Many activities can reduce tension and foster feeling of calmness. Common healthy calming activities can include physical activity, listening to music, walking with a friend, reading, or practicing a repetitive leisure activity such as gardening, pottery, or woodwork. More formal types of calming activities that involve inducing a relaxation response, such as meditation, yoga, or Tai Chi, have been studied and often show an accompanying decrease in heart rate, breathing rate, blood pressure, and a metabolic slowing coupled with feelings of peace and relaxation. The concept of a physiological relaxation response was developed over years of clinical research into traditional yogic and meditative techniques among other relaxation methods.
Relaxation therapy is often effective in lowering heart rate, respiratory rate, and blood pressure and achieving feelings of relaxtion and a reduction in anxiety if practiced regularly. This only need be done 20 minutes/day to elicit the many beneficial effects. Simple, concise details for eliciting the relaxation response is available on-line at Relaxation Response.org and in my separate Relaxation Response handout.
If interested one could perform it daily at work (for work related stresses) for 15 minutes while sitting at his/her desk with the office door shut. Significant self-reported improvement in performance including efficiency, handling of problems, and strength of concentration have been reported in an occupational setting when using this technique during one to two 15-minute breaks while at work
Regular aerobic exercise has been shown to improve mood and reduce anxiety and stress. Moderate exercise is associated with improving immediate mood and energy and can also improve long-term sleep quality.