We live in a fast-paced world where we are constantly bombarded with various stressors. Stress is often associated with anxiety, depressed mood, irritability and fatigue. Leaving our stressors behind to live on a tropical beach sounds amazing but is probably not feasible. Here are a few exercises you can try the next time you’re feeling anxious or stressed.

  1. 4-3-2-1
  • 4: Close your eyes and listen for 4 distinct noises. Once you’ve identified 4 noises, you can move on to the next step
  • 3: With your eyes still closed, feel 3 different objects. Observe the texture, temperature, shape, etc. of the objects.
  • 2: Continue to keep your eyes closed and identify 2 different smells. This can be a smell in the room or you can also smell a piece of clothing, your perfume, your hair, etc.
  • 1: For this step you can open your eyes. Visually focus on 1 object for 60 seconds.
  1. Deep Belly Breathing
  • Get into a relaxed sitting position where you’re sitting upright and feet are firmly planted on the floor.
  • Put your hands on your abdomen and close your eyes.
  • Inhale deeply into your abdomen and feel your hands expand. Visualize a balloon filling. Try to inhale for a full 8 seconds.
  • Exhale slowly for 8 seconds, getting all the breath out of your lungs.
  • Repeat for 5 minutes.
  1. Laughter is the Best Medicine
    • Visualize someone or something that brings a smile to your face. If you need some inspiration you can find a funny comic, meme or joke. Even if you can’t naturally smile, put a smile on your face.
    • Smile for a whole 2 minutes…it will eventually become genuine.
    • Once you’re smiling, direct your smile inwardly and visualize the positivity throughout your body.