facebook pixel How to Feel Better When Stress or Anxiety Hits
Site Search
< Blog Home < Healthy Living

How to Feel Better When Stress or Anxiety Hits

Stress is your body’s way of responding to any kind of demand—good or bad.

Woman relaxing in the grass, how to relieve stress and anxiety

How do you feel when you read the words stress and anxiety? Stress is your body’s way of responding to any kind of demand—good or bad. It can be acute (a fight or flight response) or chronic (increases or lasts for long periods of time). You can’t avoid or eliminate stress, but you can learn how to identify and manage it.

Stress that goes unchecked can lead to physical symptoms like headaches, stomachaches, muscle tension, frequent illness, exhaustion, poor sleep, and depression.

So, if you can’t run away to the Bahamas, what can you do? 

  • Start by acknowledging the issues in your life that cause you stress
  • Think about good habits that may help you relax. Be mindful of how you feel in certain situations
  • Take a few minutes each day to think about something you’re grateful for 
  • Establish healthy habits—such as regular exercise, healthy eating, and sleeping well—that can help you feel better physically during extended periods of stress

Related: Reasons Why Being Positive Is Good for Your Health

Take time for yourself every day by choosing to do something you enjoy. You are being productive when you take time to give yourself a break.

Deep breathing and meditation can help you take a mental break and create resiliency. The exercises below can be done anywhere to quickly de-stress—no equipment necessary. Smartphone apps such as Simply Being, Calm, or Headspace can help you find peace and relaxation with a touch of a button. 

Deep Breathing

How it’s done: This can be done seated or standing. Place one hand on the chest and the other on the belly. Take a deep breath in through the nose and feel the belly, not your chest, expand. Exhale slowly through the mouth and pull the belly toward the spine. Take six to ten deep, slow breaths per minute for five to ten minutes. Even two or three minutes can be beneficial.

Related: 3 Simple Ways To Be More Mindful

Progressive Relaxation

How it’s done: This can be done seated or standing. Close the eyes and focus on taking a few deep, slow breaths. Begin flexing and relaxing each muscle group in the body.

Start with the feet and toes, then move up the body toward the knees, thighs, glutes, chest, arms, hands, neck, jaw, and eyes. Continue taking slow breaths. Move slowly and be mindful of how each part of your body feels. 

Yoga

Yoga can also help you bring your body and mind into balance. Try these simple yoga poses to help you stay calm under pressure. 

 

SelectHealth may link to other websites for your convenience. SelectHealth does not expressly or implicitly recommend or endorse the views, opinions, specific services, or products referenced at other websites linked to the SelectHealth site, unless explicitly stated.

The content presented here is for your information only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, and it should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease. Please consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns

References:

1. Cleveland Clinic Wellness. Headaches, back pain and insomnia can all be signs of anxiety or stress. Regular meditation, yoga or exercise can help you feel better. Web. 19 April 2016. <http://www.clevelandclinicwellness.com/DailyDose/archive/2011/03/26/Daily-Wellness-Tip-3_26.aspx>

2. Popsugar. 5 Easy Yoga Poses that Banish Stress Instantly. Web. 19 April 2016.  <http://www.popsugar.com/fitness/Yoga-Stress-36897490#photo-36897490>

3. Yoga Journal. Beginner’s Yoga Poses. Web. 19 April 2016. <http://www.yogajournal.com/category/beginners/beginners-poses/>

4. Greatist. 6 Breathing Exercises to Relax in 10 Minutes or Less. Web. 19 April 2016. <http://greatist.com/happiness/breathing-exercises-relax>

 

You May Also Like...

Healthcare and Insurance Basics

Explaining a High Deductible Health Plan [Infographic]

You’ve probably heard of a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP)—1/3 of our SelectHealth membership has chosen this type of plan. We’ll explain what this means and what you should expect from a HDHP.

Nutrition and Diet

Trail Mix

Make a batch of this to have on hand for the week for after working out or as a great mid-day snack.

In the Community

How to Cope with Wildfire Smoke

Because fires are still burning in the western part of the country, it’s important to know what to do to protect you and your family.

Business

Why Our Company Culture Sets Us Apart

Here’s why I think creating a safe, welcoming, and supportive culture at work is not only important for our employees, but for the members we serve.

Related Articles

Related Articles

Healthy Living

5 Tips to Stay Motivated While Recovering From an Injury

When injury strikes and you can’t do the things you’re used to doing, the outlook can seem gloomy. Follow these tips to stay motivated when dealing with an injury.

Healthy Living

5 Benefits of Knowing Your Family History

Did you know that learning about your family history can actually increase your happiness?

Healthy Living

Men’s Health: The Basic Guidelines

Men: Let’s do this! It’s time to take control of your health.

Healthy Living

Why Smiling Is Good for You

It turns out, there are many benefits to showing your pearly whites. Here’s why turning that frown upside down is good for your health.

Post Author

Cami Flygare

Cami Flygare is a personal trainer and fitness instructor at SelectHealth. She teaches spinning, strength training, yoga, and TRX classes (to name a few). She enjoys cycling, mountain biking, rock climbing, and skiing with her family.