5 simple exercises for immediate help with stress and anxiety

5 simple exercises for immediate help with stress and anxiety

Whether under constant pressure or have a one-off overload, your body may react by triggering an anxiety attack. 

Anxiety describes a cumulative state of different emotions forming a very unpleasant feeling that can escalate into physical manifestations such as trembling, rapid breathing or a stronger heartbeat. The primary emotions in this mix include fear, foreboding, worry, feeling pressured, and more. When you experience anxiety, you usually stop thinking logically, and the emotion takes over completely. Therefore, the most important thing is to force yourself to remain calm.

We've put together some proven tips to help you manage stress and anxiety. 

Breath control

The first help when feeling anxious is the breath control method. In this breathing exercise, you will gradually take long breaths in, hold your breath, and then breathe out and hold your breath again. 

The most common way of performing this technique is the following:

  • take a deep 3-second breath, 

  • hold your breath for 3 seconds, 

  • followed by a 6-second long exhale. 

  • Finally, shortly after exhaling all the air, wait before you breathe in for at least a second, ideally 3. 

Repeat the process as long as necessary. Concentrate and feel the whole circle of breathing going on within you.

Tip: if you are bothered by counting time, try downloading a breathing app on your mobile phone.

Yoga postures

You can also try simple yoga poses. Stretching your muscles combined with deep breathing has a very calming effect. So remember to breathe deeply and slowly while doing these exercises. Keep repeating this over, and over again, otherwise, the practice may fail to be successful.

You can start in the so-called child's pose: kneel, sit on your heels, bend over so that your chest touches your thighs and stretch your arms out in front of you. Keep your arms out in front of you and breathe.

You can move to a position on all four limbs from this position. Alternate arching your back out (like a hissing cat) with arching your back to the ground like the letter U.

From here, you can move into a roof pose, a triangle in which you touch the ground with the palms of your hands, your buttocks point upwards, and your legs extend and touch the mat.

Or you can lie on your back and gradually relax all the muscles in your body. Imagine that the muscle completely relaxes and stops working. Working from the toes, through the legs, the abdomen, the chest and then from the fingertips, the arms themselves, imagine the feeling of relaxation connecting in your chest and through the neck to the head and into all the facial muscles. Proceed slowly, taking deep, slow breaths and gradually get all the muscles in your body to relax and then lie there for a while and breathe.

Muscle clenching

This more progressive method combines active clenching with active relaxation of all the muscles you can.

Forced laughter

Lie on your back and raise your arms and legs upward. Now start to move them as if you were pedalling a bicycle. As you do this, start saying the syllables hahaha hihihi hehehe over and over again. You may end up laughing for real; that's all right. Laughter can be an excellent stress and anxiety reliever.

Stick out your tongue

Go to a quiet and ideally private space and stick your tongue out very forcefully and roll your eyes. Hold this position for at least 10 seconds and then repeat. The absurdity of the exercise can change your current emotional state and bring it back to normal.

We know that it is tough to get rid of a feeling of anxiety or severe stress once it has fully developed. You can prepare for it, but you won't remember any exercise when needed. Therefore, don't be afraid to confide in your family or friends and explain what to do in case of an anxiety attack. They will remind you of practical exercises and get you to perform them. However, sometimes even just a long hug can help.

We hope these few tips on stress and anxiety will help you, and you can beat them more easily. If you need more professional help, do not hesitate to contact us. Our specialists are here to help you.