10 Stretches To Relieve Anxiety To Give You A Stress-Free Life

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Anxiety is never healthy for your body. However, in the world that we're in, anxiety is a common feeling. Anxiety can cause a number of health issues, both mental and physical. Studies have shown that emotional stress that stays around for weeks or months can weaken the immune system. Anxiety can also cause high blood pressure, fatigue, depression, anxiety, even heart disease.

Thankfully, there are many ways to get rid of anxiety naturally. One of those ways is to do yoga. There are so many yoga poses that are calming and relaxing to do. Today, I'm going to go over the best stretches to relieve anxiety. Hopefully, these stretches to relieve anxiety will help you get rid of your stress. Let's get started.

Why Does Yoga Help With Anxiety?

Before we take a look at stretches to relieve anxiety, you may be wondering how yoga helps with anxiety. Well, there are many reasons. First, yoga involves deep breathing. Sometimes, when you are feeling stressed all you need to do is take a few deep breaths to feel better. Second, doing yoga allows you to focus on caring for yourself instead of always focusing on the needs of others.

Third, yoga is healthy for the body. It helps you strengthen and stretch your muscles while involving deep breathing and relaxation. Yoga is a great form of exercise. You can do it anywhere and it requires no special equipment. It also improves flexibility, endurance, and muscle tone.

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Best Stretches To Relive Anxiety

There are so many different yoga poses to try. Some require you to stand, while others allow you to sit or even lay down. Although almost all yoga poses are healthy for your body, there are a few specific ones that allow you to relax. Such stretches include child's pose, cat/cow pose, and seated forward bend. Let's take a look at the best exercises to relieve anxiety attacks.

Child's Pose

This is one of the easiest poses to do, and it is definitely relaxing. To do this yoga pose, get on your hands and knees. Spread your knees wide apart while keeping your big toes touching. Rest your buttocks on your heels. If you have very tight hips, you may find it easier to keep your knees together.

Then, slowly begin to lean forward and reach your arms ahead. Let your palms press against the mat and rest your forehead down. You can also let your arms go behind you if desired. Take deep breaths and try to get deeper into the pose. To release the pose, gently use your hands to walk your torso upright to sit back on your heels.

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Butterfly Pose

This is another easy pose. It stretches the inner thighs and groin, and it is very relaxing. Go into a seated position, and bend both knees. Using your hands, open your feet up like a book. Slowly push your legs down until you cannot push them down any further. Hold this pose for 5 breaths, and then bring your knees together. Remember to keep your spine straight and to relax your shoulders.

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Seated Forward Bend

This is another relaxing pose that helps stretch the hamstrings. Start by sitting down on a mat with your legs extended in front of you. Inhale as you reach your arms out to the side, and then up overhead, lengthening your spine. When you exhale, bend forward from the hip joints. Do not bend at the waist. Hold onto your shins, ankles, or feet. You can even clasp your hands on the other side of your feet if you are very flexible.

For those who find this pose to be difficult, you can use a yoga strap or towel around the soles of your feet, holding it firmly with both hands. Continue to lean forward so that your stomach touches your thighs and your nose touches your knees. Hold the pose for up to one minute. To release the pose, draw your tailbone towards the floor as you inhale and lift your torso.

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Tree Pose

Tree pose helps improve your balance and can also strengthen the one leg you are standing on. Begin by standing upright, with your feet hip-width apart. Slowly shift your weight to your left foot. Bend your right knee, then reach down and clasp your right inner ankle. Use your hand to draw your right foot alongside your inner left thigh. Either keep your arms in prayer or reach them up towards the sky.

Find an object that isn't moving and keep your focus on it. By finding a focus point, your balance will be improved. As you get better at this pose, you may be able to look up or even close your eyes. Hold this pose for one minute, and then return back to a standing position. Repeat on the other leg.

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Cat/Cow Pose

Get down on your hands and knees, with your knees directly under your hips. Start by doing cow pose, which means you must inhale as you drop your stomach towards the mat. Lift your chin and chest, and gaze up toward the ceiling. As you exhale, go into cat pose by drawing your stomach to your spine and round your back toward the ceiling. Repeat 10 to 15 times. This is not only a good exercise to relieve anxiety and stress, but it also helps get rid of back pain.

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Camel Pose

This pose can be a difficult pose for some people, as it requires a lot of strength in your quads, neck, and back. Kneel on the floor with your knees hip-width and press your shins and the tops of your feet firmly into the floor. Rest your hands on the back of your pelvis, and gently begin to lean back. From here, grab the heels of your feet and drop your head back. Stay in this pose for 30 seconds to 1 minute.

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Image Source: Yoga International

Standing Forward Bend

This yoga pose is similar to Seated Forward Bend, expect that this time you are standing instead of sitting down. No mat is required, which makes this stretch easy to do no matter where you are. Start by standing upright. Exhale as you bend forward at the hips, lengthening the front of your torso. Bend your elbows and hold on to each elbow with the opposite hand. Let the crown of your head hang down.

Turn the tops of your thighs slightly inward, and do not lock your knees. If possible, place your fingertips, fists, or palms on the floor while keeping straight legs. If you can't keep your legs straight, either don't touch the floor, bend your knees, or use a yoga block to help you. Hold this pose for up to one minute. Then, slowly release and roll your way back up to a standing position.

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Image Source: Yoga Journal

Legs Up the Wall

Legs Up the Wall is a relaxing pose that brings relief to the legs, feet, spine, and nervous system. It also stretches your hamstrings. Begin the pose by sitting with your left side against the wall. Slowly turn your body and bring your legs up onto the wall. Lower your back to the floor and lie down. Rest your shoulders and head on the floor.

Hold this pose for 5 to 10 minutes. Remember to take deep breaths and keep your lower back pressed against the floor. To release, slowly push yourself away from the wall and slide your legs down to the right side. Use your hands to help press yourself back up into a seated position.

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Fish Pose

Fish is an easy pose to do. Begin by lying on your back with your legs extended and your arms resting alongside your body, palms down. Press your forearms and elbows into the floor and lift your chest to create an arch in your upper back. Lift your shoulder blades and upper torso off the floor. Tilt your head back and bring the crown of your head to the floor. Don't put too much pressure on your head. Hold this pose for five breaths.

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Shavasana (Corpse Pose)

Shavasana is considered the most relaxing yoga pose. This yoga pose is commonly called corpse pose. In classes and video workouts, Shavasana is usually the last pose you do. Begin by lying on your back with your legs straight and arms at your sides. Rest your hands about six inches away from your body with your palms up. Let your feet drop open. Close your eyes and breath naturally. Release any tension in your body. It is recommended to hold this pose for 5 minutes for every 30 minutes of yoga you do. Remember that the goal is to relax. Do not become tense and remember to continue breathing naturally.

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Image Source: Arogya

Final Thoughts On Stretches To Relieve Anxiety

Many people deal with anxiety, whether they are stressed about work, money, parenting, or something else. Although anxiety is a common feeling that people deal with, that doesn't mean that it is healthy. Many health issues are related to anxiety and stress. While visiting a psychologist can be helpful, there are many ways to get rid of anxiety on your own. One of those ways is to do stretches that relieve anxiety.

Today, I went over the best stretches to relieve anxiety. Some of those poses are breathing exercises to relieve anxiety attacks, such as Shavasana. Others, however, also strengthen and stretch your muscles so that you can become more flexible. I hope this article has helped you understand more about stretches to relieve anxiety. Hopefully, your anxiety will go away after trying some of these yoga poses.

Related Article: 7 Benefits of Prenatal Yoga (And 5 Positions to Try)

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