10 Science-Based Relaxation Techniques Can Help You Decrease Anxiety

3. Listening to Calming Music

We might intuitively feel that the soft tones of calming music help us relax. The research supports that intuition. One study found that listening to calming music helps us more quickly reduce cortisol, a key stress hormone. Given calming music is easy to find on YouTube, this may be an easy, effective relaxation technique.

4. Yoga

Like some of the other relaxation techniques discussed here, yoga has been found to reduce cortisol. One study asked participants to do yoga for 3 months. The participants who practiced yoga 50 or more times during that time period had lower cortisol at the end of the study. This suggests that doing four yoga sessions per week could be an effective strategy for relaxation.

5. Cultivating Joy

Dr. Barb Fredrickson says that positivity has the power to undo negativity, and her research supports that. Positive emotions can create upward spirals of positivity—the more positive emotions we feel, the more those emotions generate even more positive emotions.

Even though this might not be considered a relaxation technique per se, if positive emotions make us feel better, then we should also feel more relaxed. So consider creating more positive emotions with strategies like gratitude and kindness.

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