Relaxation is something we all find illusive at times and, like any other skill, it’s something that needs to be learned.

When we are stressed we tend to breathe shallowly and so learning how to recognise that state and change our breathing patterns is an excellent way to start the relaxation process.

Some people like to use a progressive relaxation technique that helps focus on releasing tension one muscle group at a time, while others prefer to use creative visualisation by imaging they are in a quiet park or on the beach or whatever puts them in a relaxed frame of mind.

Other individuals practice meditation in which they usually chant a mantra or watch their breath in order to still the mind – not easy to do, but very rewarding. Others prefer a moving meditation like T’ai Chi or Qi Gong or yoga.

No matter what your chosen technique is, the main thing is to recognise stress when it occurs, learn how to manage it and practice relaxation regularly.