Finding Balance: Relaxation and stress

Week 4: Make time to unwind


When you’re stressed, the last thing you want to hear is that you should try to relax. But it’s actually very good advice. By making relaxation part of your routine, you train your mind and body to offset the negative effects of stress. This can help you restore balance, feel calmer, and even sleep better.

The great thing about practicing relaxation is that once you find techniques that work for you, you can use them anytime. Start simple: This week, listen to a guided imagery podcast, or try some yoga-inspired breathing and stretching techniques. See if it makes a difference in how you feel.

Open your stress management workbook and start the week 4 activity.
Don’t have a workbook? Click here to go to the first post and get your workbook.
Did you know?

Meditating for just a few minutes a day can lead to lower stress. That’s because meditation actually changes the way your brain works – and it can teach you to cope better.* See for yourself.


* J. David Creswell et al., “Brief Mindfulness Meditation Training Alters Psychological and Neuroendocrine Responses to Social Evaluative Stress,” Psychoneuroendocrinology, Volume 44, June 2014, pp.1-12.

Related Content


Finding Balance: Getting Started

Week 1: How stress affects you and why it matters

It’s hard to be your best self if you’re feeling tired, anxious, tense, or distracted. But those are some of the physical and mental symptoms of stress — and they all take a toll on your total health.


Finding Balance: Making an action plan

Week 3: How you respond to stress is up to you​

Last week, we started looking at specific stressful events and examining how you react to them. This week, you’ll take a closer look at how you cope to see if there’s anything you’d like to do differently.


Finding Balance: Money and stress

Week 5: Examining your expenses

If you have financial concerns, you have plenty of company – money is one of the leading sources of stress in America.*


Finding Balance: Exercise and stress

Week 7: Move more to stress less

Even in small doses, physical activity is a natural stress reliever – 62% of adults who use exercise to manage stress say it’s extremely effective.


Finding Balance: Rate your progress

Week 8: Looking ahead to a less stressed life

Over the past 8 weeks, you’ve seen how being aware of your response to stress can help you manage it.