How to Relax Before An Exciting Event

Two Methods:Preparing for the EventUsing Relaxation Techniques

You may find yourself getting really excited before a big event. You can barely sit still, breathe, or get a good night's sleep. It is important that you prepare your mind and body for the event by relaxing. Going into the event relaxed will help you be more successful.

Method 1
Preparing for the Event

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    Avoid caffeine. Do not ingest any caffeine after 12:00 pm the day before your event.[1] Caffeine increases your stress response and your perception of stress. If you are already feeling stressed about your event, drinking caffeine will make your body have a stronger response to stress.[2] You may feel more relaxed if you do not drink or eat any caffeine (e.g. chocolate, some teas, sodas, coffee).
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    Do some exercise. Light exercise such as walking, yoga, or gardening can help you feel more relaxed.[3] Exercise will increase the feel-good endorphins in your brain, reduce stress, and help you sleep better.[4] Make sure you do some form of exercise that you actually enjoy. Exercise should not feel like a burden but should help you unwind before your event.
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    Listen to calming music. Music can help you to calm down and relax before an event.[5] Avoid music with a fast tempo or hard rock music. Music will help distract you from the event and decrease stress hormones. Turn your music up loudly so that you get lost in it.[6]
    • If you are not into music, try another creative hobby to distract your mind such as writing, sketching, or doodling.
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    Have a shower or a bath. A warm bath or shower will help you to relax and can help you get a good night's sleep before your event.[7] Add chamomile, lavender, or mandarin, or Frankincense oil to your bath for added benefits.[8] As you soak in the bath, try not to think about your event. Close your eyes and breath deeply.
    • Soak in the bath for 15-20 minutes for the best results.
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    Reach out to family and friends. A good support system can help you manage your excitement.[9] Your family and friends know you well and want the best for you. If you do not want to talk about the event, they can help you take your mind off of it. If you feel nervous or stressed about the event, let them know how you feel. They will most likely offer you some encouraging words.
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    Think positively. Believe that the best possible outcome for the event will happen. If you have a negative thought about the event, counter that thought with something positive and affirming instead.[10] Find a way to put a positive spin on the situation. Instead of saying, "It's too difficult," say, "I can make this work."
    • Surround yourself with positive people before your event as well. Negative people can make you feel more stressed and cause you to doubt yourself.

Method 2
Using Relaxation Techniques

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    Try deep breathing. Find a quiet space where you will not be distracted and get in a comfortable position. It is best to sit or recline instead of lying down. You do not want to fall asleep. Now imagine a spot just below your belly button and imagine that you are breathing in and out through that spot. Breathe in deeply, and then breathe out like a deflating balloon. Slow and deep breathing improves the flow of oxygen through your body and causes you to relax.[11]
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    Try meditation. Go to a quiet a quiet place, get in a comfortable position, and keep your back straight. Dim or turn off the lights. Focus on your breathing. Pay attention to how it feels entering and leaving your body or the sound of your breathing. Breath in and out deeply and focus on your breath.[12] Your mind will wander off at times, but redirect your thoughts back to your breathing.[13]
    • Focus on awareness and bringing your thoughts back to your breathing instead of stopping your mind from wandering.[14]
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    Use visualization. Imagine a place or a time when you felt very relaxed and peaceful. Close your eyes and imagine walking to that place. Think about the time of day, the colors, the smells, the sounds, the textures and the people that are there. Use all of your senses as you visualize. Try doing this a few minutes before you go to bed.[15]
    • Sit in a quiet spot and wear comfortable, loose clothing while you visualize.[16]
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    Do progressive muscle relaxation. Find a place where you will not be disturbed and set aside 15 minutes.[17] During this exercise, you will focus on tensing and relaxing each of your muscle groups (e.g. feet, lower leg, entire leg, buttocks, stomach, chest, neck and shoulders). Start by relaxing and tensing the muscles in your toes and work your way up to your head and neck. Tense your muscles for 5 seconds, and then relax them for 30 seconds.[18]
    • Once you have finished going through all of your muscle groups, stop and enjoy how relaxed you feel.


  • Feeling anxious or stressed before an event is completely normal.
  • If your mind is racing, try to do something that is unrelated to the event and will distract you.
  • Remain focused on your breathing, especially if you are hyperventilating.
  • Stretching all your body parts as far as you can will help.
  • Preparing for the event such as packing for vacation, can help you find something to do and help you feel more prepared.
  • Do something which requires lots of concentration, such as art, or writing. This way, you will eventually become entirely focused on this activity, instead of what you were previously preoccupied with.

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Categories: Relaxation Techniques