How to Relax When You Don’t Know How to Relax

How to Relax When You Don’t Know How to Relax

Sometimes we just don't know how to relax. There can be a lot going on and we just can't turn our brains off. Click here to find out how to relax #relax #anxiety

I know, weird title, right? But hear me out.

Sometimes people with anxiety or those who are a little more high strung than others have the inability to relax. We literally don’t know how to relax because our bodies just won’t let us. Our brains won’t stop running and our bodies tense up. We just don’t know how to relax.

So what does one do when they don’t know how to relax?

Well, you have to figure out a few things and you need to have an open mind about it all. Doesn’t sound hard, but a lot of us who are ruled by anxiety and highly tense, that can be a big feat for us.

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How to Relax When You Don’t Know How to Relax

Okay, so you want to relax, right?

You might think something like a long shower, a bath, maybe a workout, or just meditating would be the best way to go. But not so much if you have anxiety.

When you have anxiety, obsessive thoughts, or are just a highly tense person, relaxing can be kind of scary. We’re always “on” so to speak, which makes turning things “off” a bit complicated. Relinquishing control is hard to do for us.

So what do you do when you don’t know how to relax?


Find Your Escape

The best way for someone who is more anxiety-prone to relax is to find something that you can do that’s stress relieving but also keeps your mind occupied.

So avoid activities that are more “mindless” like watching TV, surfing the web, scrolling through your phone, or even going for a walk. Any of these things give your mind the capability to go wandering around and starting up with those anxious or obsessive thoughts again. And that’s not what we want.

For me, my escape is reading. 

It’s always been reading, but my stint as a college English major made me want to throw every book I had out the window when I was done. I didn’t read a book for pleasure for years after I graduated. I just couldn’t handle it. And that was my escape. I still have occasions where my mind will start to wander when I’m reading, but it’s easier to pull myself back in and continue than with mindlessly surfing the internet.

You need to find that thing that you can do for hours and not realize time has passed. It’s something that you can do that keeps you occupied and feel refreshed and less stressed when you’re done.

It might take you a while to figure out what your “escape” is, but here are a few suggestions:

  • reading
  • writing
  • puzzles of any kind
  • starting a new hobby (so you have to focus on it!)
  • video games
  • guided meditation (the guided part is key)

Once you find your “escape” you’ll be able to better relax. You’re basically preoccupying your mind with something else so you can give it a rest from the stress of whatever else is going on in your life. And I’m sure we all have a lot of stress right now.

Now that you’ve found your escape, there are a few things you can do leading up to this activity that you can do to make the experience better.

Sometimes we just don't know how to relax. There can be a lot going on and we just can't turn our brains off. Click here to find out how to relax #relax #anxiety


Take a Shower or Bath

Is it really a Little Miss Short Stuff post if I don’t mention taking a shower to solve your problems?

Anyway, taking a shower or a bath will definitely help you relax if you don’t know how to relax. Even if you just stand in the shower and let the warm water wash over you, you’re giving your muscles and mind a bit of a break.

I always feel at least some what calmer after I get out of the shower. It’s why I suggest it for anxiety, depression, or just bad days. Getting clean and giving your body time in the warm water is such a huge benefit to your physical and mental health.

So, scrub up with your favorite shower gel, get that bath bomb you’ve been saving out, or just stand in the shower for a half hour or so.



Seriously, scent is such a powerful sense. I always knew that but it wasn’t until recently that I actually noticed how much particular scents can effect me. When I first started working remotely due to this stupid virus, I was getting irritated easier, and was trying my best to find things to do in a fast economic downturn while working in the recruiting field.

I was trying to do exercises in my bedroom to make up for the amplified stress, but it wasn’t working. However, I found my old scented plug in from Bath and Body works and plopped in a lavender vanilla scented oil pod and my days were completely different.

After a while you won’t really smell the scent anymore, but believe me, it’s working. I was much more calmer throughout the days I used it than when I didn’t.

If you’re not into scented plug ins, candles are great, as is incense, or an oil diffuser. Whatever you use, set the mood for calm.


Warm Beverage

There really isn’t anything quite like taking that first sip of a warm beverage when you’re having a rough day, is there?

I’ve recently been drinking a lot of green tea and it’s really made me see how relaxing just drinking a warm beverage can be. I personally prefer caffeine free or decaffeinated versions of teas because I don’t need to be awake and too-late o’clock because the caffeine kicked in too late in the day.

Once you’ve cooled down from your shower or bath and got your scent going, having a warm drink is just delightful. And I mean that in that it literally is a little delight to experience.



Temperature Regulation

Ever try to get comfortable in a room that’s too cold or too warm for you? It doesn’t really work out too well, does it?

As someone who overheats a lot and has a bedroom that heats up very quickly, having the right things to combat the heat is primary for staying relaxed. Especially since I tend to get physically agitated when I overheat too much.

This could be anything from snuggling up with some blankets to having a fan blowing on you at all times. You need to be comfortable to be relaxed.



(Optional) Take a Nap

Now I know not everyone has the time in their day to relax and take a nap, but if you happen to have a spare hour or so, try putting your head down for a light snooze.

I don’t know about you but I tend to feel a bit better after a nap. Especially in today’s world where we’re constantly on the go and not giving our bodies the right amount of sleep. Getting in a few extra Z’s could be just what you need.


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