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2020 has been a year of major lifestyle changes! We’ve adapted to working from home, wearing masks every time we step out, and lots more. But, these changes have also affected induced stress for a lot of us. And anxiety is a typical human reaction to when we’re stressed. If you’ve been feeling too anxious or stressed lately, you know it is getting in the way of living a happy, healthy life. And so, to find relief from moments of anxiety and stress, here are some simple exercises you can do—anytime, anywhere! These exercises will help you relax and calm down quickly.

1. Relax Your Muscles

Feeling anxious also gets our muscles all tensed up and strained. And this can make our anxiety even more difficult to deal with. So, relaxing our muscles when experiencing anxiety can help relieve stress and reduce anxiety levels. Start with slow and regular breathing with your eyes closed in a comfortable space. Then take your hand and make a fist and squeeze it tightly. Hold it that way for a few seconds and focus on all the tension you feel in your hand. Now, slowly start opening your fingers and notice how you feel. You may experience a feeling of tension leaving your hand. It will leave your hand feeling much lighter and relaxed. Repeat this with other muscle groups in your body and see how it makes you feel.

2. Breathe

Often when we feel anxious, our heart rate goes up and our breathing gets a bit faster. Some people also experience sweating, feeling lightheaded, and dizzy. And so, getting your breathing in control can help you calm your mind and body naturally. Find a comfortable spot and put one hand on your stomach and the other on your chest. And make sure your stomach moves more than your chest while you practice breathing in deeply. Breathe in slowly through your nose and pay attention to your hands on your stomach and chest—the former will move slightly and the latter should remain still. Now slowly breathe out through your mouth. Repeat this exercise for about 10 times a minimum or until you can feel calmer and less anxious.

3. Count

One of the easiest and simplest ways to calm down—counting. You could count to a specific number and repeat it multiple times until you feel your anxiety-reducing. Of course, doing this with your eyes closed in a quiet, comfortable space helps best. This could sometimes work quickly and sometimes take much longer. But you need to stay calm and focused. Since your focus fully shifts from your anxiety to counting, it helps your mind relax.

4. Visualise

Creating a safe place that you can visually visit every time you feel anxious can be really helpful. Yes, finding your happy place is a trick that actually works! All you need to do a paint a mental picture of a place that would make you feel calm and relaxed. It could be a real or imaginary place—just a place that you can easily think about to return to in your mind when you wish to relax. Also, try to think of small details you’d find in your happy place if you were actually there—like the feel, smell, and sound of the place. When you envision yourself in your happy place, enjoying it in comfort, it will help you calm down. Do this with closed eyes and regular breathing.

What’s the one thing you exercise to calm yourself down in a moment of anxiety? Let us know in the comments below!

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