I do deep breaths and try to relax. That helps me get a deeper stretch and my muscles tend to relax afterwards. I also roll out them to get them to be loose
You shouldn’t feel too much pain when you stretch. Stretch to the point where you do feel the stretch working but not anything more. Make sure you hold that for at least 5 breaths. Anymore pain you feel could cause you harm like pulling a muscle. Make sure you’re drinking lots of water too. But hot baths and massaging sore muscles with coconut oil helps as well. Don’t use oil on yourself more than a few times a month because it can clog your pores and dry out skin. Massage oil is the best to use though.
I typically google modifications for the stretch. If I can’t find a modification that works for me, I look up ways to stretch that area in a different way