Relax and Breathe to Manage Stress

You can’t avoid all stress, but you can counteract its negative effects by learning how to evoke the relaxation response, a state of deep rest that is the polar opposite of the stress response.

image of woman breathing deeply

Evoking the Relaxation Response for Managing Stress

The relaxation response brings your system back into balance: deepening your breathing, reducing stress hormones, slowing down your heart rate and blood pressure, and relaxing your muscles.

In addition to its calming physical effects, research shows that the relaxation response also increases energy and focus, combats illness, relieves aches and pains, heightens problem-solving abilities, and boosts motivation and productivity. Best of all—with a little practice—anyone can reap these benefits.

Deep Breathing for Stress Relief

With its focus on full, cleansing breaths, deep breathing is a simple, yet powerful, relaxation technique.

Taking a few moments to focus on your breathing helps release tension from the body and clears the mind, improving both physical and mental wellness.

It’s easy to learn, can be practiced almost anywhere, and provides a quick way to get your stress levels in check.

Deep breathing is the cornerstone of many other relaxation practices, too, and can be combined with other relaxing elements such as aromatherapy, yoga and music. All you really need is a few minutes and a place to sit or stretch out.

How to Practice Deep Breathing

See the Instructional Video


The health and wellness content on this site is for general informational purposes only. It should not be relied on to suggest a course of treatment and should not be used in place of a visit, call, consultation, or the advice of a physician or other qualified care provider or therapist. You should never disregard or delay seeking medical advice from your physician or other qualified healthcare provider or therapist because of something you have read, heard, or seen on this site.

Copyright 2010 UVM's Human Resource Services