Relaxation methods for sickle cell pain: Mini-relaxation

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Mini-relaxation can be useful if you don't have time to do a full relaxation exercise. Learn the steps to this quick and easy way to relax.

Key points

  • If you are feeling stressed but cannot do a full relaxation exercise, you can try mini-relaxation to help you relax. It should only take a minute to practise mini-relaxation.
  • Mini-relaxation works best if you practise it every day.
  • Follow the steps for this exercise while sitting in a comfortable chair or lying down.
  • If you don't have time to do the mini-relaxation exercise, it can help to take even just one deep breath and stretch your whole body.

When stress is building up or if you are having a very busy day, you might not be able to take 10 or 20 minutes to do a full relaxation exercise. This is where mini-relaxation can be useful. It is a quick and easy way to relax when you feel stress, as it combines deep breathing with muscle relaxation.

Mini-relaxation works in much the same ways as deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation and imagery. But, as the name suggests, it helps you feel relaxed in a really short time, usually as little as one minute. Like the other relaxation methods, mini-relaxation works best if you practise it every day.

How do I practise mini-relaxation?

Teen girl with her eyes closed resting her chin on her palm outdoors

Read through the steps below and practise them while sitting in a comfortable chair or lying down.

  • Take a long deep breath in through your nose for a count of five.
  • Feel your belly rise as you take that deep breath.
  • Hold your breath while you count to five in your head.
  • Roll your shoulders in a big circle and let them drop loose.
  • Think about relaxing your body.
  • Breathe out through your mouth, slow and relaxed for another count of five, as if you’re softly whistling.
  • When you finish breathing out, stretch out your entire body, pointing your fingers and toes away from you.

This exercise should take about one minute. If you do not have time to do this mini-relaxation, even taking one deep breath and stretching your whole body can help start your body’s relaxation response.

Last updated: November 22nd 2023