Five Simple Ways to Reduce Stress in Under Five Minutes
Believe it or not, before the 1930s, stress didn’t exist. Of course, the emotion was certainly a factor of everyday life, but the word itself had not yet been coined. Coincidentally, this fact does seem to be an accidental reflection of modern living, as busy work and family schedules often leave little time for self-care.
Thankfully, there are quick ways in which you can grasp a fleeting moment of relief without jeopardizing your crucial routine. Don’t miss these top 5 ideas:
1. A Quick Meditation Session
When one imagines a meditation scene, a typical envisioning may include scented candles, whale sounds, a guru seated on a giant cushion, and chanting.
Thankfully, this criteria is not essential. All you need is a few minutes alone in a relatively comfortable, quiet area, which could very well be a bathroom cubicle at your workplace. Once located, simply sit up straight, close your eyes, and concentrate on long, slow, deep breaths, as this process will slow your heartbeat down and calm your racing mind. If you need a guide, use apps like HeadSpace to get started.
2. Pamper Your Body
No gap in the schedule to visit your local masseuse or get a professional manicure? No problem! Massage yourself by either rolling your foot over a golf ball, applying pressure to the muscles between your index finger and thumb, or alleviate spinal tension with a neck massager. And don’t forget to always keep a stress ball nearby for emergency moments of fury!
You can also trick your brain into feeling better by giving your body a little aesthetic boost. Spend a few minutes painting your nails or styling your hair, all of which will save much more time and money than a full spa treatment.
3. Phone a Friend
Pick up that phone and dial the funniest person you know, or go and hang out with the office clown for a while. Laughter is proven as a fast track method to lower the stress hormone called cortisol, and so it’s in your best interest to seek out some amusement wherever you can, even if you just watch a cat video online.
Even the act of venting to a loved one can help relieve the weight of stress on your shoulders, but if a helping hand is nowhere to be found, try to locate a paw instead. The affection from a furry friend can be therapeutic too.
4. Move Your Body
Whether you strike a couple of yoga poses, run up a flight of stairs, dance to your favorite song, or simply stretch your bones towards the ceiling, an active body is the fastest way to extract happy juice from the brain.
For the best results, go for a power walk around the block, as the natural fresh air will clear your worries, and your thoughts will have more open space to think. Furthermore, exercise helps you sleep easier, which is one of your strongest allies in the battle against daily pressures.
5. Eat, Drink, and Be Merry!
No, this does not mean you should flood your veins with sugar or drown your sorrows in alcohol. Rather, sip on a steaming cup of green tea to balance your antioxidants, nibble on some dark chocolate to reduce your cortisol, eat a spoon of honey to reduce inflammation, and chew on some gum to increase blood flow while distracting yourself with its repetitive action. Just skip the sugary fruit flavors, or you may damage your teeth and that would be really stressful.