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Anxiety disorders are now the most common mental health condition in the United States and affect nearly 40 million adults – almost 1 in 5 people. Globally, the World Health Organization (WHO) states that almost 300 million people suffer from anxiety. If you suffer from anxiety, here are a few exercises that may help you manage it daily.  

Just Breathe, Literally

Find a quiet place where you will be able to put all your focus on your breathing. Try to find somewhere you will be able to sit or lie comfortably and close your eyes. With your mouth closed, slowly breathe in through your nose for approximately six seconds. Hold your inhale for just a few seconds more, and slowly breathe back out through your mouth for another count of six. Focus on each step, one at a time, without rushing or forcing yourself. Repeat these steps until you feel that you are beginning to relax.

Effective Exercises to Manage Anxiety - Metro Community Development

Take Advantage of Your Senses with the 5-4-3-2-1 Grounding Technique

This technique may be extra helpful if you are prone to having panic attacks. Start by closing your eyes and taking a few slow, deep breaths to initiate the calming process. Try your best to focus on your breathing at this moment. Upon reopening your eyes, find:  

  • Five things that you can see  
  • Four things that you can feel  
  • Three things that you can hear  
  • Two things that you can smell  
  • One thing that you can taste  

Acknowledge each thing as you go through the steps. You may even want to name them out loud. Continue taking slow, deep breaths if necessary.  

Effective Exercises to Manage Anxiety - Grounding Techniques - Metro Community Development

Give Yourself the Gift of Time

Allow yourself to “pause life” for a set amount of time each day. Make it a priority even if it is only for 10 minutes or so. Go for a walk in the woods or do some light gardening. Take some extra time in the morning to do some stretching as the sun is still rising and the world is still quiet. Allow your mind to wander and try your best not to worry about anything else until you have given your mind the time to just be if only for a small moment every day. 

Effective Exercises to Manage Anxiety - Time - Metro Community Development