A Quick and Easy Way To De-Stress

Here is a simple relaxation exercise you can do while riding the bus or train to work, taking a break at work or school, sitting with your morning coffee, or as you are falling asleep at night.

You can do it quickly if you need to or take your time and savor the experience.

Where this exercise originated is unclear but it is offered on a University of Chicago student services page as a way of de-stressing before an exam. It’s called the five finger relaxation technique. The recommendation is to do it while sitting comfortably with both feet on the floor, hands in the lap. However, it works when you are comfortably curled up in a chair as well.

Five Finger Relaxation Technique

It takes five fingers to do this exercise, but there are only four steps.

Touch the tip of your index finger with your thumb. While doing so, think back to when you had just enjoyed a healthy physical activity, were pleasantly tired and felt great simultaneously. Maybe you finished a hike or a bike ride or competed in a soccer match or swim meet. Enjoy the memory and the feeling.

Touch the end of your middle finger with your thumb. Think back to a moment or experience that was loving in nature. This could be the thought of a family gathering or an intimate moment with a friend, child, or partner. Let yourself enjoy the warmth of the memory.

Now, touch your fourth or ring finger with your thumb. This time, think of the best compliment anyone has given you. Even if you had trouble accepting the compliment then, open to it now and enjoy being appreciated. You can even send silent appreciation back to the person(s) who gave you the compliment.

Finally, touch your little finger with your thumb. Think of the most lovely place you have been to and enjoy it again. Imagine not only the sights but also the sounds, smells, tastes, and textures associated with this place. Breathe deeply of the beauty.

Photo: Pixabay

Anxiety Support Groups

More Articles

There is no one cause for anxiety but several factors that contribute to its development. Scientists have broken them down into three parts: brain...

We all know some people are better listeners than others. Excellent listeners give their full attention to whoever is talking. Those who are not...

The first step in managing anxiety stomach pain is determining the nature, and causes of your discomfort.

For the best treatment, anxiety...

Anxiety attacks, also known as panic attacks, are intense feelings of fear or stress that appear for no apparent reason and often begin without...

If you suffer from an anxiety disorder, no matter how severe it is, you know the detrimental effects it can have on your mental state.

...

More Articles

One of the most commonly used and most effective treatments for mental health issues, particularly anxiety disorders and depression, is cognitive...

If you have math anxiety, your issues with solving number problems may have nothing to do with your math capability or disdain of numbers.

...

If you're feeling overwhelmed by constant anxiety, or even just bothered by occasional bouts of stress, there are some lifestyle and health habits...

Dysthymia is a chronic depression that is less severe than major depression, but which can last for years at a time. While people with dysthymia...

No one is immune to anxiety and panic attacks, including celebrities. Actress Amanda Seyfried recently told British Glamour magazine that she is...

If you're contemplating starting medication for an anxiety disorder, you no doubt have discovered that there are literally dozens of prescription...

Should I try an herbal remedy for anxiety?

People are interested in herbal remedies for anxiety for a variety of reasons--some of the...

Neurontin, generically known as gabapentin, is an anticonvulsant drug approved by the FDA to treat certain types of seizures in epileptics...

Fresh out of college and searching for her first real job, Lauren had interviews lined up and was ready to prove herself in the big leagues. Yet,...

People with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) may experience heightened levels of anger, and this emotion can worsen symptoms associated with the...

A study published in the journal Archives of Psychiatry has found that anxiety and mood disorders are more common in people with low incomes....

While anxiety disorders in children are often overlooked, they are actually the most common childhood psychiatric problem. Children can suffer...

This article was written for Living With Anxiety by Sam Kaplan, a student at Colby College. This is his story of life with a panic disorder....

Anxiety develops after an extended period of stress, usually six months or longer. When you suffer from an anxiety disorder, it can severely...

It was a scene in a movie: A woman was holding onto a box of chocolates. She hadn’t devoured chocolates to mask her emotional pain for a few years...