About all

Good exercise for anxiety: 7 Best Exercises for Anxiety and Depression


7 Best Exercises for Anxiety and Depression

Are you looking for exercises to help reduce anxiety and depression in your life?

Anxiety and depression are the most prevalent mental disorders in the United States. There are more than 40 million adults in the country that currently suffer from these medical conditions.

Despite the prevalence of these illnesses, exercise can be an effective way to help you cope with them and reduce their negative impact on your life.

Read on to learn the seven best exercises for anxiety and depression!

1. Running

Running is a great way to clear your mind while reducing stress. These two attributes can help you reduce anxiety and depression.

While more than 550,000 people run in marathons each year, you don’t have to run that far to receive the positive benefits of this form of exercise. Running is a great way for you to break away from your daily routine while you focus on yourself.

Sometimes the day-to-day worries of life can create extra stress. These stressors can increase someone’s anxiety level and cause depression. When you run for at least 30 minutes, this forces you to do something else besides focusing on what’s stressing you out.

2. Yoga

Yoga is a form of exercise that’s become a popular way for people to combine working out with controlled breathing.

A yoga routine combines meditation with core exercises to help you improve your mental and physical health. Another unique aspect of yoga is that you can choose to do it on your own or in a group setting.

Doing yoga with other people can help hold you accountable to your exercise program. It can also surround you with other like-minded people who may be suffering from some of the same symptoms of anxiety and depression that you feel.

This can help you establish a valuable network of support to help you through your good and bad days.

3. Hiking

Hiking in the woods is a great way to break free from the daily grind while becoming one with nature.

Being in the woods helps to separate you from the hustle and bustle of your life and puts you in a calm and serene setting. Depending on where you live, hiking can be a challenge because of elevation gain and other weather elements.

The peace and quiet of the woods can create the perfect setting for you to unwind and enjoy nature while you exercise. Like other forms of exercise, hiking increases blood flow to your brain and muscles which can emit endorphins to help you feel good!

4. Weightlifting

Weightlifting helps you improve your mental health while also maintaining your body’s physical appearance.

Sometimes depression can be caused by unwanted weight gain through the natural aging process or by a traumatic event in your life. Lifting weights will give you a physical challenge while also helping you release anger or other aggression below the surface.

This can be especially helpful after a long and stressful day at home or in the office.


Take Long Walks

A long walk is a great way to clear your mind while improving your physical health.

Walking 10,000 steps each day is approximately five miles and is a great goal to set for yourself each day. Sometimes, people may find excuses for why they don’t reach their walking goals each day. These often include being “too busy” with work, school, or family.

Don’t sacrifice your mental well-being by making excuses for yourself. Dedicate yourself to taking long walks so that you achieve your step-count goal each day. While 10,000 is a great milestone to reach, you may need to start off a bit lower when you first begin your walks.

While taking these walks, force yourself to think about other things besides what is causing you anxiety or making you feel depressed. By using this time to focus on other things, it can be a saving grace!

6. Swimming

Swimming is one of the best forms of exercise and something that can be one of your best weapons against depression and anxiety symptoms.  It’s also a great exercise for you to perform during the summer months in warm-weather climates where the heat can be dangerous.

Swimming forces you to breathe deeper while also using all kinds of muscles—both small and large—that you may not use on a regular basis outside of the water. It’s also a form of exercise that will help you maintain good flexibility while also not damaging your bones and joints.

Unlike running, which can take its toll on your knees and ankles because you are on a hard surface, the water in a pool creates resistance while also moving with your muscles.

Your pool exercises can be the key to combating your anxiety and depression while also improve your aerobic health!

7. Dancing

Dancing may not be the first exercise that comes to mind when thinking of ways to fight depression and anxiety, but you can’t afford to overlook its health benefits.

There are many different forms of dance, and some of the faster-paced dances can be a great physical workout. Besides being an aerobic exercise, dancing is also a lot of fun. You can do it with a partner or in a group setting while also enjoying some of your favorite songs.

You can also challenge yourself to learn new dance styles and reward yourself for pulling off new moves. These rewards can help you gain the confidence you need to overcome the worst anxiety and depression symptoms.

Wrapping Up: Learn to Handle Your Anxiety and Depression

Anxiety and depression can cause mental and physical symptoms that can cripple the actions you take in your daily life. You may find that you aren’t having joy in normal activities or that you feel disconnected from other people that surround you.

It’s important to remember that there are millions of other people in the world suffering from this same condition. Exercise is one way for you to improve your mental health while also maintaining your physical condition and well-being.

Talking Circles Therapy & Wellness is a team of mental health professionals dedicated to helping you overcome these conditions to improve your happiness. Their team will work with you to identify your needs and propose the best treatment programs for your situation.

Contact Circles Therapy & Wellness today to learn more about their unique programs and how they can help you!


Exercise for Stress and Anxiety

The physical benefits of exercise — improving physical condition and fighting disease — have long been established, and physicians always encourage staying physically active.

Exercise is also considered vital for maintaining mental fitness, and it can reduce stress. Studies show that it is very effective at reducing fatigue, improving alertness and concentration, and at enhancing overall cognitive function. This can be especially helpful when stress has depleted your energy or ability to concentrate.

When stress affects the brain, with its many nerve connections, the rest of the body feels the impact as well. Or, if your body feels better, so does your mind. Exercise and other physical activity produce endorphins — chemicals in the brain that act as natural painkillers — and also improve the ability to sleep, which in turn reduces stress.

Scientists have found that regular participation in aerobic exercise has been shown to decrease overall levels of tension, elevate and stabilize mood, improve sleep, and improve self-esteem. About five minutes of aerobic exercise can begin to stimulate anti-anxiety effects.

Relationship of Exercise to Anxiety Disorders

Stress and anxiety are a normal part of life, but anxiety disorders, which affect 40 million adults, are the most common psychiatric illnesses in the U.S. The benefits of exercise may well extend beyond stress relief to improving anxiety and related disorders.

Psychologists studying how exercise relieves anxiety and depression suggest that a 10-minute walk may be just as good as a 45-minute workout. Some studies show that exercise can work quickly to elevate depressed mood in many people. Although the effects may be temporary, they demonstrate that a brisk walk or other simple activity can deliver several hours of relief, similar to taking an aspirin for a headache.

Science has also provided some evidence that physically active people have lower rates of anxiety and depression than sedentary people. Exercise may improve mental health by helping the brain cope better with stress. In one study, researchers found that those who got regular vigorous exercise were 25 percent less likely to develop depression or an anxiety disorder over the next five years.

Exercise as Part of Therapy

According to some studies, regular exercise works as well as medication for some people to reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, and the effects can be long lasting. One vigorous exercise session can help alleviate symptoms for hours, and a regular schedule may significantly reduce them over time.

Although exercise has a positive effect for most people, some recent studies show that for some, exercise may not have a positive effect on anxiety or depression or may not make a strong impact on long-term mental health.

Like all forms of therapy, the effect can vary: Some people may respond positively, others may find it doesn’t improve their mood much, and some may experience only a modest short-term benefit. Nonetheless, researchers say that the beneficial effects of exercise on physical health are not in dispute, and people should be encouraged to stay physically active.

Resources – ADAA Member Experts

Read all about it: Exercise for Mood and Anxiety, Proven Strategies for Overcoming Depression and Enhancing Well-Being, by Michael W. Otto, PhD, and Jasper A.J. Smits, PhD (Oxford University Press, 2011)

Fitness Tips: Stay Healthy, Manage Stress

The most recent federal guidelines for adults recommend at least 2½ hours of moderate-intensity physical activity (e.g. brisk walking) each week, 1¼ hours of a vigorous-intensity activity (such as jogging or swimming laps), or a combination of the two.

If you have an exercise program already, keep up the good work. If not, here are tips to get you started.

  • 5 X 30: Jog, walk, bike, or dance three to five times a week for 30 minutes.
  • Set small daily goals and aim for daily consistency rather than perfect workouts. It’s better to walk every day for 15-20 minutes than to wait until the weekend for a three-hour fitness marathon. Lots of scientific data suggests that frequency is most important.  
  • Find forms of exercise that are fun or enjoyable. Extroverted people often like classes and group activities. People who are more introverted often prefer solo pursuits.
  • Distract yourself with an iPod or other portable media player to download audiobooks, podcasts, or music. Many people find it’s more fun to exercise while listening to something they enjoy.
  • Recruit an “exercise buddy.” It’s often easier to stick to your exercise routine when you have to stay committed to a friend, partner, or colleague.
  • Be patient when you start a new exercise program. Most sedentary people require about four to eight weeks to feel coordinated and sufficiently in shape so that exercise feels easier.
Cold Weather Exercise

Learn more about exercising in cold weather.

  • Dress in layers. Exercise in layers that you can remove as you start to sweat and put back on as needed. 
  • Protect your hands, feet, and ears. Make sure your extremities aren warm and wear gloves, socks, and headbands to prevent frostbite. 
  • Pay attention to weather conditions and wind chill. Rain and wind can make you even more vulnerable to the effects of the cold. If the temperature is below zero degrees and the wind chill is extreme, consider taking a break or finding an indoor activity. 
  • Choose appropriate gear. It gets dark earlier in the winter, so be sure to wear reflective clothing. Wear shoes with enough traction to prevent falls in snow or ice. 
  • Remember sunscreen. It’s just as easy to get burned in the winter as in summer, so don’t forget the SPF. 
  • Head into the wind. Plan your route so the wind is at your back toward the end of your workout to prevent getting a chill after working up a sweat. 
  • Drink plenty of fluids. It can be harder to notice the symptoms of dehydration in cold weather, so drink fluids before, during, and after a workout, even if you’re not thirsty.  
  • Know the signs of frostbite and hypothermia. Know the signs and get help immediately to prevent frostbite and hypothermia. 


Anti-Anxiety Workout – EverydayHealth.com

Anxiety can be overwhelming and cause many physical and emotional side effects. When you can’t stop worrying, you can’t sleep and you may even feel sick to your stomach. While an anxiety disorder should be monitored and treated by a qualified professional, exercise can be part of an effective treatment plan to help manage your anxiety symptoms.

Exercise and Anxiety: What the Research Says

“Exercise won’t cure anxiety or depression, but the physical and psychological benefits can improve the symptoms,” explains Sally R. Connolly, LCSW, a therapist at the Couples Clinic of Louisville in Kentucky. “Research shows that at least 30 minutes of exercise three to five days a week can significantly make a difference.” Some studies have suggested that regular exercise can help alleviate anxiety as much as anxiety medications, and the anxiety-relieving effects of exercise may last longer than those of drugs.

Exercise and Anxiety: Who Benefits

While everyone can reap psychological benefits from exercise, research suggests that people who may see the biggest improvements in anxiety symptoms are those who:

  • Exercise consistently for at least several weeks
  • Are not already physically active
  • Have severe anxiety
  • Do aerobic exercise, such as jogging, swimming, or dancing

Exercise has also been shown to be effective in managing symptoms of depression, which frequently affects people with anxiety disorders.

Exercise and Anxiety: How Exercise Helps

“Anxiety is usually linked to an increased heart rate,” notes Connolly. “Exercise can be very helpful with calming people’s heart rate.”

During exercise, your heart rate shoots up, but over time, as your fitness level improves, your heart begins to work more efficiently. As a result, your resting heart rate between exercise sessions eventually becomes slower. Improved heart and lung function due to regular aerobic activity are often associated with a greater sense of overall well-being, which can help offset feelings of anxiety.

Even short bursts of exercise — just 10 to 15 minutes at a time — can improve your fitness and your mood. Connolly recommends that her patients get a total of 30 minutes of exercise a day, which can be broken into 10-minute blocks if necessary, between six and seven days a week.

Exercise can even help prevent anxiety disorders from beginning in the first place. One study showed that regular exercisers were at a 25 percent reduced risk of depression and anxiety disorders over a five-year period. Not surprisingly, exercise has also been found to improve mental clarity and concentration, both of which may be negatively affected by anxiety. Chemicals released in the brain during exercise may help improve the ability to focus and deal with stressful situations, thereby lessening the risk of anxiety and depression.

Exercise and Anxiety: Anti-Anxiety Workouts

Any exercise can help diminish anxiety, but Connolly says aerobic exercise that really gets your heart rate up will be the most beneficial. Some good aerobic exercises that can help manage anxiety are:

  • Swimming
  • Biking
  • Running
  • Brisk walking
  • Tennis
  • Dancing

“Dancing is a great exercise, and it has a lot of other side benefits. And it’s great when you dance with other people,” notes Connolly, since socializing can also boost your mood.

Though not aerobic, yoga can help offset anxiety symptoms. Yoga combines physical movement with meditation and deep breathing to help calm the mind and alleviate worry.

While weight training and other strengthening exercises are important for your overall health, they don’t seem to offer as much anxiety relief as activities that get your heart rate going.

We all know that exercise is good for the body, and now research shows that it’s also good for the mind. In addition to managing your anxiety with a doctor’s help, exercise is a powerful tool you can use to enhance your physical and mental health.

Can exercise help treat anxiety?

Chances are good that you, or someone you know, is dealing with anxiety. One in five Americans over 18, and one in three teenagers 13 to 18, reported having a chronic anxiety disorder during the past year. And when I talk to college students, they’re not at all surprised that a whopping 63% of students felt tremendous anxiety during their freshman year, according to a report by the National College Health Association.

The toll of anxiety can be high: it increases a person’s risk for other psychiatric disorders like depression, and can contribute to diabetes and cardiovascular problems. One sobering study shows that people with anxiety tend to be more sedentary and do less intense forms of physical activity, if any. That’s ironic, because lacing up your sneakers and getting out and moving may be the single best nonmedical solution we have for preventing and treating anxiety.

As a psychiatrist who studies the effects of exercise on the brain, I’ve not only seen the science, I’ve witnessed firsthand how physical activity affects my patients. Research shows aerobic exercise is especially helpful. A simple bike ride, dance class, or even a brisk walk can be a powerful tool for those suffering from chronic anxiety. Activities like these also help people who are feeling overly nervous and anxious about an upcoming test, a big presentation, or an important meeting.

How does exercise help ease anxiety?

  • Engaging in exercise diverts you from the very thing you are anxious about.
  • Moving your body decreases muscle tension, lowering the body’s contribution to feeling anxious.
  • Getting your heart rate up changes brain chemistry, increasing the availability of important anti-anxiety neurochemicals, including serotonin, gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA), brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), and endocannabinoids.
  • Exercise activates frontal regions of the brain responsible for executive function, which helps control the amygdala, our reacting system to real or imagined threats to our survival.
  • Exercising regularly builds up resources that bolster resilience against stormy emotions.

The details

So exactly how much exercise does one need to protect against episodes of anxiety and anxiety disorders? While pinpointing this is not easy, a recent meta-analysis in the journal Anxiety-Depression found that people with anxiety disorders who reported high-level physical activity were better protected against developing anxiety symptoms than those who reported low physical activity. Bottom line: when it comes to treating anxiety, more exercise is better.

If you’re just starting out, don’t despair. Some research also shows that just a single bout of exercise can help ease anxiety when it strikes.

Which type of exercise you choose may not matter greatly. Studies point to the effectiveness of everything from tai chi to high-intensity interval training. People experienced improvement no matter which types of activity they tried. Even general physical activity is helpful. The important thing is to try activities and keep doing them.

To maximize the benefits:

  • Choose something enjoyable so you will do it repeatedly, building resilience.
  • Work toward getting your heart rate up.
  • Work out with a friend or in a group to reap the added benefit of social support.
  • If possible, exercise in nature or green space, which further lowers stress and anxiety.

While scientific studies are important, you don’t need to consult a chart, statistics, or an expert to know how good you feel after working up a sweat. Remember those feelings and use them as motivation to do something physical every day. Time to get up and get moving!

Follow me on Twitter @jratey

As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content.
Please note the date of last review or update on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date,
should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.

Commenting has been closed for this post.

Depression and anxiety: Exercise eases symptoms

Depression and anxiety: Exercise eases symptoms

Depression and anxiety symptoms often improve with exercise. Here are some realistic tips to help you get started and stay motivated.

By Mayo Clinic Staff

When you have depression or anxiety, exercise often seems like the last thing you want to do. But once you get motivated, exercise can make a big difference.

Exercise helps prevent and improve a number of health problems, including high blood pressure, diabetes and arthritis. Research on depression, anxiety and exercise shows that the psychological and physical benefits of exercise can also help improve mood and reduce anxiety.

The links between depression, anxiety and exercise aren’t entirely clear — but working out and other forms of physical activity can definitely ease symptoms of depression or anxiety and make you feel better. Exercise may also help keep depression and anxiety from coming back once you’re feeling better.

How does exercise help depression and anxiety?

Regular exercise may help ease depression and anxiety by:

  • Releasing feel-good endorphins, natural cannabis-like brain chemicals (endogenous cannabinoids) and other natural brain chemicals that can enhance your sense of well-being
  • Taking your mind off worries so you can get away from the cycle of negative thoughts that feed depression and anxiety

Regular exercise has many psychological and emotional benefits, too. It can help you:

  • Gain confidence. Meeting exercise goals or challenges, even small ones, can boost your self-confidence. Getting in shape can also make you feel better about your appearance.
  • Get more social interaction. Exercise and physical activity may give you the chance to meet or socialize with others. Just exchanging a friendly smile or greeting as you walk around your neighborhood can help your mood.
  • Cope in a healthy way. Doing something positive to manage depression or anxiety is a healthy coping strategy. Trying to feel better by drinking alcohol, dwelling on how you feel, or hoping depression or anxiety will go away on its own can lead to worsening symptoms.

Is a structured exercise program the only option?

Some research shows that physical activity such as regular walking — not just formal exercise programs — may help improve mood. Physical activity and exercise are not the same thing, but both are beneficial to your health.

  • Physical activity is any activity that works your muscles and requires energy and can include work or household or leisure activities.
  • Exercise is a planned, structured and repetitive body movement done to improve or maintain physical fitness.

The word “exercise” may make you think of running laps around the gym. But exercise includes a wide range of activities that boost your activity level to help you feel better.

Certainly running, lifting weights, playing basketball and other fitness activities that get your heart pumping can help. But so can physical activity such as gardening, washing your car, walking around the block or engaging in other less intense activities. Any physical activity that gets you off the couch and moving can help improve your mood.

You don’t have to do all your exercise or other physical activity at once. Broaden how you think of exercise and find ways to add small amounts of physical activity throughout your day. For example, take the stairs instead of the elevator. Park a little farther away from work to fit in a short walk. Or, if you live close to your job, consider biking to work.

How much is enough?

Doing 30 minutes or more of exercise a day for three to five days a week may significantly improve depression or anxiety symptoms. But smaller amounts of physical activity — as little as 10 to 15 minutes at a time — may make a difference. It may take less time exercising to improve your mood when you do more-vigorous activities, such as running or bicycling.

The mental health benefits of exercise and physical activity may last only if you stick with it over the long term — another good reason to focus on finding activities that you enjoy.

How do I get started — and stay motivated?

Starting and sticking with an exercise routine or regular physical activity can be a challenge. These steps can help:

  • Identify what you enjoy doing. Figure out what type of physical activities you’re most likely to do, and think about when and how you’d be most likely to follow through. For instance, would you be more likely to do some gardening in the evening, start your day with a jog, or go for a bike ride or play basketball with your children after school? Do what you enjoy to help you stick with it.
  • Get your mental health professional’s support. Talk to your doctor or mental health professional for guidance and support. Discuss an exercise program or physical activity routine and how it fits into your overall treatment plan.
  • Set reasonable goals. Your mission doesn’t have to be walking for an hour five days a week. Think realistically about what you may be able to do and begin gradually. Tailor your plan to your own needs and abilities rather than setting unrealistic guidelines that you’re unlikely to meet.
  • Don’t think of exercise or physical activity as a chore. If exercise is just another “should” in your life that you don’t think you’re living up to, you’ll associate it with failure. Rather, look at your exercise or physical activity schedule the same way you look at your therapy sessions or medication — as one of the tools to help you get better.
  • Analyze your barriers. Figure out what’s stopping you from being physically active or exercising. If you feel self-conscious, for instance, you may want to exercise at home. If you stick to goals better with a partner, find a friend to work out with or who enjoys the same physical activities that you do. If you don’t have money to spend on exercise gear, do something that’s cost-free, such as regular walking. If you think about what’s stopping you from being physically active or exercising, you can probably find an alternative solution.
  • Prepare for setbacks and obstacles. Give yourself credit for every step in the right direction, no matter how small. If you skip exercise one day, that doesn’t mean you can’t maintain an exercise routine and might as well quit. Just try again the next day. Stick with it.

Do I need to see my doctor?

Check with your doctor before starting a new exercise program to make sure it’s safe for you. Talk to your doctor to find out which activities, how much exercise and what intensity level is OK for you. Your doctor will consider any medications you take and your health conditions. He or she may also have helpful advice about getting started and staying motivated.

If you exercise regularly but depression or anxiety symptoms still interfere with your daily living, see your doctor or mental health professional. Exercise and physical activity are great ways to ease symptoms of depression or anxiety, but they aren’t a substitute for talk therapy (psychotherapy) or medications.

Sept. 27, 2017

Show references

  1. Cooney GM, et al. Exercise for depression. JAMA. 2014;311:2432.
  2. Peterson DM. The benefits and risks of exercise. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/search. Accessed Sept. 15, 2017.
  3. Greer TL, et al. Improvements in psychosocial functioning and health-related quality of life following exercise augmentation in patients with treatment response but nonremitted major depressive disorder: Results from the TREAD study. Depression and Anxiety. 2016;33:870.
  4. Schuch FB, et al. Exercise as treatment for depression: A meta-analysis adjusting for publication bias. Journal of Psychiatric Research. 2016;77:42.
  5. Understand physical activity, exercise and your heart. Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions. http://www.secondscount.org/healthy-living/physical-activity-exercise#.WbGhPWeWzRF. Accessed Sept. 7, 2017.
  6. Physical activity and health. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/basics/pa-health/index.htm. Accessed Sept. 7, 2017.
  7. Exercise for mental health: 8 keys to get and stay moving. National Alliance on Mental Illness. https://www.nami.org/Blogs/NAMI-Blog/May-2016/Exercise-for-Mental-Health-8-Keys-to-Get-and-Stay. Accessed Sept. 7, 2017.
  8. Exercise for stress and anxiety. Anxiety and Depression Association of America. https://adaa.org/living-with-anxiety/managing-anxiety/exercise-stress-and-anxiety. Accessed Sept. 7, 2017.
  9. Zschucke E, et al. Exercise and physical activity in mental disorders: Clinical and experimental evidence. Journal of Preventive Medicine and Public Health. 2013;46:512.
  10. Anderson E, et al. Effects of exercise and physical activity on anxiety. Frontiers in Psychiatry. 2013;4:1.
  11. Hall-Flavin DK (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Sept. 19, 2017.

See more In-depth

Products and Services

  1. Newsletter: Mayo Clinic Health Letter — Digital Edition
  2. Book: Mayo Clinic Family Health Book, 5th Edition


Best Bets, Getting Started, and More

Anxiety is stressful. In many cases, the stressful nature of anxiety can actually make the anxiety itself worse, resulting in a negative feedback loop. This is especially true for people who experience “breathlessness,” or trouble catching their breath during anxiety attacks.

Learning to control your breathing during periods of high anxiety can help you control your anxiety more effectively. Deep breathing and other breathing techniques have been shown in multiple studies to help reduce anxiety, stress, and negative emotions in a wide variety of patients. By adding deep breathing exercises to your daily routine, you may be able to reduce your anxiety symptoms easily and quickly.

Breathing Exercises to Help Anxiety

Breathing exercises help you focus on a major cause of many physical symptoms of anxiety: your breath. People with anxiety tend to breathe high in their chest, resulting in shallow, “panting” breaths. This can lead to hyperventilation, which includes symptoms like breathlessness, light-headedness, and an inability to think straight. Controlling your breathing can minimize these symptoms and help you reduce both mental and physical anxiety symptoms. 

Deep or Belly Breathing

Deep breathing is the process of filling your lungs fully, helping to slow your breathing and prevent hyperventilation.

Step 1: On a comfortable surface, sit or lay down.

Step 2: Place one hand on your ribs and one on your stomach, just below your ribs. 

Step 3: Breath in slowly through your nose and focus on filling the deepest parts of your lungs. Pay attention to your hands; the hand on your stomach should be moving, but not the hand on your chest. 

Step 4: Breath out through your mouth, which your lips in a tight circle. Exhale all of your air.

You can repeat this exercise three to ten times in one sitting. Don’t try to rush through it; the goal is to focus on your breathing and slow it down.

Calming Breathing

Focusing on even, regular breathing can help just as much as deep breathing. This exercise is a helpful way to calm yourself if you feel significant anxiety or you suspect you may be about to have a panic attack.

Step 1: Sit or lie down somewhere comfortable where you are fully supported, such as a bed or an armchair. If you are wearing tight clothing that make it hard to breathe, loosen those items.

Step 2: Place your feet roughly hip-width apart, such as on the floor spread out or with your knees bent on the bed. 

Step 3: Keep your arms away from your sides, such as on the arms of a chair.

Step 4: Breath in deeply and slowly through your nose for a count of five. If you can’t reach a count of five, count as high as you comfortably can.

Step 5: Without stopping or holding your breath, immediately start breathing out through your mouth for a count of five. 

Repeat this for up to five minutes.

4-7-8 Breathing

Counting can give you something to focus on outside of your anxious thoughts. If you notice that you are breathing too quickly, you can use 4-7-8 breathing to slow down and reverse hyperventilation.

Step 1: While sitting or lying down comfortably, place one hand on your stomach and one on your chest. 

Step 2: Breathe in deeply through your nose, expanding your stomach, for a count of four.

Step 3: Hold your breath for a count of seven.

Step 4: Breath out through your mouth for a count of eight, focusing on completely emptying your lungs. 

You can repeat this several times until you feel calm.

Roll Breathing

If you are having trouble accessing the deeper parts of your lungs, roll breathing can help you find this space and calm down.

Step 1: Lie flat on a comfortable surface. Bend your knees so you can place your feet flat, and put one hand on your chest and one on your stomach.

Step 2: Breathe into your lower lungs, so the hand on your stomach moves but the hand on your chest does not.

Step 3: Continue breathing in so that your chest also expands, raising your other hand as well.

Step 4: Breath out, letting both hands fall.

Repeat this process several times, or until you feel calm. 

Safety Considerations

Breathing too quickly can cause you to hyperventilate, no matter how deeply or shallowly you are breathing. Breathing exercises should be slow to help prevent hyperventilation.  

It’s also possible to strain muscles around your lungs by breathing too deeply. Breathing should be comfortable; if you notice an uncomfortable stretch while breathing, avoid breathing that deeply.

7 Best Workouts for Easing Anxiety


Tabletop Position

Best For: Reviving Energy and a Mind That Feels Blocked

“This exercise is great to balance your body’s energy,” explains Patel. “By lifting opposite sides of the body and holding the position through your breath, you are once again aligning the two sides and cleansing the entire length of your body and mind. I love to use this position when my brain feels stuck and my body’s energy feels stagnant. When you move your leg, arm, and engage your core, you reconnect to your center and shift energy from your mind into your body. It helps to help reset everything.”

  • Come onto all fours into a tabletop position.
  • Extend your right arm out in front of you, lift it to shoulder height, and lengthen it toward the wall.
  • Extend your left leg behind you, lift it to hip height, and flex your foot. Engage your core as you lengthen your spine and hold this posture.
  • Focus on your breath, allowing it to flow in and out of your body.
  • Begin to pull your knee and elbow toward your chest, then lengthen them back out. Do this 10 times, and repeat on your other side.

Rite 3

falcatraz/Getty Images

Best For: Relieving Negative or Heavy Energy in Your Mind, Healing a Hurting Heart, and Tapping Into Your Emotional Space

This posture is one from the Five Tibetan Rites, a system of exercises said to yield fountain of youth-type results. “It lifts your energy and releases negative blockages in your mind,” says Patel. “By utilizing this posture, you are opening up the heart space and emptying your mind every time your neck lifts and drops.” Before completing each move, spritz this blend of lavender, chamomile, cypress, and lemon from Mio Skincare to your pulse points ($29).

  • Come onto your knees, resting your seat on your heels.
  • Lift your hips so they are on top of your knees and place your hands on your lower back.
  • Gently tuck your chin toward your chest.
  • Lift your chin, open up your chest and heart toward the ceiling, and pull your elbows back toward one another. Repeat this 10 times.

Supine Twist

Best For: Strength and Clarity of the Mind and Flushing Out Negative Thoughts or Feelings

“This twist is amazing for detoxing, strengthening, and opening the body,” Patel suggests. “Imagine your mind being wrung out like a washcloth each time you engage the twist and allow your thoughts and unwanted energy to empty. As it relates to the mind, I incorporate twists into every class because of how they allow for a lift of energy by lifting the spine and then release any unwanted or undesired thoughts.”

  • Sit with both legs out in front of you.
  • Lift your right leg over your left thigh, and place the right foot outside your left knee.
  • Lift your right arm in the air to lengthen the spine, then cross your chest and hook your right elbow outside your right knee.
  • As you inhale, lengthen your spine, and exhale with a twist. Take three to five breaths in this posture.
  • Slowly release the posture, step by step, and switch sides.

Tree Pose

LumiNola/Getty Images

Best For: Finding Balance, Even If You Fail or Fall

“This is one of the ultimate balancing postures in yoga,” says Patel. “I love Tree Pose because, no matter what I feel during any given day, it balances me. It’s a great way to come back to your center—to allow yourself to wobble, fall, and keep coming back up.”

  • Come up to standing.
  • Lift your right leg, and place your right foot just above the inside of your left knee up to your inner left groin muscle.
  • Keep your left leg strong and the quadriceps contracted.
  • Place your hands in prayer at the heart center.
  • Ground through your standing leg to support your posture and breath. Try to hold for at least one minute and soften your eyes. Repeat on the other side.

Hafeez reminded me that, after trying each posture, the challenge is maintaining that calmer state of being long after exercising or stretching. “I encourage patients to do stretching and breathing at the start and end of every day,” she recommended, “and take 10 minutes to write in an appreciation journal after completing the exercises. You’ll be in a better state of mind given the brain chemicals released during exercise and focused breathing. Write down things you appreciate. You’ll set the tone for a positive day.” So, I did just that. And guess what? It actually helped. Use an easy-to-carry notebook to complete your appreciation journaling each day. Try this Moleskin Classic Notebook ($20) to compose your thoughts.

90,000 Exercises to relieve anxiety, tension and stress, or say no to crisis

Alena Lepilina

Recently, many have experienced anxiety and fear, stress and tension due to the instability of the world around: all kinds of economic shocks, fluctuating exchange rates and a tense political situation make us fear for our own future at the level of instincts. Naturally, this affects health, mental and physical, and every day we are at the mercy of negative emotions.

But, as Carlson said, “calm, only calm.” We spend too much time trying to control what we have no control over. So we offer a “package of anti-crisis measures”: simple exercises that will help you relax, forget about all the hardships and feel that very desired calmness.

1. Vaccination against fear

Start now by choosing the three most stressful or most troublesome tasks in your career or personal life.In the current situation, it may be fear of being left without work, without a livelihood, or fear of not controlling your life. Write them down. Then do a mental rehearsal of a situation in which you are facing one of your most stressful work or personal problems. Observe and feel yourself in these conditions. Remember that it is imperative that you feel discomfort, fear, and self-doubt over several breaths in order to free yourself from phobias, fear of fiasco, and bad habits.

The fear you are trying to avoid can turn into a phobia – source.

Close your eyes so that you can more accurately determine what is happening in your body and mind.

• Note how you react in the first five seconds. What is going on in your body (breathing, heart rate and areas of muscle tension), what are your thoughts or images, your feelings? How do you talk to yourself?

• Notice your reactions without making judgments or comparisons.Just observe and then record your automatic responses to stress and confrontation. And again write down:
a) physical sensations;
b) thoughts or images;
c) internal dialogue.

Stay in these stressful conditions for 30 seconds (this is 5-6 deep breaths and exhalations) and get a “vaccination” that will help you become less amenable to fears and stress in the future. When you decide to be alone with what you previously avoided, you tell your primal reflexes that “the leader is solving the problem, not running from it.”Your brain and body will turn off the fight-or-flight response and provide you with a calmer, more focused level of energy. Write down any changes you notice within 30 seconds of mental rehearsal. How did your breathing, heart rate, muscle tension, thoughts and feelings change?

Repeat the above mental exercise for any of your three most stressful situations every day for one week. You will soon identify your routine reactions (including tremors in your knees) and know when they are most likely to occur.As you build confidence, tackle more frightening situations.

2. Concentration exercise

As you practice this concentration exercise several times a day, you will find that feelings of anxiety and anxiety will gradually subside.

Sit on a chair with your feet touching the floor, place your hands on your knees or hips and take 3-12 breaths in three steps as follows:

1) concentrate on breathing and breathe in one-two-three;
2) hold your breath for a count of three, clench your fists and tighten your leg muscles and pull your navel to the spinal column;
3) Exhale slowly for a full four-five-six count, releasing muscle tension as you feel support from the chair and floor.

Feel the warmth and comfort of an ordinary chair – the source.

Read the following instructions aloud and record them on the recorder. Sit down, start recording, close your eyes and focus on calming your energy and relaxing your muscles.

  • As you breathe out, feel yourself touching the chair and the floor, which are something stronger than your mind or your ego fighting alone. This something could be your strongest self, the support of the earth, the laws of the universe, the deeper wisdom of the integrated left and right hemispheres of your brain, or, if you prefer, God or another higher power.
  • As you direct your attention to your body and the sensation of touching the chair after each exhalation, try to feel how the chair is supporting you. Feel the warmth of the stool on your buttocks and back. As you turn your attention to your feelings in the present, you communicate to your mind and body, “It will remain safe to be here for the next few minutes. There is no urgent work ahead of you, and there is no need to rush anywhere. You can ease your tension. You can get rid of the need to work as hard as you can.I prefer to sit quietly here, at the moment – the only moment that exists. ”
  • Greet any thought or any part of yourself that tries to cling to the past or control the future. Bring that part of me and your time-traveling mind back to the present by saying, “Yes, I can hear you. Now I am here with you. You don’t have to solve the problems of the past or the future alone. Come and be with me now, in this moment. ”
  • Reaffirm your commitment to protecting your body and life, and treat every aspect of you with compassion and understanding.With the added power of leadership, direct all parts of you into this unique moment of relaxation from worries about the past and the future. Focus your attention on what you can do now to increase your chances of success and inner peace.
  • Record any physical and emotional changes you see.

3. Drawing of fear

Find half an hour and jot down a list of your fears. Write the first thing that comes to mind.List thirty fears. Write down what you are worried about, what terrifies you so much that it is scary to even write these words on paper. Take a pencil or felt-tip pen and draw small drawings alongside the most frightening feelings and thoughts. Draw each intense fear graphically. For example, Olga Solomatina, the author of the book How to Defeat Fear, once imagined her fear of getting into an accident in the subway and drew herself cheerfully walking along the sleepers with a lantern.

Write down everything that worries you.Table from the book “How to Conquer Fear”

4. Expression of feelings

There is a fundamental difference between experiencing feelings and expressing them. Expressing all the emotions that arise is harmful to health, impolite, dangerous and stupid, so you need to experience them, and then decide whether to show it. Given the relief this brings, it is surprising why so many avoid expressing emotions not out of rational choice, but out of habit or out of fear.

If you have a loved one who you can trust, it will be a little easier for you.It is easy to negotiate with a partner and take turns doing the following exercise. But it can be done alone, speaking out feelings or splashing them out on paper.

Trust a loved one – a source.

Sit comfortably in a calm place where you will not be disturbed for half an hour. Freely and without hesitation in expressions, express what is in your heart. Don’t worry if it turns out to be incoherent: just let yourself be spoken about – about the events of the day, a problem that occupies thought, memories, fantasies, etc.e. As you speak, keep track of how your body is feeling. Are you sad? Are you discouraged? Are you angry? Are you happy? Try to put these feelings into words. Or maybe you feel constrained? Concerned? Wary? Try to identify where these sensations come from and leave them in the past.

Your partner should listen sympathetically and very carefully. He can only make remarks that draw the emotions out of you even more. The assistant should not interfere with his thoughts, ask for clarification, criticize or change the topic.This will teach you not to contain your emotions, which means not to seal fear, allowing it to destroy yourself from the inside.

5. Safety net for psychological safety

This exercise will give you a physical sense of how to create a psychological safety net for yourself that will relieve you of fear, stress and help you work and live in a relaxed manner.

Read the exercise and visualize (eyes open or closed) your feelings in each scene.Then note how your mind and body reacted.

Scene 1. Imagine that you have to walk on a board 30 cm wide, 100 cm long and 2.5 cm thick and you have all the abilities you need to complete this task. Can you take the first step without fear or hesitation? Suppose you answer in the affirmative.

Scene 2. Now imagine that you need to complete the same task and your abilities remain the same, but the board is between two buildings at a height of 30 m.Can you walk this board under similar conditions? If not, what is stopping you? How much stress are you experiencing? In which part of your body do you feel tension (i.e. what are the reactions to danger and stress signals)? Most people respond that they are afraid of falling and getting serious or even fatal injury. This is an understandable and normal reaction.

Scene 3. As you stand at the edge of the board, shaking with fear and not daring to start or end the movement, your boss, friends or relatives, who know perfectly well that you can handle this task, begin to accuse you of indecision and advise you to just do what is required.But you know it’s not easy. When the stake is so high, you realize that you must complete all movements perfectly – you have no room for error – otherwise you will die or be seriously injured.

Suddenly everything changes. You feel heat behind your back and hear the crackling of fire. The building on which one edge of the board rests is engulfed in flames! How will you deal with your doubts and the fear that has fettered you now? How important will it be to complete the task perfectly now? Are you still afraid of falling? Are you saying to yourself, “I do my best under pressure and time pressure”? How do you release your fear of failure and force yourself to walk the plank?

Most people respond that they no longer care about self-esteem and perfectionism.They say that they are ready to move on the board even on all fours, just not to die in the fire, – the source.

Whichever way you move around the board, note how you free yourself from the paralysis caused by fear and get motivated to do whatever is necessary to ensure your survival.

Scene 4. In this final scene, imagine that you still need to walk the board at a height of 30 m, your abilities remain the same, there is no fire, as there is no hard time limit for you, but 1 m lower the boards are stretched with a strong mesh.Can you walk the board in this case? If so, what has changed for you? Note that you may now make a mistake, fall, feel confused, or fail to move perfectly. Write down the words and feelings you had after the safety net appeared. For example, you might say to yourself, “I won’t die,” or “If I make a mistake, it won’t be the end of the world,” or “I am still afraid of heights, but what I know about the safety net allows me to just think about completing the task, and not worry about a possible fall. “

It may be hard to believe, but creating a psychological safety net will really eliminate a lot of the things that stress you. Using whatever words are right, send yourself a message every day about the physical and mental safety that an imaginary safety net provides you with. Write down and carefully store your personalized message that speaks of the safety, dignity and presence of your strongest self.

According to some studies, Buddhist monks are the happiest people because they don’t worry about anything.Of course, in everyday life it is impossible to avoid anxiety, but it is in your power to resist their negative influence.

Based on the books “An easy way to start a new life”, “How to overcome fear” and “Depression is canceled”

90,000 How to stop worrying and focus on what matters?

Time is our precious resource, but what are we spending it on? – to worry!

Worries about those people and events that in most cases do not affect us or we cannot control them.

Why are we worried?

Are we worried about what other people are going to do? – how will this affect your business or your career does it matter? Perhaps, of course, yes, but anxiety causes fear, and fear creates doubts or leads to even greater uncertainty.

What to do when we are worried?

First of all, let’s get the accents right:

don’t worry about them (other actors), worry about yourself

Yes, this is a certain cynicism and pragmatism, but it is true.

Take a blank sheet of paper and write:

  • “I” , highlighting this word in a circle
  • “They” by drawing many different diameters
  • Now write the questions that you are concerned about – all the questions that come to your mind:
    • Who makes you do something?
    • to discuss?
    • read the news?
    • steals your customers
    • or does it take your bonus? – write everything….

I would like to draw your attention to the fact that these questions do not really mean anything to you; that is actually important exactly the action, the action that is directed specifically at you … and this is the main aspect that needs to be worked out.

We spend a lot of effort, time, energy, money to create protection from what causes us anxiety, and the solution can be very simple:

Learn to work or limit your information flow!

Remember in your article: How to stop reading the news? we analyzed the work with the news information flow, which leads to stress for many – by analogy, act with your information flow, learn to filter it, concentrate on your current tasks that need to be done, work on yourself.

There is a good saying:

We were looking for the enemy for a long time, and when we found it, we realized that we were the main enemy.

The meaning of this statement boils down to the fact that you need to be more afraid of your own mistakes than worry about external factors , which may have little effect on anything.

How to stop worrying?

  • Start taking care of yourself and your own ego.
  • Work on your own flaws.
  • Define your comfort and control zones , learn to maintain them.

Agree that you can more easily control your actions than others.

Concentrate on what you are doing, work on the process, on the situation, focus – this approach will allow you to highlight those factors and indicators that are really a cause for concern and that you need to work on.

Let’s discuss this approach now , write in the comments!

90,000 How sports keep the brain healthy and protect it from depression and anxiety | Beauty and health

Sport improves the condition of the musculoskeletal system, cardiovascular system, as well as metabolism and other aspects of health.For example, your mental state. We will tell you exactly how he succeeds and what influences this process.


Brain Biology and Health

Did you know that regular exercise (especially cardio) can change the brain? In fact, it is a fairly flexible organ. And every day new neural connections and cells are formed in it in important areas. For example, a variety of aerobic programs and high-intensity exercise significantly increase levels of BDNF, a molecule called a neurotrophic factor in the brain and helps it produce neurons.Exercise also has a positive effect on neurotransmitters (brain chemicals that send signals between neurons) – dopamine and endorphins. And they play an important role in creating good mood and motivation. Moderate exercise also has anti-inflammatory effects. And research in the field of neurology has proven that inflammation affects the development of anxiety and depression. Therefore, physical activity is very important.

How does exercise reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety?

Depression affects more than 264 million people worldwide.It causes long-term feelings of sadness and emptiness, a lack of energy and an inability to concentrate for a long time. And it can seriously affect the quality of your life. Therefore, researchers today are intensively studying the effect of exercise on the symptoms of anxiety and depression. It has already been proven: there is a positive impact. And the result is comparable to that which can be obtained from psychotherapy.

Professor Arash Javanbakht, a longtime specialist in stress, trauma and anxiety, conducted a humane experiment on refugee children.And the result showed: a decrease in symptoms of anxiety and post-traumatic stress was found in the eighth week of dance and movement therapy. This is a very important finding, given that regular pharmacological treatment of depression can lead to negative side effects. And moderate exercise is harmless – a good option for those who do not want or cannot take certain medications (for example, pregnant and lactating women and adolescents).

Exercise can also reduce people’s sensitivity to the physical symptoms of anxiety.This is due to the similarities between the bodily effects of high intensity training and the effects of anxiety (shortness of breath, palpitations, dizziness, chest tightness). And by lowering the baseline heart rate, exercising can also lead to a quieter physical environment in the brain.

In addition to its positive neurobiological effects, exercise has many other benefits. When you go for a run or walk, you get vitamin D from the sunlight, which even children know about the positive effects.You have the chance to meet new people or train with a little friend (pet therapy works too). And being in a sports class can be a great support group. Therefore, we will never tire of recommending that you finally find the time and the sport that suits you. Moreover, today there are very (very!) Many of them.

How sport keeps the brain healthy and protects it from depression and anxiety was last modified: March 17th, 2021 by Daria Rudakova

Read also:

Calm down and start living.Five Effective Stress Relief Exercises | HEALTH: Events | HEALTH

A person who perceives the events taking place too close to his heart can experience severe nervous stress 20 to 50 times a day.

“Excitement is a normal reaction of the body,” says Tatyana Ponomarenko, a Krasnodar psychologist. – Experiencing emotions, including strong ones, is as natural as feeling hungry or feeling full. However, if a person is constantly worried and “out of nowhere”, this undermines not only the psycho-emotional state of himself, but also those around him who are forced to endure eternal lamentations, tears, and hysteria.Frustrated nerves seriously harm health. ”

Not a theater, but gladiatorial battles

With excitement, a strong hormone, adrenaline, enters the blood of a person. Its release is accompanied by sweating of palms, rumbling in the stomach, palpitations … Acting like doping, adrenaline spurs the brain to active, sometimes non-standard actions. It happens precisely in a state of excitement that a solution to a complex problem instantly comes to mind, an algorithm for getting out of a seemingly hopeless situation.But everything is good in moderation. Those who are nervous about any reason can be compared to psychological addicts – after all, they “inject” adrenaline into the blood many times more often than ordinary people. And, like every addict, the consequences can be dire. The habit of constant doping no longer helps to cheer up, but dulls the senses. A nervous person constantly needs recharge in the form of another hassle. In addition, continuous rapid heartbeat often leads to the hospital with diagnoses of “heart attack” and “stroke”.

So why are some people able to worry only when necessary, while others are constantly on their nerves? If we exclude pathological cases when low blood sugar leads to excessive nervousness (this contributes to increased production of adrenaline), then often experiencing nervous stress is a person whose inner “I” constantly or from time to time comes into conflict with the outside world. Everything that is done and said “not in the right way” makes a person nervous.Every comment, sidelong glance or lack of praise plunges him into the abyss of stress. He very painfully perceives even the slightest mistake of his own and others. The world for this individual is not even a theater, but gladiatorial battles. Stress for him is like a spoiled alarm blowing from the slightest breath of wind. If this is about you, it’s time to see a doctor! Alone, it can be very difficult for a person to understand the causes of mental deformation.


In less advanced cases, the symptoms of adrenaline rush can be mitigated.A few simple tips will help you find your shaky balance.

  • Breathe. As soon as you feel the approach of stress – it has darkened in your eyes, your hands are shaking, your heart is pounding – take a few deep breaths. Try to think about something abstractly logical. For example, repeating the multiplication table helps a lot.
  • Sometimes fatigue and overstrain help the occurrence of stress. In this case, the best medicine for nerves is tears.
  • Take a bath with soothing herbs: mint, valerian, chamomile, fennel, verbena, jasmine, thyme, etc.Learn to take a contrast shower in the morning and in the evening. It also strengthens the nerves. Buy a sedative collection at the pharmacy and drink it as a course (but first consult your doctor).
  • Get used to seeing the good in everything. On the way to work, while walking, notice the beauty of the world – birds, green grass, blue sky.
  • The main enemy of hassle is a smile. Treat life with humor.
  • Tell yourself: In the end, there are only two really serious reasons for concern – a serious illness and the death of someone close to you.The rest in comparison is a mere trifle. Such daily auto-training helps to see the world in a different way.

Love yourself!

Nervousness over trifles lowers immunity, undermines health and, ultimately, shortens life. And how is it necessary to treat yourself badly in order to consciously lose several years of existence? Therefore, the main advice for those who are used to being nervous about or without is simple. Love yourself! Nature has given you a body and soul, which you need to look after no less than an apartment and a car.So why don’t you bring all kinds of rubbish from the landfill into your apartment, but drag stress into yourself?

Get used in the morning, looking in the mirror, smiling at yourself and saying: “Today is a great day, and everything will be great for me too!” And it will be so.

Calm, only calm! Stress Relief Exercise:

  1. Lie on your back on a mat with your arms loosely extended along your body, palms up. Take a deep breath, for the count of 1-3, hold your breath and exhale slowly, mentally stretching out the word “ras-weak-le-ee”.
  2. Tighten all the muscles in your face and keep a grimace for 5 seconds. Relax and smooth your face completely.
  3. As much as possible, sequentially tighten the muscles of the hands, shoulders and, holding the tension for 5 seconds, relax them in the same order.
  4. In the same way, tense and relax the muscles of the torso, buttocks, hips and legs. Your job is to engage most of the muscles from the top of your head to the tips of your toes. At the end of the session, lie still with your eyes closed. Breathe slowly and not very deeply.
  5. Repeat the exercises every night until it becomes a good habit.

How sports can help you deal with stress

People who exercise regularly will tell you that they feel great both physically and emotionally. This is because during exercise, neurotransmitters are released in the brain that are responsible for good mood and reduce the level of stress hormone cortisol in the blood.

This is how physical activity works:

  1. Exercise reduces anxiety. Researchers have found that after performing a set of prescribed exercises, the electrical activity of the muscles decreases. People become calmer.
  2. Exercise helps you relax. One workout relieves tension for 90-120 minutes. Some people call this post-workout euphoria or endorphin response. However, not only endorphins will be to blame for the fact that you relax and your mood will improve, but also many other neurotransmitters.
  3. Exercise builds self-esteem. Try to remember how you felt after training. Usually after class we praise ourselves for the work done and for the fact that we were not lazy and went to the gym. And the stress level drops.
  4. Exercise improves appetite and food quality. People who exercise regularly tend to eat more and prefer healthy foods. Adequate nutrition helps the body to cope successfully with stress and its consequences.

So, we are once again convinced that regular physical activity improves mood and helps fight stress.And yes, in order to benefit, you do not have to spend a lot of time and effort. We have found the simplest options for you.

  1. Light aerobic exercise. Try to set aside 20 minutes a day for them. Go for a brisk hike during your lunch break, walk your dog, run in the park, or go cycling. There are many options, and most of them don’t require any special equipment or gym access.
  2. Yoga, meditation, stretching, Pilates and so on. Yoga uses many muscles at the same time, forcing them to relax and tense. Recent research has shown that when muscles continually contract and relax, a signal is sent to the brain to release certain neurotransmitters. And they will help you calm down and become more attentive.
  3. Leisure activities : tennis, squash, badminton, basketball, football and so on. All these games help our body get rid of adrenaline and other stress hormones.

One last thing. We often talk about the fact that you can play sports anywhere, be it an apartment, a hotel room or an office. There would be a desire. But if your goal is to relieve work-related stress, try to avoid working out in the office or the corporate gym: there are too many things or people to keep you from distraction.

You should be able to be alone and relax. Or, conversely, if you work alone, be surrounded by other people.

Another interesting option. Try to take 10 minute breaks every 1.5 hours of work. Walk, stretch, squat – do anything but sit in a chair. Four of these 10-minute breaks during the working day can be equated with a light 40-minute workout.

Take care of yourself. Love yourself. And force yourself to play sports, because now there are practically no excuses left. 😉

Your back pain – Ravijuhend

Back pain is pain that occurs in the area between the lower ribs and the gluteal folds and can spread to one or both legs.Almost all people can have lower back pain at some point in their lives – this is completely normal and almost always goes away on its own. More than 90% of low back pain is so-called non-specific low back pain with a good prognosis, which means that it is not caused by any dangerous disease or nerve root entrapment. Nonspecific low back pain is usually caused by small soft tissue changes such as muscle tension and tenderness in the tissues surrounding the spine.Very rarely, in only 0.9% of cases, low back pain is caused by a serious medical condition, such as a fractured spine, tumor, infection, systemic inflammatory rheumatic disease, or other medical condition (see Signs of Danger). These conditions are different from nonspecific low back pain and can usually be diagnosed by your doctor with a questionnaire, examination, and, if necessary, a blood test.

It should be noted that even if the pain is severe and interferes with daily activities, it is unlikely to indicate a serious illness or injury.With severe back pain, there may not be any visible damage or tissue damage – your back just feels tender. Even with small changes, the pain receptor system can be activated and cause pain. Factors that can affect your pain sensations include mood and stress levels, previous pain sensations, sleep quality, lifestyle, and overall physical health.

Low back pain usually diminishes over a period of a few days to 2-3 weeks, but sometimes it takes longer.Lower back pain may recur, but this does not mean that there is a serious cause for concern. Sometimes low back pain with a good prognosis can also last a long time. Constant, i.e. chronic low back pain is pain that lasts more than 12 weeks. Why our brain and the pain receptor system at some point decide that the pain will remain, even if there is no damage – we, unfortunately, do not know. Longer-lasting low back pain may be due to our own thinking or behavior that interferes with recovery.Factors such as the intensity of pain, accompanying shooting pain in the legs, obesity or smoking can contribute to the persistence of low back pain and the formation of disability in the presence of intense pain. Depression, fear of illness, intense fear of pain, hard physical work, job dissatisfaction or the search for social guarantees interfere with recovery. In some cases, repetitive movements and forced postures can contribute to the persistence of lower back pain.

Thoughts that may make recovery slow:

  • Pain is dangerous and uncontrollable
  • I probably have a very serious illness, the doctors cannot find it
  • The pain probably gets worse when I move more and do more active activities
  • The pain must completely disappear before I can return to work
  • I do not exercise because it is not a treatment
  • I am only helped by passive therapies such as warming, electrotherapy, acupuncture, manual therapy, etc.d.
  • I have frequent mood swings (depression, anxiety)
  • I was left alone with my problems
  • My job is too difficult for me and aggravates my illness
  • I have no job, I could lose my job
  • I handle my illnesses and treatments so thoroughly that I no longer have enough time and energy for daily activities such as work, hobbies and friends

Low back pain usually does not mean serious injury. Low back pain in 99% of cases does not indicate a life-threatening disease.

Spinal tests (x-rays, computed tomography, or magnetic resonance imaging) usually do not help find the cause of non-specific low back pain. The examination does not change the rate of recovery from lower back pain or the treatment plan. Many of the changes found during examinations may scare you, but in fact they are quite common, occur in many people and do not cause pain.At the same time, surveys performed “just in case” have risks that are best avoided. For example, ionizing radiation from x-rays and computer screening increases the risk of cancer. In addition, changes observed during the examination can cause severe stress, anxiety and anxiety, even if they are minor. A person may begin to believe that his back is damaged and needs protection, because of this, the fear of pain increases, the muscles become even more tense and movement becomes more difficult.The above, in turn, complicates recovery and increases the likelihood of unnecessary surgery. Imaging exams are important in deciding whether to undergo surgery or to identify serious causes of back pain, such as tumors, infections, and vertebral fractures. Only a very small group of people (less than 1%) have serious conditions that cause back pain that your doctor can recognize.

Not all causes of back pain can be recognized during examinations.Lifestyle risk factors are very important!

Schematic diagram of the need for examination

In the case of non-specific low back pain, examinations in the acute pain phase (up to 6 weeks) are usually not required.

There is a lot you can do to relieve back pain. The pain can be frightening and it is natural to be afraid of it, but avoidance of physical activity, fear and reluctance to leave bed tend to keep the pain alive.

For normal or non-specific low back pain, physical activity does not harm the back. The pain goes away more quickly if you stay physically active and continue with your daily activities for as long as possible despite the pain. Pain relievers can also help you recover faster. Limit (but do not rule out) activities that make your pain worse, but at the same time gradually increase the amount of other physical activity.

Normal daily activities include going to work, household chores, and leisure.Continuing to live a normal life will distract you from pain as much as possible and your back will not weaken or numb.

If it is really necessary to take a sick leave, it should be short-term and its goal should be to return to work as soon as possible, if possible at least part-time .

When the pain has subsided, you can try more vigorous back exercises. In the case of more complex conditions, rehabilitation treatment is necessary.

There are other ways to treat pain besides physical activity: get enough sleep, quit smoking, manage stress, and achieve a healthy weight.

Tips for recovering from back pain:

  • For back pain, move and gradually increase the load
  • Do not be afraid of pain, because pain does not necessarily mean dangerous injury or damage
  • If your back hurts, relax, breathe calmly, move and try to move your back as usual
  • Movement and stress keep your back strong and healthy
  • Your free time activities are not hazardous to your back.
  • Forward bends are safe.
  • Try to get back to work as soon as possible
  • Move regularly if you feel better
  • A good night’s sleep, weight management and smoking cessation will help you get rid of back pain
  • Quitting smoking helps keep your back healthy

The goal of pain management is to reduce the discomfort caused by your pain and quickly regain mobility.Pain relievers are never used as the only treatment.

Do not endure pain! The sooner you can control your pain, the faster you will recover. When the pain subsides, you can also increase your physical activity!

Pain relievers should be used to treat low back pain for a short time. Immediate pain relief effectively promotes recovery and allows you to quickly restore your daily rhythm of life.If the pain persists after 5-7 days, even if you are on pain relievers and are still active, talk to your family doctor.


Usually, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen, diclofenac, dexketoprofen, naproxen, aceclofenac, ketoprofen, and etoricoxib are required to treat low back pain. Side effects from taking these drugs for a long time can include damage to the gastrointestinal tract (such as stomach and small intestine ulcers), kidney damage, and worsening or complication of cardiovascular disease (from high blood pressure to heart attack).If you have any of the above conditions, your doctor will need to evaluate how well this type of medication is right for you. Sometimes your doctor will need to combine medication to relieve pain: add paracetamol or use opioids such as tramadol, codeine, oxycodone, and morphine. These medicines can cause side effects such as nausea, vomiting, constipation, and drowsiness. Therefore, opioid use can affect your ability to perform activities that require concentration, such as driving a car.Opioids are more likely to be taken for a short time while the pain is severe and NSAIDs have no effect or are contraindicated. Opioids may be necessary for very severe back pain, and there is no need to fear that short-term use of opioids may cause dependence.

Other drugs that affect the nervous system are sometimes added to the pain management regimen. Antidepressants are also used to treat low back pain, especially for chronic pain. In the human brain, there are many similarities between the mechanism of chronic pain and the mechanism for regulating mood or stress.Therefore, antidepressants may be part of a chronic pain regimen, not because you are depressed or stressed, but because antidepressants relieve pain through other mechanisms.

To relieve pain and achieve faster treatment results, the following principles should be followed:

  • Pain medications should be taken by mouth (tablets), no injections or other drugs are required.
  • Initially, pain relievers should be taken regularly at regular intervals.
  • Anesthetic drug (s) are selected individually depending on the severity of pain, concomitant diseases, etc.
  • Medicines should be taken in the correct amount (optimal dose), i.e. not too little and not too much
  • Pain management is gradual, that is, if one drug does not relieve pain, then more effective drugs are included in the treatment regimen
  • The same types of pain relievers cannot be combined with each other.For example, ibuprofen, a member of the NSAID group, is not used in combination with diclofenac from the same group.
  • Do not take several medicines with the same active ingredient, as this can cause a dangerous overdose.
  • Tell your doctor or nurse if you have or have any gastrointestinal problems, bleeding, asthma, liver, kidney, or heart disease, or allergies to medications.

Untreated pain that lasts for several weeks along with a feeling of fear can lead to chronic pain and / or depression.In the case of a chronic pain mechanism, the brain’s pain control center is disrupted. In this case, pain relief becomes more difficult, and you will need even more of your own activity, specialist interventions and medications to heal.

In the case of chronic pain, the pain management regimen should be reviewed. Sometimes it is necessary to improve other aspects of treatment (rehabilitation, cognitive-behavioral therapy, etc.) and to revise the pain management regimen.

Discuss additional treatments with your family doctor.

When acute back pain occurs, you can first try to find body positions on your own to ease the pain and movement. Then, restorative treatment is usually not required. When the initial pain subsides, it is recommended that you continue with the exercise.

If necessary, your doctor will refer you to a physical therapist who will teach you the exercises and make sure they are available to you and performed correctly. People with seemingly large, strong muscles are often surprised to learn that certain muscles are actually weak and need to be trained separately.

The physical therapist will create an exercise program that suits you. In the future, you must do the exercises yourself. Moderate exercise and muscle maintenance will help relieve or eliminate your pain and reduce the risk of recurrence of pain attacks or pain becoming chronic.

You can also try the exercises in the water. This can be beneficial for recovery, as people with back problems are encouraged to exercise in the water and swim.

If your pain persists with the initial mild methods or continues to bother you for more than 8 weeks, you need a complex, comprehensive rehabilitation. To do this, your family doctor will refer you to a rehabilitation doctor (rehabilitation therapist) who will draw up an individual treatment plan for you. The rehabilitation physician uses combination therapy and, if necessary, in addition to the physiotherapist, includes other members of the rehabilitation team of specialists, such as an occupational therapist, clinical psychologist and specialist in pain management.

Additional assistance is often required using passive therapy in which the individual is not actively involved, such as electrotherapy, stretching therapy, manual therapy, and massage. Nevertheless, the main key aspect of successful treatment is considered to be the activity of the patient himself and the further process of recovery, improvement and maintenance of physical shape. However, manual therapy, acupuncture, and massage combined with exercise can also relieve pain.Electrotherapy and the use of orthoses for lower back pain are not recommended.

In the very acute phase of back pain, warming creams and warm treatments (such as paraffin wax and mud) should be used with caution in the beginning, as they can worsen back pain. In most cases, they are well suited for the pain relief phase and chronic pain.

In the case of chronic back pain, your rehabilitation treatment may take longer, as part of this, the physiotherapist will develop an individual exercise program that will take into account the specifics of your condition.Exercise may gradually become more intense as you recover.

For persistent low back pain, your health care provider or rehabilitation therapist may consider referring you to a clinical psychologist who will use a variety of treatments and teach you how to best deal with your pain. If your mood has fallen and medications have not helped, sometimes you need to see a psychiatrist to relieve depression.

Exercise, keeping the spine in motion, and strengthening the muscles reduce pain and prevent pain from recurring.That is, physical activity plays an important role in the treatment of low back pain. Therefore, regular physical activity should be a faithful companion in your life in the future.

Already during the first onset of lower back pain, it is recommended to start doing aerobic training for the first 2 weeks, and then extend the training period. If the pain subsides, back exercises should be added. As your physical fitness improves, you can start training your muscles throughout your body.

You should do aerobic workouts longer and more often.Additional training can be carried out on weekends. Stretching is part of the workout routine, it relieves muscle tension and is very important for heavy, high-load exercise and older adults.

  • Aerobic Training:

– walking, Nordic walking, swimming, cycling, water gymnastics, dancing, etc.
– 30 minutes at least 5 days a week with moderate physical activity

  • If you are overweight, then if you feel well, you should continue training.
  • Overweight Exercise is a moderate-intensity workout of at least 60 minutes and at least 5 days per week.
  • Muscle training – 8-12 times for the whole body, each exercise for large muscle groups 2-3 times a week
  • Stretching at least 3 days a week, and stretching exercises are recommended after each workout

Regular exercise guarantees good health, the main thing is that the exercise is pleasant for you, so your mood will improve.Participation in group training also works well.

Pilates and oriental exercises such as Tai Chi and Yoga are very effective with regular exercise to treat chronic pain and prevent back pain. These exercises simultaneously strengthen muscles and restore tissue elasticity and spine mobility.

When exercising, you should first monitor your well-being to prevent inappropriate postures.

If necessary, ask your doctor, physician or physiotherapist for advice on the exercise that is right for you.

Be sure to seek advice if you have osteoporosis, spinal instability, advanced osteoarthritis or other serious joint problems, or if you have had a knee or hip replacement.

If the pain persists despite everything, it will be helpful for you to learn to live with your pain.

Recommendations for people with back pain:

  • Stay physically active
  • If you have to sit for a long time, get up every 15 minutes – stretch, walk and use large muscle groups
  • Use ladder
  • Get off one stop early and walk
  • Dance every time good music sounds, at least half a minute
  • Get good cleaning and maintenance tools that are comfortable to work in an upright position.Swap hands and sides
  • Purchase a special therapy rubber ball (fitball) or a balancing stand that can be installed on the chair to watch TV while sitting on it. Take a short walk or stretch during each commercial break
  • Stop watching TV or using the computer every quarter of an hour, change your seat or posture.
  • Take a break from daily activities or work if you are in pain
  • Do not delay the work until your strength runs out, but finish 5-10 minutes earlier and rest
  • Use reminder tools as needed
  • During the treatment of back pain, it helps to understand that back pain (if there was no injury) usually does not mean any kind of back injury or dangerous illness.Move, be active, work and do what is important to you
  • Physiotherapists can help you design customized exercises as needed
  • Don’t fall into the trap of someone confidently promising to tidy up your back – this rarely works in the long run, it’s important to remember that you are the only real key to successful treatment and good back health!
  • When you are sent for a test, keep in mind that many of the test results are common to all people.
  • If back pain persists and is of concern, seek advice from your family doctor.
  • In the event of any danger signs, contact your family doctor immediately
  • The team of specialists involved in the treatment of chronic nonspecific back pain often includes several specialists (e.g. physiotherapist, rehabilitation physician, pain specialist, clinical psychologist)

Contact your (family) doctor immediately if you have any of the following symptoms (so-called danger signs):

one.Low back pain accompanied by difficulty emptying or controlling bladder or bowel
2. Low back pain accompanied by numbness around the genitals or both legs
3. Back pain is accompanied by a feeling of weakness in the leg (s), which increases every day
4. Back pain is the result of a more serious injury
5. Constant very severe back pain, which does not decrease after taking painkillers
6.General poor health with low back pain, episodes of fever, or unexplained weight loss
7. Severe increasing pain, unexplained weight loss, previously diagnosed malignant neoplasm

16 Easy Ways to Relieve Stress and Anxiety – The-Femme

Stress and anxiety are common in most people. Here are 16 easy ways to relieve stress and anxiety. We are sure that everyone will find something that will help him on this list.

1. Sports

Exercise is one of the most important things you can do to deal with stress.

This may sound contradictory, but physical tension in the body through exercise can relieve mental tension.

The benefits are greatest if you exercise regularly. People who exercise regularly are less likely to experience anxiety than those who do not exercise.

There are several reasons for this:

  • Stress hormones .Exercise lowers the levels of stress hormones in your body, such as cortisol, in the long term. They also help release endorphins, which are chemicals that improve your mood and act like natural pain relievers.
  • Sleep . Exercise can also improve the quality of your sleep, which can be negatively impacted by stress and anxiety.
  • Self-confidence . When you exercise regularly, you can feel more competent and confident in your body, which in turn promotes mental well-being.

Try to find an exercise or activity that you enjoy, such as walking, dancing, climbing, or yoga.

Activities like walking or jogging — which involve repetitive movements of large muscle groups — can be especially helpful in relieving stress.

2. Consider additives

Several supplements have been shown to help reduce stress and anxiety. Here’s a quick overview of some of the more common ones:

  • Lemon Balm .Lemon balm is a member of the mint family that has been studied for its anti-anxiety effects on the body.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids. One study found that medical students who received omega-3 supplements had a 20% reduction in anxiety symptoms.
  • Ashwagandha . Ashwagandha is an herb used in Ayurvedic medicine to treat stress and anxiety.
  • Green Tea . Green tea contains many polyphenol antioxidants that provide health benefits.It can reduce stress and anxiety by increasing serotonin levels.
  • Valerian. Valerian root is a popular sleep aid for its calming effects. It contains valeric acid, which alters the receptors for gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) to reduce anxiety.
  • Kava kava. Kava kava is a psychoactive member of the pepper family. Long used as a sedative in the South Pacific, it is increasingly being used in Europe and the United States to treat mild stress and anxiety.

Some supplements can interact with medicines or have side effects, so you may want to see your doctor if you have a certain medical condition.

Buy ashwagandha, omega-3, green tea and lemon balm online.

3. Light the candle

Using essential oils or a scented candle can help reduce your feelings of stress and anxiety.

Some scents are particularly soothing.Some of the most soothing scents include:

  • Lavender
  • Rose
  • Vetiver
  • Bergamot
  • Roman Chamomile
  • Neroli
  • Frankincense
  • Sandalwood
  • Ylang Ylang
  • Orange
  • Geranium

Using your mood to heal your scent is called aroma healing. Several studies show that aromatherapy can reduce anxiety and improve sleep.

4. Reduce your caffeine intake

Caffeine is a stimulant found in coffee, tea, chocolate and energy drinks. High doses can increase anxiety. People have different thresholds for how much caffeine they can tolerate.

If you find that caffeine is causing you anxiety, consider cutting back on it.

While many studies show that coffee can be beneficial in moderation, it doesn’t work for everyone.

5. Record your experiences

One way to deal with stress is to write down your experiences.

Writing down what you are worried about is one approach, the other is to write down what you are grateful for.

Gratitude can help relieve stress and anxiety by focusing your thoughts on what is positive in your life.

6. Chew gum

For super easy and quick stress relief, try chewing gum.

One study found that people who chewed gum had better mood and less stress.

One possible explanation is that chewing gum induces brain waves that look like relaxed ones. Another thing is that chewing gum promotes blood flow to the brain.

7. Spend time with friends and family

Social support from friends and family can help you manage stress.

Connecting with friends gives you a sense of belonging and self-worth, which can help you through tough times.

One study found that for women in particular, spending time with friends and children helps release oxytocin, a natural stress reliever.

Another study found that men and women with the least social connections were more likely to suffer from depression and anxiety.

8. Laugh

It’s hard to feel anxious when you laugh. It’s good for your health, and there are several ways to help relieve stress:

  • Withdrawing your stress response;
  • Relief of tension by relaxing muscles.

In the long term, laughter can also help improve your immune system and mood.

A study in people with cancer found that people in the laughing intervention group experienced more stress relief than those who were simply distracted.

Try watching a funny TV show or chatting with friends that make you laugh.

9. Learn to say no

Not all stressors are under your control, but some you can still control.

Take control of the parts of your life that you can change and that cause you stress.

One way to do this is to say no more often.

This is especially true if you find yourself taking on more than you can afford, as juggling with many responsibilities can make you feel depressed.

Being selective about what you take on — and giving up on things that unnecessarily increase your workload — can reduce stress levels.

10. Learn to avoid procrastination

Another way to control your stress is to stick to your priorities and stop procrastinating.

Procrastination can cause you to act reactively and try to catch up. This can cause stress, which negatively affects your health and sleep quality.

Get in the habit of making a to-do list organized by priority.Give yourself a realistic timeline and work your way down the list.

Work on what needs to be done today and take some time to rest, as switching between tasks or multitasking can be stressful in and of itself.

11. Do yoga

Yoga has become a popular method of stress relief and exercise among all age groups.

While yoga styles vary, most have a common goal of uniting their body and mind.Yoga does this primarily by increasing awareness of body and breath.

Several studies have examined the effects of yoga on mental health. Overall, research has shown that yoga can improve mood and may even be as effective as antidepressants in treating depression and anxiety.

12. Practice mindfulness

Mindfulness describes practices that tie you to the present moment. It can help combat the anxiety-causing effect of negative thinking.

There are several methods for increasing mindfulness, including mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, mindfulness-based stress reduction, yoga, and meditation.

A recent study among college students found that mindfulness can help boost self-esteem, which in turn reduces symptoms of anxiety and depression.

13. Embrace

Hugging and kissing can help relieve stress. Positive physical contact can help release oxytocin and lower cortisol levels.It can help lower blood pressure and heart rate, which are physical symptoms of stress.

14. Listen to soothing music

Listening to music can have a very relaxing effect on the body.

Slow instrumental music can induce a relaxation response, helping to lower blood pressure and heart rate, as well as stress hormones.

Certain types of classical, Celtic, Native American and Indian music can be especially soothing, but just listening to the music you like is also effective.

Nature sounds can also be very soothing. This is why they are often included in relaxation and meditation music.

15. Deep breathing

Mental stress activates your sympathetic nervous system, signaling your body to enter fight or flight mode.

During this reaction, stress hormones are released and you experience physical symptoms such as a rapid heart rate, rapid breathing, and narrowing of your blood vessels.

Deep breathing can help activate your parasympathetic nervous system, which controls your relaxation response.

There are several types of deep breathing exercises, including diaphragmatic breathing, abdominal breathing, and rhythmic breathing.

The purpose of deep breathing is to focus your attention on the breath, making it slower and deeper. When you inhale deeply through your nose, your lungs expand completely and your stomach rises. It helps to lower your heart rate, making you feel calmer.

This video explains how to practice diaphragmatic breathing.