mind off things
  • A soak in a warm bath helps both body and mind relax.

All you have to do now is find out what works for you.