4 Simple Stretches to Rid Yourself of Anxiety and Stress

Plus, positive affirmations of self-love to help you own your power for the day.

Hands up if you ever experience anxiety flushes or times when you feel so stressed you could burst? (All of us.) Well, different parts of your body, when released, have an effect on your emotions, says Danette May, fitness influencer and author of The Rise. One example is that your glutes are linked to your heart, and tight glutes could mean that you're putting up walls to hinder human connections. Deep, right?

Fortunately, there are ways to move your body and stretch that help relieve anxiety and stress trapped in different compartments of your body. Taking what she's learned from healers around the world, May walks us through four easy, low-impact stretches that will help you own your power for the day. Also great? Each stretch is paired with a positive vocalized affirmation of self-love.

Follow along in the video above or scroll down for a guide to stretch your glutes, lower back, hamstrings, and chest.

Glutes stretch

To stretch, sit on the mat and cross one leg over the other, hugging your knee. To deepen the stretch, lay on your back and bring your left knee perpendicular to your body, crossing your right leg (bent at the knee) on top of the left. Hold 10-15 seconds. Use your hand to gently pulse your right knee, reaffirming to yourself "I am love."

Lower back stretch

In order to release tension, lay on your back and pull your knees into your chest. Rock side to side. Roll up to a seated position while still hugging your knees in a rocking chair movement. Do 10 reps, and repeat to yourself, "I am safe and supported."

Hamstring stretch

Sitting on the floor, keep one leg bent at the knee and extend the other leg, reaching your body over the extended leg to feel a stretch. For 10-15 seconds, either reach over the leg and hold or pause, or reach over the leg and then come up and exhale. Don't forget to say to yourself, "I'm living in freedom."

Chest stretch

Tightness in your chest is linked to anger and feelings of disempowerment, May says. To stretch your pectoralis lat region (your chest and sides), start standing with both hands clasped behind your back. Alternate leaning forward, stretching your arms away from your back, and standing up straight. Repeat to yourself, "I am living in my power," as you release tension in your chest and open your heart.

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