Top 5 Exercises to Reduce Stress and Anxiety Immediately 92

Top 5 Exercises to Reduce Stress and Anxiety Immediately

This is a guest post by Meighan Sembrano, an enthusiast, passionate writer and contributor to Consumer Health Digest.

Exercising is a good way to reduce stress and anxiety.

Studies show staying active on a regular basis trains more than your body – it teaches the brain to remain calm.

But what can you do if you’re feeling anxious right now? Even if you aren’t the most active person, these 5 exercises can reduce stress and anxiety immediately.

Most of these techniques trigger something called the relaxation response, which, according to Harvard Health Publications, counteracts stress.

When you’re stressed, your body reacts in ways you can’t see – your heart beat and breathing get faster, your muscles tense, your body releases stress hormones, and you need more oxygen. This results in that uncomfortable feeling, pressure.

However, by focusing on breathing and your body, you can learn to relax.

1. Breathe deeply.

When you’re stressed, bringing your attention to your breath can help.

Meditation and deep breathing are the best brain foods to calm and reset your thoughts.

Uneven or shallow breathing can make people feel anxious, even if there’s nothing particularly stressful going on. Deep breathing allows your body to draw in more oxygen to lower your pulse and blood pressure naturally.

Put your hand on your stomach, and fill your lungs completely, breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth. Keep focusing on your breath until you feel calmer.

Since most people aren’t used to breathing deeply, learning how to do it might take some practice. Even so, deep abdominal breathing is one of the simplest ways to reduce stress quickly.

2. Tense, then relax your muscles.

Some of the symptoms of depression are similar to anxiety, such as nervousness.

If you’re feeling anxious, the University of Michigan Health System recommends tensing then relaxing different muscle groups to trigger the relaxation response.

It’s not difficult, and you can do it almost anywhere.

Lay or sit in a comfortable position and begin tensing a particular muscle group, like your legs or arms. Hold your muscles tense for just a few seconds then relax. Try to breathe deeply while you’re tensing your muscles to get your cardiovascular system under control. Afterward, you should feel calmer.

3. Practice guided meditation.

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Like deep breathing and tensing and relaxing your muscles, guided meditation helps you focus on something besides your feelings of stress and anxiety.

If your thoughts are racing and you can’t stop going over a certain situation in your head, it can be hard to focus on breathing or your muscles. Guided meditation may be able to help direct your thoughts more efficiently. Having a guide or voice help you visualize scenes, pleasant imagery, or vocalize encouraging words can help your mind concentrate. Although you can join a group, there are also CDs, or free resources online, like UCLA’s free guided meditation series.

Having a guide or voice help you visualize scenes, pleasant imagery, or vocalize encouraging words can help your mind concentrate. Although you can join a group, there are also CDs, or free resources online.

4. Do a few sun salutations.

If stress and anxiety are overwhelming you, try a few yoga poses to calm down.

Until recently, studies have been rather inconclusive, but the concentration, breathing, and movement involved in yoga can help draw focus away from a stressful situation or emotions, to bring focus and calm.

In fact, yoga is similar to the previous exercises in its ability to produce the relaxation response. An early study comparing the effects of swimming, yoga, and fencing on participants’ emotions before and after a class, also showed yoga helped people feel less tense, anxious and depressed, even after just one class.

5. Jog in place.

Jog in place for one or two minutes if you have high anxiety levels.

This will help regulate your breathing to prevent hyperventilation and stave off an anxiety attack. Actually, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, even just one workout session can effectively fight off anxiety for hours afterward. If you have the time, you might want to turn that jog into a longer workout or go for a long walk.

Everyone gets stressed sometimes. It’s a regular part of life, and these exercises can help most people reduce their stress and anxiety immediately.

If you feel unmotivated or incapable of performing any activities, you may need a mental boost. However, depression can also make people feel tense, unmotivated, and fatigued. If you feel lazy or tired often, get your doctor to see if you have an underlying condition.

Even if you practice these exercises regularly, it’s important to remember anxiety is a mental state. If you feel anxious most of the time, speak with your doctor. There are many other ways to manage anxiety, and sometimes exercises aren’t enough. Each person is different, and different methods may be useful for some but not others.

How do you deal with stress and anxiety?

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The Five Elements of Flawless Customer Experience 11

The Five Elements of Flawless Customer Experience

Providing a flawless customer experience is the ultimate goal for any business.

There’s a lot that goes into creating a customer experience that keeps your clients coming back for more. In fact, there’s so much involved that it can almost seem overwhelming.

However, providing a flawless customer experience becomes much easier when you approach the task through these five distinct elements:

Ownership of Emotions
The Unexpected


When it comes to your customers’ satisfaction, time is essential. Think of how a great experience at a new restaurant quickly sours if you’re left waiting for your food to arrive. Think of how your excitement over a great department store sale turns into frustration as you stand in line for what seems like hours.

Time is your most valuable resource and it is up to you to make sure you’re using your customers’ time wisely.

This is why restaurants have comfortable waiting areas with drinks and appetizers, or why airports have lounges with restaurants, shops, and even bars.

If your customers are being forced to wait for a service, make them feel as if their time spent is not wasted. The more positive drivers you offer customers, the less likely they are to grow dissatisfied with their experience.

Think of how you can implement this in your own business. Are there places where you can help fill customers’ time? Are there places where technology can be used to cut down on the time it takes to complete a task? Remember, it’s the customers’ time that should be valued, not your own.


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You must understand what your customers want, when they want it, and how.

While this may seem daunting, getting a better understanding of your customers doesn’t take millions of dollars, complex data analytics, and a degree in psychology. Instead, all it takes is a simple look. Watch their process, engage with them, ask them questions, and listen to them.  

How are customers interacting with your product? What’s the first thing they do when they enter your store? What’s the last thing they do before they leave? How long are they spending in each department? Do you notice anything that hampers their experience?

Take a look at your competitors. How are your potential customers interacting with them? What does this business offer that you don’t or vice versa? What is your, as Harvard Business School professor Clayton M. Christensen says, “job to be done?” What are your customers hiring your product or service to accomplish? Understand why your users are turning to your products.

Ownership of Emotions

Many companies have already taken hold of their customers’ emotions, though cynically. Subliminal advertising is a key example. However, the ownership of emotions does not have to be cynical. When used correctly, it can be the “holy grail” for companies.

Owning emotions begins with the aforementioned ability to understand. When you truly understand a customer’s choices and then act to make the experience better, you’re building a relationship of trust. That trust is the foundation of emotional ownership.

One way to build this trust is to reduce the “emotional” noise that surrounds your customers. Let them know that, even on their worst day, your business or product is there for them and that it will be a constant in their lives.

Think of restaurants and the long wait times you have to endure when they’re busy. Think of how angry—or “hangry”—you feel as you stand around, waiting for your table, and listening to your stomach growl. However, think of how some restaurants are able to reduce that emotional noise by serving you finger foods and drinks as you wait.

Also, seek to understand what emotionally motivates your customers.

Why should they be motivated to visit your store or use your product? To feel confident? Free? Unique? Secure? Successful? Research shows that all human beings are motivated by one of those factors.

The Unexpected

Experiences become stronger and more memorable when they’re accompanied by an element of surprise. Surprise can be addictive, which will only keep your customers coming back for more.

Think about mailing your customers or clients small packages with gifts and swag. Everyone loves to get mail and everyone loves free stuff, especially when it’s least expected.

A surprise doesn’t have to be a huge flash mob (though it could be!). Hand out snacks at your store. Is it a cold day? Give your customers hot chocolate or warm punch. Is it a client’s birthday? Send a card! Even a small note of thanks for a customer’s business is a nice little surprise.

The most important thing to remember: simply be sincere and don’t become predictable. Chocolates on hotel pillows were once a great surprise for guests. However, now that their wow-factor has faded, hotels are continuously trying to get back to the “unexpected.”


You’ve made promises and established goals. The only thing that’s left is to follow through on them. This starts with creating your mission statement, one that you, your employees, and your customers can commit to it. This will define your customer experience.

Your mission statement must promise to impact yourself/your business, the community, or the world. It may commit to impacting one, or all three. However, whatever it promises, you must follow through on. Your customers’ trust, and thus their experience, depends on it.

More about these five elements can be discovered in Unforgettable: Designing Customer Experiences that Stick, to be published in 2018.

Kyle H. David has made a career in technology and entrepreneurship for nearly 20 years. In 2001, he formed The Kyle David Group, now KDG. Over the past 16 years, KDG has grown at a rapid pace, attracting clients ranging from the United States Senate to major financial institutions, international nonprofits, and Division I universities.