Three Easy Exercises to Reduce Stress

Negative emotions like anxiety and stress can make it harder to think or solve problems. To reduce stress and maximize your brain power, make these three simple techniques part of your daily routine.

  1. Control your breath. To get an idea of how breathing can reduce feelings of stress, try breathing in for a count of four and out for a count of eight. Doing this for just a few minutes can start to calm your nervous system.
  2. Rest your eyes. Closing your eyes for just ten seconds at a time can help reduce stress and help reset a fatigued brain. Aim to give your brain a visual break every half hour or so, and pair that short break with two or three slow breaths.
  3. Ground yourself in the present moment. Hold one hand in front of you, fingers spread. Now, slowly trace the outside of your hand with the index finger on your other hand, breathing in when you trace up a finger, and out when you trace down. Move up and down all five fingers. When you’ve traced your whole hand, reverse direction and do it again.