How to relax

Feelings of anxiety, worries, low mood, irritability and sleep problems are all common after a mild head injury. If you experience any of these symptoms, you might benefit from practising the relaxation exercises below.

Read more about anxiety                                > Read more about irritability

Read more about low mood                            > Read more about sleep disturbance

There are hundreds of ways to relax. If you have something that works for you then please use it. Some people relax by gardening, walking, swimming, reading a book. However, your symptoms might mean that you have stopped participating in activities that you previously found relaxing.

Relaxation is also a skill that can be learned and becomes easier and easier with practise. The exercises below might help you with this. Initially it is advisable to practise relaxation at least once per day for up to 30 minutes. It can also be helpful to plan times for relaxation into your day.

Breathing Exercises

Breathing exercises and progressive muscle relaxation exercises can help you calm down when you are feeling stressedanxiousdizzy or lightheaded.

You might listen to the audio tracks on Public Health Scotland’s Steps for Stress, which include long and short relaxation exercises.

Some videos to help with relaxation can be found on NHS inform.

Try a few things and see what works for you. Remember – learning to relax isn’t easy and can take a bit of practice.

The video below is an example of a progressive muscle relaxation exercise.

Imagery Training

Imagery training is focused more on mental tension and can help you relax when you are nervousanxious or worrying a lot.

It involves picturing yourself in a pleasant scene and heightening sensory awareness, allowing yourself to relax and distract you from your worries.

You might like to use the YouTube video below called “the Seat” to guide you.