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  • Writer's pictureJoe Pellegrino

Exercise to Calm Your Anxious Thoughts

You’ve probably experienced some sort of anxiety at least once in your life, especially as a parent. Dealing with the challenges of pregnancy and raising a child can bring a lot of stress. Below are four techniques you can try to help yourself feel less anxious bring more peace to your day-to-day life: 4-7-8 Breathing Exercise

This breathing exercise is a recommended go-to in moments of in

creased anxiety and tension, especially if you are hyperventilating. The process is simple: take a deep breath in for 4 counts, hold your breath for 7 counts, and exhale slowly for 8 counts. The slow exhalation is key to relaxing your nervous system, and can even help you fall asleep.

Yoga Setting aside time for yoga is a wonderful way to prevent stress from building up in your mind and body. Whether you do so during the day or right before bed, stretching and focusing on your breathing helps you to unwind and rejuvenate. Plus, you have plenty of options to integrate yoga into your lifestyle. You can sign up for a yoga class to hold yourself accountable, or simply follow YouTube videos from the comfort of your own home! Ground Yourself When your mind is racing with anxious thoughts, it is important to remain in the present by grounding yourself. This can be achieved through the ‘5-4-3-2-1' grounding technique. Take deep, slow breaths, and follow these steps as you observe your surroundings: - Name 5 things you can see - Name 4 things you can touch - Name 3 things you can hear - Name 2 things you can smell - Name 1 thing you can taste This technique can be used whenever you are feeling overwhelmed or panicked. Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR) Exercise Anxiety often shows up physically in our bodies, such as through muscle tension. Progressive muscle relaxation is meant to help your brain understand what it feels like for your muscles to be relaxed instead of tense. To begin, get in a comfortable, seated position. Starting from the tips of your toes and working your way up, flex each major muscle group for 10 seconds, release for 10 seconds, then move up to the next muscle group. This exercise reminds your body of the difference between stress and relaxation, and therefore trains your brain to properly address anxiety. By following these simple steps, you CAN be one step closer to achieving a calm mind. If you're going through a difficult time before, during or after pregnancy, call our team at Free Pregnancy Help (512) 515-9711. Our client advocates will be able to assist you at no-cost with services and resources that fit best for you.

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