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Everyone has some amount of stress in their lives. Try these two exercises to help lower your stress levels in only a few minutes.

Deep breathing

  • Sit up straight with your feet on the floor
  • Take five slow, deep breaths; pay attention to each one as it comes in through your nose and out of your mouth
  • Keep your mind from wandering by counting silently (example: In…2, 3, 4, 5…out…2, 3, 4, 5)
  • Repeat this process five times – deep breathing works best if you take five breaths

Guided imagery

  • Lean back comfortably in your chair and close your eyes
  • Take a slow, deep breath through your nose, and let the air our completely through your mouth
  • Continue this breathing pattern, releasing tension with each breath
  • Imagine a feeling of warmth spreading from your lungs to your neck and head, down your arms to your fingertips, and continuing through your legs to your toes
  • Next, imagine a place that is safe and comfortable for you
  • Look from side to side at this safe, comfortable place – listen to the calming sounds around you
  • Stay in that place for two to three minutes

Remember, no one can be stress-free all of the time, but deep breathing exercises and guided imagery can help when you need to bring your stress level down.

If stress is impacting your overall health, it’s important to talk to your doctor. Find a doctor near you: