12 Best Exercises to Relieve Stress and Anxiety

Stress is inevitable in life, but it can be a double-edged sword. On the one hand, small doses of stress stimulate alertness and performance. However, when you are constantly stressed, your well-being will surely suffer the consequences. As the Mayo Clinic has stated, chronic stress has been linked to chronic health problems such as depression, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and even cancer.

But don’t be afraid! With personal experience and expert insight, you can melt away any kind of stress, anxiety or nervousness. Here are the 12 most powerful stress-relieving exercises that will make you feel like a whole new person. Personally, I have found that all of these exercises have their own unique stress relieving benefits and I continue to practice them to this day.

1. Meditation

Meditation is an exercise of the mind and practicing it daily has been the most effective way to relieve stress for me. If practiced correctly and consistently, it leads to lasting peace, serenity, and abundance in life.

Meditation forces you to bring awareness into your mind and observe your thoughts rather than reacting to them. As a result, you are not as reactive to tension and anxious feelings, leaving you in a calm state of mind.

Verywell Mind’s guide to meditating correctly:

1. Find a quiet, well-adjusted environment to sit without outside distractions

2. Sit back and relax the body with the palms resting lightly on the knees

3. Close your eyes and try to observe the thoughts running through your head

4. Be present in the present moment and focus on observing these thoughts and your breathing (breathe through your nose and through your mouth)

Meditating for just 5-10 minutes each day will have profound effects in calming your mind, making it the perfect tool for beating stress. If you’re having trouble meditating on your own, apps like Headspace, Insight Timer, and Aura offer guided meditations. Many guided meditations are also available online.

2. Go to the gym

Quite the opposite of meditation, working out is active exercise that releases endorphins which, in turn, decrease the amount of cortisol and adrenaline in your body, according to Harvard Health Publishing. This ultimately leads to a stronger mind that also has a newfound confidence because when you push yourself in the gym, you take your mind off of whatever event or task is causing your anxiety in the first place. Plus, when you see your progress and results improve at the gym, you’ll definitely feel proud of yourself and unstoppable!

I love going to the gym to build up my physical and mental strength. If you can push your body to its limits when you train, you can also overcome any stressful situation and overcome it.

3. Yoga in nature

Even if you’re not as advanced as the woman in the picture, yoga at all levels is a very common and popular exercise to release stress from your mind and body. Although it can be practiced anywhere, I like to do my yoga practice outdoors. Indeed, whenever you are outside, you are connecting with nature and your energy will match that of the serene outdoors.

Yoga is the ultimate blend of mind and body fusion. Your mind will be soothed and your body will feel rid of all tension and aches, according to the facts established by the American Osteopathic Association. When you relieve the underlying tension in your body, your mind is also relieved due to its connection to the body’s nervous system. Who wouldn’t want to release stress from their mind and body at the same time? 10 to 15 minutes of yoga is perfectly sufficient.

4. Jogging

If I ever felt overwhelmed with work and a friend asked me to jog with him, I would accept the offer and Course with that! Not only does jogging provide the same diminishing benefits as working out i.e. reduced adrenaline and cortisol (ADAA), but it is also much more accessible to the general population on any given day.

Add a few friends while you’re there to take your mind off things and enjoy the moment. Then, when you return to a stressful event, you will feel a surge of energy and alertness.

5. Walk your pet

Sadly, I no longer have the pleasure of spending quality time walking my pet, but if you do, make the most of it. As discussed earlier, a lower cortisol level in the body is directly linked to a lower stress level. To my surprise, playing with your dog, cat, or any other animal you may interact with has been proven to lower cortisol as well as blood pressure levels in the body, as claimed by Better Health.

So if you’re ever faced with a huge task, don’t forget to have fun taking your pet out ahead of time to get you into a high vibrational state of flow and peace.

6. Gardening

If you’re like me and enjoy spending time with plants and nature, you’ll surely benefit from gardening during times of stress. Not only do you spend time outdoors, which has proven to be a natural stress reliever, but you also get active while gardening. Plus, interacting with plants has also been shown to increase levels of serotonin, a natural happiness booster and antidepressant, as suggested by permaculture.

So if you love digging your hands into the ground and helping the environment while you’re at it, gardening is perfect for you when you’re dealing with stress or anxiety.

7. Tai Chi

Tai Chi is a Chinese martial art that combines meditation with active movement and movement. The purpose of this amazing exercise is to help yourself with the energy of life and peace, otherwise known as Qi energy. Muscle strength and endurance have also been shown to increase with increased mental focus and discipline.

A focused mind is also powerful. According to the Mayo Clinic, additional health benefits of Tai Chi include reduced stress and anxiety, improved mood and energy, and finally a stronger immune system. It is easy to find Tai Chi classes for beginners anywhere, ranging from the internet to sometimes even professional institutes in your city.

8. Swimming

Spending quality time at the pool can refresh your mind and body through the release of happiness-boosting endorphins. Studies conducted by swimming.org show that half an hour of swimming is enough to increase general well-being and provide health benefits. Swimming has always helped me take my mind off worries and stressful situations and instead place it on the pleasure of enjoying the purity of water and the outdoors.

If you don’t have time to swim, a cold bath has been shown to stimulate nerves in the muscles and brain that serve as a “cooling down” function. Similar to the pool, water massages your body in a way that brings overall peace and relaxation.

9. Cycling in the great outdoors

Getting away from the stressful mind and focusing your attention on the great outdoors while riding your bike is a great way to alleviate anxiety. Cycling allows you to explore the outdoors and savor the fresh air, and as we have learned before, aligning with the energy of nature is extremely beneficial for feeling at peace. The next time you face a worrying situation, try spending some time on two wheels and enjoying the coolness that Mother Nature gives you.

Besides stress reduction, additional health benefits noted by Better Health include stronger joint mobility, better cardiovascular health, and immunity to disease. Cycling has also improved my ability to feel energized, so it’s definitely an essential part of my stress-busting routine.

10. Pilates

Many people are familiar with the term “pilates”, but not everyone knows exactly what this excellent exercise is. Pilates is a non-aerobic exercise that requires little physical exertion, however, it is amazing in the long run for calming the mind and toning the body. According to Pilates Central, Pilates also offers the benefit of interacting with like-minded people. Our minds naturally relax when we have informal and entertaining conversations, proving the fact that Pilates can reduce anxiety!

If you don’t have access to a Pilates group lesson, individual training will complement well since Pilates gives you the ability to reflect and observe your thoughts while performing the exercises. There’s nothing to be afraid of spending time alone when stress overwhelms you, because it gives you the opportunity to grasp the root cause of your stress and decide that by exercising it can melt away.

11. Dance

Believe it or not, dancing has more benefits than just showing off your moves at parties. Like many other physical activities, dancing lowers cortisol levels in the brain and releases endorphins, which are commonly attributed to people feeling emotions of happiness (Goodnet).

In fact, a friend of mine who has been dancing for ten years shared that through her personal experience, dancing has decreased her feelings of stress and anxiety and has been a great way to maintain her emotions while increasing her well-being. be general. It serves as an outlet and the addition of his personal artistic touch makes it a wonderfully enjoyable way to unwind. Even if you’re not a pro, a few minutes of jamming to your favorite songs can do the trick, so be sure to give it a try next time!

12. Hike

Finally, go for a hike and dive into the great outdoors if stress overwhelms you. The hike may require additional steps to plan compared to a familiar park walk, but if you have access to a hiking trail, make the most of it. Spending time in nature has been proven to provide a sense of tranquility and what better way to enjoy nature than to directly engage with it in the form of a hike?

The final take

In fact, any form of exercise has the ability to adequately induce endorphins and release cortisol. thereby reducing stress and anxiety. Just choose a few of these exercises the next time you feel these feelings and watch how your mind and body naturally energize and fill you with peace. Stress is never impossible to overcome and with the right measures, overcoming it will seem effortless.