We all have different preferences for relaxation. Meditation or prayer, taking a walk or jog, stretching or dancing, all can soothe the spirit and may help cleanse the body with exercise. Yoga may be more familiar to many as positions that seem like stretches or calisthenics but it traditionally includes meditation and breathing exercises. For more information see: "What is Vedanta Yoga?," The Chopra Center.
When we are stressed we tend to hold our breath which can starve the body and brain of oxygen and worsen stress effects on our health. Gentle meditation or mindfulness simply means quieting the mind and letting thoughts drift in and out without letting them be a focus. The pattern of breathing can be a focus instead or a flickering candle flame or pretty image. Closing the eyes may be preferred by some people. The touch of the thumb tip to the fingertips can also be a focal point because the thumbs have a pulse from a larger artery that can be sensed by the sensitive fingertips.
More vigorous exercise works out the lungs and heart and helps move fluid and toxins from throughout the body to be cleansed by lymph nodes and eventually excreted by the kidneys.
Disclaimer: This information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes.