These step-by-step mindfulness exercises help you stay calm and relaxed in moments of anxiety.
In times of stress, anxiety or upheaval, it’s only natural to feel worried or on edge. But that doesn’t mean you have to stay this way.
The below techniques will help you relax and destress. But don’t worry if one of them doesn’t work –– we’re all individual, so different things work for different people.
- You can use these techniques anywhere, but be sure to find somewhere quiet and comfortable to help you concentrate.
- Make time in your day to use these exercises, but don’t feel as though it’s a task you need to tick off a to-do list. That can add extra stress by feeling it’s an urgent thing, rather than something to do as a means to have space and time outside of your anxieties.
- What’s more, some people may like to use these techniques regularly, whilst others may use them every once in a while and that’s totally fine. It’s whatever works for you.
Mind, the mental health charity, has tips on how to stay calm with relaxation and mindfulness exercises. When you’re stressed your muscles can become tight and tense. This exercise helps you notice tension in your body and relax your muscles.
What do I need?
You will need:
- somewhere comfortable to sit or lie down
- space where you won’t be interrupted
What to do:
- Lie down or sit with your back straight and your feet on the floor. Close your eyes or focus on a spot in the distance.
- Start by clenching your toes as much as you can for a few seconds then releasing them. Notice the difference between the two feelings.
- Match this to your breathing. Tense your muscle as you take a deep breath in, and relax as you breathe out.
- Move up your body to your thighs, your stomach and all the way to your shoulders and hands, clenching and relaxing each muscle in turn. Take time to notice any parts of your body that feel tense, tight or tired. You can repeat if you still feel tense.
- Take a moment to relax, then slowly and gently begin to move. When you feel ready, you can stand up slowly.
Instead of tensing your muscles, try placing something warm on each part of your body in turn. Heat packs or hot water bottles can help.
Discover more techniques at Mind.
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