Is relaxation good for anxiety?

woman in anguish

Has worry ever left you with sleepless nights? Have you ever worried about a problem all day long? You tried to concentrate on your job, but your mind kept wandering to your source of concern- your problem.

Chronic anxiety is like a cruel master that demands all of your attention continuously. Anxiety can cause physical and psychological changes to your mind and body.

Is there hope from anxiety´s tyrannical reign, or are you doomed forever? Can relaxation help ease anxiety? Let´s find out.

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What is anxiety?

Can you remember how it started? What brought you to this place of anxiety and unrest? Looking back, you´ll see it may have started with a stressful situation that did not want to leave.

Small doses of stress or anxiety are natural human responses and can help you perform at your peak. Your body has an automatic built-in system to handle this. It is called the fight or flight response. When you experience stress, your body goes into full-on protection and survival mode. Once the threat is over, your body goes back to business as usual. That´s the normal procession of things.

However, we live in a stressful world, and eventually, you will come face to face with a problem that grabs your attention, hijacks your emotions, and steal your peace of mind. This problem seems to want to control you.

What do you do? The next logical thing, of course, (engage in stress-reducing activities like yoga, exercise, or relaxation techniques)? Nope. Worry! You choose to feed the monster with constant worry and establish its existence and dominance in your life. Talk about shooting yourself in the foot.

Anxiety is your body and mind reacting to unfamiliar, stressful, or supposedly dangerous situations. Anxiety can cause you an unpleasant state of inner turmoil. You may become uneasy, worry unnecessarily, overreact, and experience a sinking feeling of dread.

Read more about stress and anxiety here.

Interesting stress and anxiety facts

Anxiety can reduce your quality of life.

Anxiety is the most common mental health issue.

Anxiety can start in childhood.

Anxiety occurs when worry consumes you.

Anxiety seeks and anticipates failure.

There is a link between anxiety and depression.

Studies show some people are more prone to anxiety due to their genetic makeup.

Stress may affect your hormonal balance, nutrition, and neurotransmitters.

Stress may overpower your mind and make it difficult to concentrate.

Stress may weaken the part of your brain responsible for coping mechanisms.

According to some studies, there is a link between anxiety and chronic illness (gastrointestinal issues, heart disease, and more).

What can cause anxiety and stress?

Anxiety causes changes in your thoughts, feelings, and behavior. There are many causes of stress, but financial stress is the leading cause of stress and anxiety.

Some other causes include:

  • investing in a bad relationship
  • family problems
  • a bad job
  • an unhealthy work environment
  • being overwhelmed at school/work
  • PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)
  • trauma (witness a horrific accident, sexual assault, and more)
  • difficult past life experiences

What happens to your body when you relax?

Stress affects your body negatively, and relaxation affects your body positively. When you relax, you become less intense. You learn to loosen up and can immerse yourself in enjoyable activities. Relaxation produces many physical and mental benefits:

  • calms your mind and breathing
  • reduces tension
  • help control your body and emotions
  • slows down your heart rate
  • lowers blood pressure
  • increases blood flow to your cells
  • improves digestion
  • reduces anxiety and panic attacks
  • improves concentration
  • releases positive hormones like adrenaline
  • heightens sensitivity and alertness

Relaxation is a skill set that requires development and is very different from your body´s automatic fight-or-flight response system. You have to make time for relaxation and be willing to practice it regularly. If anxiety harms your health, deep relaxation techniques may be your solution out of the rabbit hole of stress, anxiety, and depression.

What does relaxation mean to you?

It should come as no surprise that a relaxed body and mind can achieve any purpose or goal that you set your mind to. Your creativity level is optimal in this phase, and joy and satisfaction are not far behind.

You can think clearly and make sound judgments and decisions. But how can you get to your place of Zen? Is it a nice warm bath, watching movies/series on Netflix, reading an intriguing book, or sipping from a small glass of wine? These can certainly be precious moments. But if you want to defeat anxiety and its friends. You have to go deeper.

Here are some additional ways to relax:

  • meditation (Mindful, Guided, Affirmations, Visualization)
  • yoga
  • abdominal/diaphragmatic breathing
  • progressive muscle relaxation
  • autogenic training
  • hypnosis
  • biofeedback
  • massage
  • hobbies (do things you love)

For in-depth information on these read this.

Poem of turmoil

Anxiety Poem

I can´t sleep anymore,

for pain came knocking on my door

I´ve lost my desire to eat.

My life has become a sad

and lonely place, where sorrow

and turmoil meet.

I remember the days of old

when I was happy, vibrant, and bold.

But when this problem came,

it changed my life.

I don´t know who I am anymore.

I´ve lost control.

I´m at the mercy of my thoughts.

I can think of nothing else.

A voice calls for me out of thick darkness.

But I´m tired and want out of this madness.

By Elevate Healthy Lifestyle Choices


Chronic stress can lead to anxiety and depression. Anxiety has many negative side effects and can increase your risk of chronic diseases and depression.

Anxiety can make you lose control of your emotions and thoughts.

Relaxation has some positive effects on successfully dealing with anxiety. There are pleasurable forms of relaxation such as; soaking in a warm and inviting bubble bath, listening to uplifting music, or watching your favorite sitcoms/movies. They are lovely moments to have and enjoy.

However, if you want to combat the anxiety, you have to go deeper with regular Meditation, visualization, yoga, progressive muscle relaxation, breathing exercise, and the like can be helpful.

Relaxation is not automatic. You must work at it and develop it into a skill with regular practice.

Not all relaxation practices may be correct for you, and that´s okay because there are many choices. Choose those compatible with you and start your journey back to normalcy.

Some people may require medical assistance to get back on the right track. Get the help you need, speak to your physician, bounce back, and live a fulfilling life.

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2 thoughts on “Is relaxation good for anxiety?”

  1. Stress often leads to anxiety, which often leads to worry and depression. In the worst-case scenario; it can lead to health deterioration and even death. That is because, according to some doctors, chronic stress puts one at risk of developing cancer. That makes sense, I guess, because when we are under a lot of stress; we tend to neglect our health.

    No matter how busy we are and how stressful things may become, we need to learn to manage stress. And relaxation is a great way to do it. As you said, when we are relaxed, it would be much easier to reach our goals.

    We may have different means of relaxation, but it’s mandatory for managing stress and anxiety. My relaxation techniques include watching my favorite TV series and spending every weekend with my family.

    What about you, Dana? What is your form of relaxation?

    • Hey Alice,

      Thank you for your valuable comments. I couldn´t agree more when you say that we sometimes do not take care of ourselves the way we should if we are stressed.

      There are so many relaxation techniques that there is no excuse for anyone not to use them to their advantage. I mean some simple techniques can have a significant impact on your health and well-being.

      Like you, I enjoy spending time with my family watching sports/football (this could be stressful in itself as we all have different teams), but it´s all good fun, and there´s nothing better than strengthening relationships through bonding.

      I practice yoga, meditation, and visualization almost every day. I reserve one day on the weekend to catch up on my favorite sitcoms or watch a movie.

      I go for long walks sometimes, and I am addicted to the treadmill. I also listen to relaxing background music during the day and at night. I love white noise (rain, thunder, waterfall, ocean, birds, and forest) at night.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing.



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