Exercises for Relieving Stress & Anxiety
1) Rhythmic Movement and Mindful Exercise
Exercising may not provide the soothing effects but indulging in some rhythmic exercises will get make your body flexible by doing a repetitive kind of movements. Some of the examples are:
Running, Walking, Swimming, Dancing, Rowing, & Climbing, etc.
Just like meditation, mindful exercises are very helpful in actively involving a person in the present moment, paying attention to how your body is feeling in that present scenario, apart from your daily concerns, worries or tensions.
In order to deviate your mind from the negative thoughts, feelings or tensions just try to focus on the sensations in your limbs, feel the breathing along with your movement, instead of playing music or watching TV while exercising. While walking, feel the presence of your feet touching the ground, rhythm of your breath, and the wind passing against your face.
While doing the intense training at Gym, feel all the movements of your body with your breathing and start paying attention towards how your body feels when you raise and lower down the weights.
Visualization is guided imagery or a variation of traditional meditation which involves visualizing a scene which makes you feel free, peaceful, tense-free, and relieves your anxiety.
You can practice visualization on your own or with a therapist (or an app or audio download of a therapist) guiding you through the imagery.
You can do the visualization on your own or under the guidance of a therapist. For doing the visualization on your own, you can practice it in the silence by using the listening aids, such as soothing music or can read any motivating & inspiring book.
- Close your eyes and imagine yourself at some of your favorite or any restful place. Imagine it as vividly as you can: everything you see, hear, smell, taste, and feel. Just “looking” at it in your mind’s eye like you would a photograph is not enough? Visualization works best if you incorporate as many sensory details as possible. These activities may include:
- Seeing the sun setting over the water
- Hear the birds singing
- Smelling the pine trees
- Feeling the cool water on your bare feet
- Tasting the fresh, clean air
- Now enjoy the feeling of your worries drifting away as you slowly explore your restful place. When you are ready, gently open your eyes and come back to the present.
- You may sometimes lose the track of where you were during the visualization session. But this is normal. You may also experience feelings of heaviness in your limbs, muscle twitches, or yawning. But don’t worry as these are normal responses.
Also Read: Top 5 stress Relaxation Techniques
3) Yoga and Tai Chi
Yoga includes a no. of moving and stretching poses based on deep breathing. By doing yoga postures it helps in correcting the balance, body posture, flexibility, and stamina. Not only this practicing yoga also relieves the mind by generating the positive energy and thoughts, Since it’s combined with breathing, therefore it also helps in purifying the soul.
Tai chi is different from yoga which is a non-competitive and a series of the slow self-paced system of gentle physical exercise and stretching movements aiming majorly the elder & old aged people who are recovering from injuries or in a state of some medical problem that they just want to remain fit.
You might be already aware of the benefits of a professional massage being done at Spa Center that it helps in detoxifying, relieves your pain, boosts energy level, reduces your stress level, and enhances the mood by releasing dopamine which further improves your sleep.
However, instead of visiting the spa centers, you can do self-massage at night before sleep for a restful night by using some aromatic oils, scented lotions, pain oils to relief from all the body aches due to a hectic schedule or after an intense evening workout.
5) Starting a Regular Relaxation Practice
- It may take some time to excel the basics of these relaxation techniques but it’s not that much difficult as it seems to be. According to the Anxiety therapists and other experts, just sparing 15-20 min. of your schedule is enough to get in practice. However, for reaping the benefits to the maximum, it is important to practice it at least for 30 – 60 min.
- Set aside time in your daily schedule. Try to fix a specific time out of your busy schedule for your practice but if your schedule is tightly packed then, just remember that many of the relaxation practice techniques can be performed while doing the other tasks.
For e.g. you can do meditation while traveling, practice yoga or tai chi break during your lunchtime, etc.
Make use of Smartphone apps and other aids.
You can also make use of different fitness apps by downloading them on your smartphones for tracking your daily fitness regime, your progress report, etc. and even learn the different exercises and relaxation techniques.
Don’t practice when you’re sleepy
After practicing these techniques, they will make you feel so relaxed a relinquished that you start feeling sleepy. However, for reaping the maximum benefits you should practice them when you’re fully alert and try not to practice them after a heavy meal.