Reducing Stress - Quick stress release exercises
These exercises are short and can be done most anytime during the day. If you continually remind yourself to do them throughout the day, you may find that you develop a habit for allowing yourself a moment to relax.
The best thing about these techniques is that you will be able to use them at times when you would normally encounter stress. You can do them right before an exam, when you start your workday, or if you are late for a meeting.
The more you do it, the better you will get at relieving that anxiety.
Alert and Calm breathing
- Close your eyes, draw your attention inward and forget about your physical body.
- Allow a light smile to relax your cheeks and bring a feeling of happiness.
- Take a deep breath, and let your stomach swell with air expanding your lungs.
- As you inhale, imagine a light blue energy filling your body. Allow it to clarify your mind and relax your body.
- With your inner voice, say to yourself "Alert mind. calm body."
- As you exhale, imagine the air filled with energy that is carrying your stress away.
- Notice the clarity of mind that you're relaxed muscles and body brings.
- Take another breath and enjoy the feeling of peace and relaxation. Imagine that it is with you throughout your day, and nothing will interrupt this calmness.
- Open your eyes and go about your day.
Take a deep breath into your stomach. Allow the breath to expand your lungs and push your stomach out as if someone were pulling you by a string from your belly button. Hold the breath for one slow second. Now, release the breath and do not force it out. As the breath leaves relax your upper body and allow yourself to bend naturally at the waist.
Tense/Release Muscle relaxation
- Tighten every muscle in your face as if you had just bit into something sour. Hold for 2 seconds. Release.
- Tighten your neck muscles as if you were going to take a karate chop in the throat and wanted to protect your soft neck. Hold for 2 seconds. Release.
- Try to pull your shoulders up to your ears and hold them there for 4 seconds. Let them drop down as far as possible and relax.
- Make a fist with both of our hands and tense your entire arm from the hand up. Hold for 2-3 seconds or whatever you can manage. Release.
- Take a deep breath and force all of the breath out of your body while tensing your stomach muscle. Release and take a breath.
- Lock your sphincter and squeeze the muscles in your bottom for 2 seconds. Release and relax.
- Now, tense up your feet by pointing them upwards. At the same time tighten the entire leg muscle group at once. Include the front and back of the lower leg, and the upper thigh. Hold this for 2-3 seconds and release them all at once.
- Take a deep breath and feel all of your muscles progressively getting more relaxed.