What are some brain exercises to reduce stress?
1. Breath focus
Breath focus, also known as abdominal or belly breathing, is a powerful technique for taking long, slow, deep breaths. Your mind is gently disengaged from distracting thoughts and sensations as you focus your attention on your breathing.
For people with eating disorders, breathing can be beneficial in helping them focus more positively on their bodies. However, this technique may not be a good option for respiratory ailments or heart failure.
2. Body scan
Progressive muscle relaxation is combined with breath focus in this technique. You mentally release any tension you feel in the back, chest, stomach, or arms by focusing on one part of the body simultaneously; this enables you to recognize how your mind and body are in sync. This method may not be as beneficial for you if you have recently had surgery that negatively impacts your body image.
3. Guided imagery
By imagining soothing places, scenes, or experiences, you can refocus and relax. There are many free apps and online recordings of calming scenes available – choose scenes you find soothing, and that are meaningful to you.
Although guided imagery can help you reinforce a positive vision of yourself, it can be challenging for those with intrusive thoughts or who conjure up mental images.
4. Mindfulness meditation
The practice consists of sitting comfortably, focusing on your breathing, and bringing your attention back to the present moment without getting distracted by previous or future concerns. Recent years have seen a rise in the popularity of this form of meditation. According to research, people with anxiety, depression, and pain may benefit from it.
5. Yoga, Tai Chi, and Qigong.
Several postures and flowing movements accompany rhythmic breathing in these ancient arts. You can use these practices to distract your mind from racing thoughts, primarily through the physical aspects of them. Your flexibility and balance will also improve as a result. These relaxation techniques may be too challenging for those who are not very active, have health problems, or have painful or disabling conditions. Consult your doctor before beginning.
6. Repetitive prayer
You silently repeat a phrase or prayer during this technique while focusing on your breath. Those who are interested in religion or spirituality may find this method appealing.