Relaxation exercises are a great way to help with stress management.

Relaxation isn’t just about attaining peace of mind or enjoying an activity or hobby.  It is a process that decreases the effects of stress on your mind and body.  Relaxation exercises can help you manage your everyday stress.  Relaxation exercises also are generally free or low cost, pose little risk and can be done just about anywhere.

Practicing relaxation exercises can reduce stress symptoms by:

  • Slowing your heart rate
  • Lowering blood pressure
  • Slowing your breathing rate
  • Increasing blood flow to major muscles
  • Reducing muscle tension and chronic pain
  • Improving concentration
  • Reducing anger and frustration
  • Boosting confidence to handle problems

To get the most benefit, use relaxation exercises along with other positive coping methods, such as exercising, getting enough sleep, and reaching out to supportive family and friends.

Meditation Exercises

Meditation is an inward focus on your own experience that has been found to produce relaxation and have many positive effects on the body and mind. There are a number of forms of meditation.

Below, we have documented some example mindfulness meditation exercises for you to try:

Sitting Meditation

Standing Meditation

Walking Meditation

Learn more about meditation on this page.

Additional Relaxation Exercises

  • Progressive relaxation
    This is a technique of systematically tensing and then relaxing the muscles throughout the body.
  • Breathing
    There are ways you can become aware of your breaking to be able to relax and avoid getting panicky.
  • Yoga
    This ancient discipline helps you become more aware of your body, and learn ways to relax deeply and effectively. There are yoga courses offered through Rutgers Recreation.

Relaxation Mobile Apps

The following mobile apps are free to download and can help with your relaxation exercises. Interested in more apps? Check out our Self Help Apps page.


Breathe2Relax assists the user in learning the stress management skill of diaphragmatic breathing, which is also known as “deep breathing”.

Relax Melodies

Relax Melodies provides melodies to help relax or sleep. This app also provides simple, guided meditations.