Stress Relief and Relaxation - Overview
- Chest: Take a deep breath and hold it, then
- Back: Arch your back up and away from the
- Stomach: Suck it into a tight knot.
- Hips and rear end (buttocks): Press the
buttocks together tightly.
- Thighs: Clench them
- Lower legs: Push your heels out and flex your toes up, as if
trying to bring the toes up to touch your shins. Then point your toes away and
curl them downward.
You may feel sleepy after doing this exercise. To "wake
up" your body, count backwards from 5 to 1. Then move your fingers, toes,
hands, and feet. Finally, stretch and move your entire body.
sure you are alert before you drive or do other activities.
Roll breathing to relieve stress
helps you use your lungs better and gets you in touch with the rhythm of your
breathing. You can practice it in any position, but it's best to lie on your
back, with your knees bent. Practice roll breathing daily for several weeks
until you can do it almost anywhere.
When roll breathing, always
breathe in through your nose and breathe out through your mouth. As you breathe
out, make a whooshing sound.
- Place your left hand on your belly and your
right hand on your chest. Notice how your hands move as you breathe in and out.
- Breathe in to fill your lower lungs. Your belly will push your
left hand up as you do this. Your right hand won't move. Then breathe out. Your
left hand will fall as your belly falls. Do this 8 to 10
- Next, breathe in as you did before, but don't stop after
your left hand pushes up. Continue to breathe in. You will feel your upper
chest expand and push your right hand up. Your left hand will fall a little as
your belly falls.
- Breathe out slowly through your mouth. As you
breathe out, feel the tension leaving your body. Both your hands will
- Do this for 3 to 5 minutes. Notice how your belly and chest
move like waves, rising and falling in a steady motion.
See a picture of
roll breathing .
Caution: Some people get
dizzy the first few times they try roll breathing. If you begin to
breathe very fast or become lightheaded, slow your
breathing. Get up slowly.
For more information on dealing with
stress, see the topic