Upset and tired boy teenager sitting on the floor keeps hand to cheek looking thoughtfully and hopeless. Stressed student guy feels emotional discomfort, anxiety and mental health problems.

Deadlines to meet, appointments to keep, relationship issues, financial concerns, the list of stress factors goes on and on. We are living in a world of anxiety and are constantly bombarded with stimulation that produces tension in our minds and bodies.

Discharge Anxiety

Most individuals are conscious of their anxiety, but many do not understand how to discharge it in a wholesome way. Not many individuals have the luxury of taking a long, unplanned holiday and visiting a mountaintop to meditate before their anxiety goes away. Even if we can do this, once we returned to our everyday lives, the stress will be right there waiting for us.

Stress is part of human existence. It served a purpose in the days when our ancestors lived in caves. Without stress, we would not have survived. Stress reactions in our minds and bodies come from the fight reaction.

Long ago, when potential danger lurked in our everyday environment, the fight reaction served us well, and it still does in dangerous circumstances. The issue is, the majority of us aren’t facing the prospect of a hungry creature lurching from behind a tree and assaulting us. Our bodies don’t differentiate between actual and perceived danger. Any stimulus that induces fear brings forth the fight reaction.

Fear comes in many forms, such as anxiety. When somebody worries, he or she worries some future action or consequence. The human body and mind respond as though the perceived threat is real. Heart rate goes up. Blood pressure increases. Muscles tense. Brain wave patterns change like personal survival were at stake. In the modern world we react to a boss’s tirade, how our cave dwelling ancestors responded to a bear on the rampage. Next time you feel stressed, take a deep breath and ask where the bear is.

Relaxation Response

One law of science says that “for every action, there’s an equal and opposite reaction.” This is true in human biology. The reverse of the fight response is a “relaxation response.” We can intentionally cause the relaxation response to counter the effects of anxiety.

Meditation is a way of inducing the “relaxation response.” Not all people have the time or inclination to study meditation, but there are other ways we could calm ourselves and counter pressure. Reducing your stress involves learning how to relax amid the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Quiet your mind. Create peace on your own. You can relax.

All it takes to decrease stress is relaxing, breathing, and imagining.

Focus On Your Breathing

During times of high stress or anxiety, our natural tendency is to hold our breath. With chronic tension, we become shallow breathers. We will need to allow oxygen to fill our lungs. Otherwise, we’re robbing our own bodies of optimal oxygen. Deep breathing breaks the cycle of anxiety.
Take a deep breath through your nose. Feel your lungs filling with air and your chest extending from your diaphragm upward. As you inhale tell yourself, “I am Love.” Exhale through your mouth. As you exhale, tell yourself: “I’m Loved.” Repeat till you’ve established a slow, steady rhythm for your breathing.

Relax Your Muscles

All of us carry tension in various parts of our bodies. To release this tension, begin with deep breathing. Next, tense the muscles of your forehead and maintain that strain for five seconds. Tense the muscles in your neck for five seconds, and let go. Tense the muscles in your shoulders for five seconds, and let go. Move downwards by your body, tensing muscles and letting go, until you reach your feet.

Once you finish tensing and relaxing all of the muscle groups, do a mental check on your whole body. If you discover any areas of anxiety, tense those muscles for five seconds then let go. Take a slow, deep breath.

Visualize

Specific kinds of visual imagery can elicit the “relaxation response.” Mentally find yourself in a calm location, sitting on a deserted beach or taking a luxurious hot bath, or sitting by a mountain stream. Focus on the sights, sounds and smells of the peaceful location. If your sense of peace is disrupted by anxious thoughts, observe them. Then gently come back to the sights, smells, and sensations that surround you on your peaceful location.