There are different types of relaxation that you can choose from to suit your personal preference. Many relaxation techniques are available as a download onto your mobile device, ready to play when you need it. We have provided downloads for you at the end of this page or you can listen to them online. You can choose whether you listen to a male voice or a female voice for each method.
All relaxation methods include slowing down your breathing.
These are based on you tensing each muscle in your body and then releasing the muscle so that it is relaxed, starting with the feet and working upwards. This is an exercise you could do with your partner. You will need to be comfortable and not in tight clothing.
If you have back problems, muscle spasms or other injuries, you should use one of the other methods for relaxing: either mindfulness or visualisation.
These are based on imagining yourself in a relaxed place, such as lying on a beach or walking through a forest or meadow. You need to think of places that are relaxing for you and then imagine that feeling of being relaxed. It may be your garden at home or your bedroom. It just needs to be a place that feels relaxing to you. Imagine the place in lots of detail in your mind and imagine yourself becoming more and more relaxed.
You can listen to a visualisation exercise, if you would like to try one.
If you find this method relaxing, but would like a different scenario, you could record your own.
Some people like to imagine something like a flower rather than being in a place. The technique is the same, imagine the flower or object in detail in your mind and concentrate on becoming more and more relaxed.
Mindfulness is about being aware of the present moment. One mindfulness exercise is based on thinking about each bit of your body so that you become aware of it in the present moment. You will notice that as soon as you think about your left heel you will suddenly be aware of it.
If you would like to try mindfulness, find a comfortable, quiet space to relax and then listen to the mindfulness exercise.
All of these methods are more effective if you associate a word with the relaxing effect that they produce. For instance, keep focussing on the word ‘relax’ so that you associate this word with the relaxed state. Your brain will then learn to associate that word with being relaxed which will help you relax even more quickly.