Relaxation Skill

What is relaxation?

Relaxation is a state where you feel very comfortable to the point that you feel rested and have no feelings of tension. Ketenangan adalah suatu keadaan di mana anda merasa selesa, lega dan bebas dari tekanan perasaan.

What are the indicators of being relaxed?

  • Heart rate is slow
  • Breathing is easy and slow
  • Muscles are not tense
  • Mind is free from worries
  • Body is comfortable

What are the benefits?

  • It is easier to have fun in a relaxed mood
  • There is freedom from stress, anger, anxiety and depression.
  • The body gets to recuperate from emotional or physical stress
  • It is easier to get to sleep and stay asleep
  • Thinking is more rational
  • Ability to cope better with difficulties
  • Problem solving becomes easier
  • Improve general well-being and physical health such as headache and back pain
  • Improved concentration
  • More efficiency in daily activities

What are the various forms of relaxation?

  • Distraction:
    • Listening to soft music
    • Watching TV
    • Doing something you enjoy e.g. playing an instrument, drawing, craft making, sports
    • Writing out your concerns in a diary or internet blog
    • Socializing in fun activities
  • Physical body relaxation:
    • Exercise e.g. jogging, swimming
    • Muscle relaxation
    • Getting a massage, spa treatment
    • Yoga
    • Tai-chi / Qigong exercises
    • Slow movements and speech
    • Slow breathing techniques
  • Mental relaxation:
    • Meditation
    • Imagining pleasant things or events
    • Regular sleep
  • Prescription medication: Some prescription medication can help you to calm down and relax
  • Do see a doctor about this. It is highly advisable that you:
    • Seek other methods of relaxation
    • Do not rely on medication.

How can relaxation be made easier?

  • Regular exercise
  • Comfortable body position
  • Cosy environment
  • Practice Positive thinking

What are some examples of relaxation techniques?

  1. Pleasant Imagery
    The following are some steps in imagery that you can use:

    • Imagine a scene, place or event that you remember as safe, peaceful, restful, beautiful and happy such as the beach, the water fall, mountain view, or whatever you want
    • Imagine the sounds of running water, waves or birds: the smell of newly cut grass: watching cliffs, sunrise, sunset, sea or sand; feel the sand or leaves etc
    • You can combine imagery with breathing exercise
  2. Physical Relaxation
    Physical techniques include:

    • Deep and slow breathing techniques:
      1. Sit or lie down in a comfortable position with back straight
      2. Take a deep breath, hold it for 2 seconds, and slowly exhale
      3. Try to exhale slower than when to take a deep breath
      4. Repeat this until your feel calmer
      5. Once calm, you need not take deep breaths anymore, but just maintain slow exhalation to maintain relaxation
    • Muscle relaxation.
      Muscle relaxation is useful for relaxing your body when your muscles are tense:

      1. As you breathe in, you tense up a group of muscles so that they are as tightly contracted as possible
      2. Hold your muscles in a state of extreme tension for about three seconds
      3. Let go of your muscle tension and breathe out at the same time, and feel the tension going away as you breathe out
      4. Repeat the tension and release two or three more times and you will feel more relaxed
      5. By tensing your muscles first, you will find that you are able to relax your muscles more than would be the case if you tried to relax your muscles directly
    • Relaxation response you can do this by using the following steps:
  3. Meditation
    • Meditation is a discipline in which mind is focused on an object of thought or awareness. It usually involves turning attention to a single point of reference. The practice may engender a higher state of conciousness.

Can medication help you relax?

Yes, medication can calm you down and help you relax.
However, it does not teach you skills to relax when you do not have medication.

Please consult your doctor about this. It is not advisable to depend on medication to relax.

Where can you go for help?

  • Counselor
  • Psychologist
  • Doctor


Last Reviewed : 20 April 2012
Writer : Prof. Madya Dr. Normah binti Che Din
Reviewer : Dr. Zarina Bt. Zainan Abidin