Try this Somatics exercise. It uses the big muscles of the body to help cue our relaxation system.
(Read all the way through, then try this in your office chair, or laying down at home)
1. Close your eyes and scan what it feels like inside your body right now. Notice any tension in the torso, breath-holding, jaw-clenching, shoulders gripping, etc.
2. Begin to settle these sensations by breathing slow & deep. Move your feet back & forth, with pressure, “treading” as if walking while sitting. Do this with your hands on your thighs. Tread for maybe 15 seconds and then stop and focus all of your attention on the feeling of Release in the thigh muscles. Focus for 15 seconds.
3. Check in on that earlier “activation” and see if it has reduced. Repeat step 2.
4. Next, pull your elbows at your ribcage, clench your fists, and engage all of your shoulder muscles and HOLD for 10 seconds. When you release, focus all of your attention on the Release in the muscles all the way down the arms. Focus for 15 seconds.
5. Close your eyes and scan what it feels like in your body. Has your body tension reduced? If you were scaling your original stress between 1-10, what number would you have chosen? After trying these basic somatic exercises, what number would you choose now?