10 Stress Relievers That Work in Less than 5 Minutes
Stress can build up over the holidays and sometimes there just isn’t enough time to unwind.
But you can sneak any of these stress relievers in (for just 5 minutes) and get back your sense of serenity.
1. Have a Laugh. Keeping your good humor and having a laugh has short-term effects on your stress levels. The physical change that occurs in your body as a result of laugher relieves your stress response and also relaxes muscles. So take a time out and make a joke for an instant stress reliever.
2. Repeat a Mantra. Keeping your thoughts focused on positive ideas can really help reduce stress. Here are 5 mantras for stress relief you can quietly repeat to yourself when tensions get high, to bring your awareness back to the present moment:
- Everything I do is by choice.
- I’m not supposed to have all the answers.
- I will slow down and become conscious.
- This too shall pass.
- I will accept the things I cannot change.
3. Take a Step Outside. Breathe in the fresh air and fill your lungs. Slowly release the breaths and let them clear your mind of all thoughts just for a few minutes. If there is sunshine, try to soak it up. Researchers say that the vitamin D in the sun’s rays has the ability to boost your mood.
4. Listen to Music. Put on your favorite playlist, sing along to one of your favorite songs, or just play something you have never heard before to lift spirits and improve your mood. Music is a great stress reliever and a great pick-me-up. So go ahead and jam!
5. Do Yoga. Just a few inverted postures can increase blood flow to the brain and help boost your mood, while reducing stress. Just place your hands on the ground, or as close as you can get them comfortably. Breathe slowly and deeply and hold that pose for 30 seconds. Return to the starting position and then repeat 3-5 times for instant stress relief.
6. Include Fido. Studies have shown that talking about pets can help reduce stress and tension. But talking to them may also improve your mood and instantly lessen stress levels. It’s the way we talk to our pets that calms the mind and spirit, so if you’re feeling over-stressed, poke your head outside and ask your four-legged friend how things are going to ease tension.
7. Stimulate Your Sniffer. Just a whiff of lavender, eucalyptus or peppermint can awaken your senses and offer a quick aromatic escape. Breathe deeply, inhaling through your nose and exhale through your mouth releasing stressful thoughts.
8. Self Hand Massage. A touch of scented lotion and a short hand massage can reduce stress all over your body. Hit the pressure point in your palms for instant relief of tension in your head and neck. Found in the webbing of your hand, the meaty space between your thumb and index finger is a pressure point known to relieve anxiety and muscle tension when pressure is applied on both sides of the hand close to the bones.
9. Heat it Up! A heating pad warms in just seconds and can take tension out of tight muscles in the back, neck and shoulders. Toss it on your tummy for an extra warming sense of calm.
10. Kick your feet up. Take your shoes off and slip those aching piggies into a comfy pair of socks, or slippers and just relax.
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