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Montrose County Health & Human Services - Health Education

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Dec 05

Wellness Tip #3- Stress Recuding Techniques

Posted on December 5, 2016 at 4:08 PM by Kaci Pinner


Your breath is the bridge between the mind and body. It is the only function that you can perform conscious and unconscious as either a voluntary or involuntary act. Because of your ability to control your breath, you can use it as a tool to quite the mind and slow down your body.

deep breath

Breath Counting Exercise:

Instructions: Sit in a comfortable position with the spine straight and head inclined slightly forward. Gently close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. Then let the breath come naturally without trying to influence it. Ideally it will be quiet and slow, but depth and rhythm may vary.

  • To begin the exercise, count “one” to yourself as you exhale.
  • The next time you exhale, count “two,” and so on up to “five”.
  • Then begin a new cycle, counting “one” on the next exhalation.

*Never count higher than “five,” and count only when you exhale. You will know your attention has wandered when you find yourself up to “eight,” “12,” even “19.” Try to do 10 minutes of this form of meditation.



Laughter is a unique form of exercise in which your body does not physiologically know the difference between real or fake laughter, your body still receives the same health benefits. Among the many benefits, laughter increases oxygen to the brain and body, increases dopamine levels (your “feel good” hormone) and helps regulate the stress hormones- cortisol and epinephrine.



Silent Laughter Exercise:

Instructions: Find a private space where you feel comfortable.

  • Begin with smiling and then begin silently voicing ‘ha, ha, ha…etc’ building up in speed and intensity.
  • Slowly start building up until you are either laughing or encouraging yourself to laugh (silently) and continue this for 5 min.
  • After 5 min. you may have honestly started laughing or started laughing out loud. If you have not started laughing, that’s okay. Repeat for another 5 min.

*It’s best if this exercise can be repeated for two 5 min sessions for a total of 10 min of real or “fake” laughter and the most important thing is to have fun with it.


Getting up and moving releases endorphins which are our body’s natural painkillers. It is widely believed that when your body feels better so does your mind. By moving around and increasing blood flow and oxygen to your body, you are helping your body feel better. Even 5 minutes of aerobic activity can stimulate anti-anxiety effects. 

Source-Anxiety and Depression Association of America:


5-minute Cardio Workout:

BeFiT 101: 5 min Quick Cardio Burn Workout for Beginners


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