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Counseling Center

Division of Student Life and Enrollment

Meditating and Relaxing

Relaxation is an important aspect of self-care.  It is more than “zoning out”, watching tv, or checking Facebook. It is a process that decreases the effects of stress on your mind and body. True relaxation is an intentional, focused period of time in which you are mindful and alert, but also relaxed. Although taking time out to relax can be surprisingly difficult, especially if you’re not used to it, the benefits make it an invaluable practice.

Benefits of relaxation include:

  • Reducing physical symptoms of stress, such as muscle tension and fatigue
  • Improving concentration levels
  • Boosting your mood
  • Restoring energy
  • Increasing performance levels
  • Gaining new perspectives on situations
  • Focusing on the present moment
  • Promoting physical health

Guided relaxation resources:

Wondering how to begin? Some of the videos below might be a helpful starting place. 

Guided Meditation for Beginners  

A great place to start! Learn to focus on your breath in these simple 2, 4, 6, 8 and 10 minute exercises.

Leaves on a Stream:

This is a visualization exercise that is especially helpful for when you may be experiencing racing thoughts, or “a busy mind.”

Progressive Muscle Relaxation:

Feeling tense? The purpose of this video is to help gain awareness of tension and relaxation in your body. 

Visualization/Guided imagery:

Visualization and guided imagery promotes relaxation by telling you to imagine a place that you may associate with feelings of peace and calmness. This particular video uses the image of an ocean, but you can find other visualization exercises on YouTube that uses the image of a warm sun, a quiet forest, etc.   

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