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4 simple ways to relieve anxiety and stress

We all experience stress; it is the body's reaction to feeling threatened or under pressure. Not all stress is bad, it's very common and can motivate us to achieve things in our daily lives or can help us meet the demands of home, work, and family life.

There will always be some form of stress in our modern lives, so it is important to find your own personal way of dealing with stress and not let it overwhelm you.

Watch the video below to learn some small tips you can use when you begin to feel overwhelmed, to help you take back control.

How to relieve stress and anxiety

Looking for ways to relieve stress and anxiety, but no time to watch? Fear not: here are four quick ways to relieve anxiety and feel more relaxed in your daily life.

1. Rub your arms to soothe yourself

When we are feeling stressed, we can use the body to shift those emotions and send messages to our brains that we are safe and well. If you're feeling anxious, the simple act of rubbing your arms may help.

So, how does it work? It's very (very) simple. Try gently grasping your arms with opposite hands, rubbing your arms up and down, and squeezing them gently. It can really help to soothe any discomfort of the present moment. 

2. Try calming herbs to relieve anxiety

Chamomile and lavender have relaxing properties and have been used for centuries to help people feel calm. Ashwagandha is a lesser-known plant, that is great for strengthening and soothing.

Ashwagandha is an adaptogen. Adaptogens do what they say on the tin, they help the body to ‘adapt’ to its surroundings and cope with both physical and emotional stressors. They have a rejuvenating and nourishing effect which helps restore balance in the body.

3. Belly breathe your way to relaxation

What's belly breathing? Let's rewind a bit to better understand why it's a great way to relieve anxiety and stress.

Any time your out-breath is longer than your in-breath, for example inhaling for three seconds and exhaling for six seconds, you start to wind down the sympathetic nervous system activity.

This slows our stress response and helps to promote relaxation in the body. This is a way of resetting the system. Try breathing deep into your belly, not just your diaphragm, and breath in for three seconds, hold for four seconds, and out for five seconds. 

4. Positive affirmations

Affirmations are short powerful statements, in the present tense, that you repeat several times. They can feed your brain information that you are feeling positive. Here are some affirmations for when you feel overwhelmed:

  • I am happy

  • I am calm

  • I am stress-free

There is even scientific evidence showing that the use of affirmations improved exam performance*.

Now you know how to relieve stress and anxiety quickly and effectively. Try these methods next time you're feeling overwhelmed or need to relax!


*Sherman, D. K., Hartson, K. A., Binning, K. R., Purdie-Vaughns, V., Garcia, J., Taborsky-Barba, S., Tomassetti, S., Nussbaum, A. D., & Cohen, G. L. (2013). Deflecting the trajectory and changing the narrative: How self-affirmation affects academic performance and motivation under identity threat. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 104(4), 591–618.


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