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[33] 5 Techniques to Reduce Stress and Relax

This past weekend, I spent three days offline and on retreat – specifically, at a restorative yoga retreat. Or, as Nick likes to call it – ‘laying around on pillows’.

Why? Because I have learnt – the hard way – the necessity of self-care and relaxation in order to be my best self – and do my best work.

In this episode, I share 5 techniques I personally use to reduce my stress – to bring my body down from the ledge of fight/flight/freeze.

Chronic stress has become an epidemic – and I have no doubt that you have suffered – or are suffering – from it right now.

The techniques I share in this episode are all practical, proven ways to enact the relaxation response in your body, and therefore improve both your physical and mental health. To make you more calm, more in control, more mindful, and less anxious.

I hope you walk away from this episode with at least one new way to reduce your stress to help you to be happier and healthier every day!



Quotes and highlights from this Episode:

  • What happens in your body when you are stressed versus relaxed?
  • How you think about stress changes how it affects you.
  • If you can see it as your body preparing to respond to a challenge = courage (TED talk – Kelly McGonagal).
  • 4/8 breathing technique to elicit the relaxation response.
  • Meditation – counting the breaths from 1-10 helps you to learn how to remove yourself from the flow of your thoughts – and therefore not get caught up in them.
  • Spark – The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain
  • Gratitude helps you rewire your brain to focus on the positives, and therefore be happier.
  • Positive Psychology – Martin Seligman.
  • The yoga nidra recording I use – on Spotify.


Download/Listen to this Episode

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Van Den has written 320 posts in this blog.

Jess Van Den is the editor of Create & Thrive, and has been a full-time creative entrepreneur since 2010. She makes eco-conscious, contemporary, handmade sterling silver jewellery under the Epheriell label, and blogs about her jewellery and other beautiful things at You can catch her on twitter @JessVanDen.



Really enjoying your podcasts, this one in particular, thank you!

Jocelyn Serone

Thanks for a well timed podcast 🙂 I have just started a routine of meditating for 10 minutes before I start work (for inspiration) & for 10 minutes before the family comes home (to clear out the stress of the day). Now, I’ve got some new methods to add!

What say you?