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Stress Relief: Activities

Stress is a physical and emotional response to overwhelming responsibilities, events, and changes. When you’re feeling stressed, some simple exercises can provide relief right away. These exercises are not the kind you need sweatpants for. You can do them almost anytime and anywhere. They will help you feel more relaxed.



Image of man walking down street

Taking a walk is a great way to fight stress. Walking offers a chance to take a break from a stressful situation. It can also give you a few minutes to think things through. Even a short walk can help you feel better. That’s because walking is a positive action that you control. To get the best benefits, make walking a part of your regular routine.


Image of woman sitting at desk doing neck stretch

Muscle tension is a common response to stress. Stretching is a simple way to loosen up. Light, sustained (for 10 to 15 seconds) stretches are the most beneficial. Try these:

  • Neck stretch. Sit up straight and tuck in your chin. Place your left hand on the right side of your head. Gently pull your head to the left and hold for 10 seconds. Switch sides and repeat the exercise. Don’t stretch to the point of any discomfort.

  • Shoulder and arm stretch. Put your hands together and lock your fingers. Then raise your hands above your head, palms upward. Hold for 15 seconds and relax. Repeat 3 times. Again, if a stretch hurts, lighten the stretch. Or just move on to the next stretch.

Deep Breathing

Deep breathing is a simple method for relieving tension. Use 3 deep breaths each time you do this exercise.

  • Inhale. Breathe in slowly and deeply through your nose. Take in as much air as possible. Hold for 3 seconds.

  • Exhale. Breathe out slowly through your mouth. Try pursing your lips as if you were going to whistle. This helps control how fast you exhale.

Author: StayWell Custom Communications
Last Annual Review Date: 5/15/2011
Copyright © The StayWell Company, LLC. except where otherwise noted.
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