How to Practice Stress Relieving Exercises

 Natural Stress Relief

Exercising is one of the best ways we have to reduce stress in our lives. Follow a few step by step instructions to learn how to exercise your way to a better you.

Managing your stress levels through physical, spiritual and mental exercises takes a bit of practice, but the rewards can be great if you stick with it. Physical exercise is a very effective way to reduce stress. When we exercise, our body releases endorphins which create a natural feeling of well being. Your exercises don’t have to be extended or part of a vigorous routine; you can enjoy the benefits of simple stress relieving exercises in minutes each day.

Stress Relieving Exercise # 1: Walking

You know that walking is good for your body, but it will also help relieve your stress levels. Choose to walk in a natural environment, through a park or a hiking trail. Feel the air, smell the flowers, drink in the sunshine and you will naturally begin to relax as you walk. Walking is something everyone can do and you will reap the benefits in your body and your mind if you spend just 15 to 30 minutes each day on a walk

Stress Relieving Exercise #2: Yoga

Practicing yoga combines spiritual, mental and physical exercise. Your body’s strength and flexibility will improve as you practice yoga, as will your breathing techniques. You don’t have to be a yoga master to appreciate the benefits from a few simple yoga poses. Find the positions you are comfortable with and practice them a few minutes each day. Yoga is another form of exercise that is enhanced with a natural environment, so if you can find a quiet spot outdoors to practice, your stress levels will decrease even more. If not, cut off your phone and play soothing music as you do your poses. Taking 10 minutes each day for a bit of yoga will have you breathing better, walking straighter, and feeling more relaxed.

Stress Relieving Exercise # 3: Breathing

Deep breathing exercises are proven to reduce blood pressure, but the other benefits of deep breathing relate to stress management. Increasing the oxygen levels in your blood will help create a calm, relaxing experience. According to The Relaxation and Stress Reduction Workbook, you should practice these two deep breathing exercises twice each day for 10 minutes.

Natural Breathing

*Sit or stand with your shoulders back and your back straight.

*Breathe through your nose.

*Inhale deeply, filling your lungs completely.

*Hold your breath for a few seconds.

*Exhale slowly. Relax your chest and your abdomen.

Breathing Awareness and Deep Breathing

*Lie down or sit in a comfortable chair. Your body should be as relaxed as possible, but maintain good posture. Close your eyes.

*Pay attention to your breathing. Place your hand on the part of your chest or abdomen that seems to rise and fall them most with each breath. If this spot is in your chest, you are not using the lower part of your lungs.

*Place both hands on your abdomen and breathe. Notice how your abdomen rises and falls with each breath.

*Breathe through your nose. Notice if your chest and your abdomen are moving in harmony.

*Place one hand on your chest and one on your abdomen.

*Inhale deeply through your nose into your abdomen. You should feel your abdomen rise, but your chest should only move a little.

*Exhale through your mouth.

*Focus on the sound and feeling of long, slow deep breaths and relax.

Stress Relieving Exercise # 4: Meditation

Meditation, or conscious relaxation, exercises require a quiet, peaceful setting where you can be alone. Though the benefits of meditation will significantly reduce your stress, the art of meditation takes a little practice. Experiment with these different meditation exercises until you find one that works best for you. For all of the following exercises, you must first place yourself in a quiet atmosphere, no phones, no television, and no screaming kids. Light a candle, or not, depending on your preference.

Simple Meditation

*Sit comfortably.

*Close your eyes. Take several deep breaths, in through the nose, out through the mouth.

*Imagine yourself on a beautiful beach or mountain top, enjoying a spectacular sunrise. Feel the sunshine and the breeze as it blows by you. Listen for the sounds of the water or the birds in the distance.

*If thoughts of anything else try to enter your mind, do not focus on them, let them go. Stay with your peaceful, private, beautiful sunrise.

Focused Meditation

*Lie down or sit comfortably.

*Take several deep, cleansing breaths.

*Focus your attention on your toes. Imagine the position of each toe to be warm and relaxed. Gradually imagine your toes to be limp.

*While continuing to take deep breaths, focus your attention on your ankles. Imagine your ankles to be tension free until they, too, are warm and limp.

*Continue to work your way up your body, focusing on your knees, thighs, hips, back, hands, arms and shoulders until they are all relaxed and warm. When you reach your shoulders, imagine a soothing massage to ease any tension you have knotted there. Move up to your cheeks until they too are relaxed and warm.

*Enjoy your body’s complete relaxation. Continue to take deep breaths.

The beauty of meditation is that you only need about 10 minutes a day to help relieve your stress. Once you become more adept at the art of meditation, you will find that you can meditate in an environment that is not so completely disturbance free.

Stress Relieving Exercise # 4: Stretching

Stretching is another exercise that just about anyone can do, and added to the benefits of a more flexible body is that your stress levels are relieved with each stretching exercise. You can incorporate stretching into your exercise routine, or let the exercises stand alone. You need to stretch each part of your body, with repetitions of 3 times each. Hold the stretch for 15 to 30 seconds for maximum benefits.