With the busyness that today’s world brings with smartphones continuously pinging and technological noise coming at us from every direction, it can all get a little overwhelming. And that’s with just having to deal with your social media accounts, what more work? These days, people need ways to relax, albeit quickly. And while not everyone can afford to take a vacation, there are a few ways to get through the day without wanting to pull your hair out or scream at your next-door cubicle neighbor.
Take a look at these 5-minute relaxation techniques that can help you make it happily through the day and actually find a short moment of relaxation and peace.
It may sound simple, but the art of breathing in and out slowly not only helps lower blood pressure, it truly helps clear the mind. This would explain why ‘taking a breather’ is so common, because sometimes removing yourself from a rather stressful environment and literally breathing in and out can make a world of difference.
Take A Walk
No matter what kind of situation you’re in, or whether you just need some fresh air, taking a much-needed walk outside can work wonders. By stepping out of certain annoying situations, a 5 minute walk to just leave your troubles behind for a minute, or five, will allow you to get back in the saddle on a higher note.
Turn Up The Volume
Listening to your favorite music can really help take the edge off for a few minutes. Whether you prefer rock, pop, jazz or classical, hearing a few chords of what you consider soothing can help you take your mind of the negative and come back more positive than before.
Hand Pressure Points
5 minutes are surely not enough to get that full body massage you’ve been dreaming about for so long. But figuring out where your hand pressure points are can do the trick in the meantime. These so-called points are connected to key areas in the body, so depending on what needs more focus, or more relaxation, then that’s where you should apply the pressure. May sound simple, but it works.
Drink A Cup Of Tea
It’s been said that tea soothes the soul, and we can’t help but agree. There’s nothing like a warm cup of something soothing and tasty that feels like it flows into all the parts of the body as it slips down the throat. Another upside, there are hundreds of flavors to choose from, custom make your own relaxation medley for that perfect cup.
Take A Shower
Just like a cup of tea, showers have an incredible way of easing your body, soul and mind, especially when it’s a warm one. And the beauty in it is that 5 minutes may be the only time you need to clear your mind, soothe the body and rest your soul.
Sniff Some Happiness
There’s a reason why aromatherapy has become all the rage. Smelling some fresh citrus smells or comforting woodsy scents can trigger much needed calming emotions in the brain. Plus having such a large array of scents to choose from means that you can sniff something new everyday.
Call A Friend
Have you ever noticed what a mood lifter it is after you’ve had a chat with your best friend? That’s probably because you can be yourself, talk your mind, not hold back yet not get judged for anything that comes out of your mouth. True friends will always understand that you just may say something you don’t mean and need to take back, it happens to the best of us.
Cuddle A Pet
There’s a reason why dogs are called ‘man’s best friend.’ There’s nothing like taking your cuddly and furry little friend into your arms, feeling warmth and complete acceptance in the paws of something so cute. This is why people with depression are encouraged to get a pet, they help alleviate feelings of loneliness, sadness and anxiety.
Eat Some Chocolate
Chocolate, dark chocolate to be exact, releases the same endorphins in your brain that make you happy. In fact, it’s even said that chocolate can help your brain work better. So the next time that you need a little bit of joy, or a new idea, make sure you have a chunk of dark chocolate to nibble on.
The beauty in meditation is that you don’t need anything but yourself, some quiet and the ability to focus. The next time things are getting to you, find a space on the floor, sit down in a comfortable position and try to empty the mind. It’s amazing what kind of clarity can come from 5 minutes of basic stillness and ‘non-thinking.’
Take It Out On A Stress Ball
Stress balls come in all different shapes and sizes, scents and smells, and even textures. When you feel that tension building up in your shoulders and need to do something to release it, take it out on a stress ball. It’s amazing just how much feeling can go into squeezing a little ball of polyurethane foam rubber, and what’s even more amazing is just how much that little ball can take.
Getting a chance to take your mind off of things, even just for a few moments, can help regenerate those imagination cells. Regardless of where you may be, remove yourself from your current situation and dream about somewhere you’d rather be. These little snippets into your possible future plans, maybe even something you have later on that same day, can help lift your mood.
Do A Crossword Puzzle
While some people believe that doing crossword puzzles or even Sudoku hurts their brains, for others, this is the perfect way to relax. By taking your mind off of a particular perplexing situation you may be in, and putting it into something productive, may just be the perfect way to help you unwind.
Counting backwards is a strategy that parents and teachers alike use on young children. So why not use it as an adult? When you need to take a minute and dig deep to find a bit of peace, counting backwards slowly is a certified way to literally talk yourself down from a difficult situation.
Have Some Coffee, Or Smell It
Coffee seems to be a universal way of speaking. It’s offered to strangers, in business meetings, by brand new next-door neighbors, it’s a way to bring some enjoyment to certain situations. Apparently, coffee can also reduce stress hormones, even if you just smell it. But by all means, if you enjoy it, then have a cup, or two.
Find Something That Makes You Laugh
As the saying goes, ‘laughter is the best medicine,’ and no matter the situation, it can surely bring a smile to anyone’s face. Laughter is a known stress reliever, is said to reduce pain and even relax the muscles. So go ahead and laugh and laugh, then laugh some more!
Keep A Journal
Writing down your thoughts can actually help you take control of your emotions and release pent up stress and frustration. By being able to put words to your thoughts can also clear the mind and guide you in ways that lessen depression and anxiety.
Do A Quick Yoga Pose
You don’t have to be a full-fledged yogi to enjoy yoga, nor do you need to spend an entire hour and a half in your practice either. Sometimes a quick 5-minute pose can already quiet the mind, increase blood flow and lower feelings of stress and anger. So pick a favorite post and try that, then keep a couple of others in mind to rotate throughout the week.
Eat Some Fruit
Fruit is a natural pick-me-upper. Not only does different kind of fruit carry various vitamins and minerals that our bodies lack on a daily basis, such as Vitamin B, C and D, amongst many others, it also produces feelings of joy and happiness. And as an added plus, certain fruits may help lower stress levels, ease depression, and naturally boost your emotions.
Close Your Eyes
Take a minute to just close your eyes and turn off the rest of the world for a bit. Whether you’re in the middle of hard situation or you happen to be home alone but are feeling completely burdened, let those eyelids fall and take in a deep breath and focus on the immediate future, one step at a time.
Apparently, reading has been proven to lessen stress by at least 68 percent, according to neuropsychologist Dr. David Lewis. In less than a few minutes, reading can help ‘slow down the heart rate and ease tension in the muscles.’ So the next time you’re feeling agitated, pull out a book, a magazine, a tablet or whatever else you may have lying around, especially since it’s doctor approved.
Take A Moment To Be All Alone
No matter how much a people person you are, everyone needs some alone time. Being able to spend just a little of your time to take care of you, be yourself and basically just be, can work wonders. Even in as little as five minutes.
Get Some Sun
When things are getting too hectic for you, take a bit of time to step into the sun. Being under the sun actually releases your serotonin hormone, your body’s natural mood booster, which also helps you focus. So the next time you’re feeling that stress go outside or open up a window and let those rays come in. It’ll probably have you feeling a little more alive than before.
Stretch It Out
Almost every person’s instincts when they feel a bit of tension in their necks and backs is to get up and stretch. Moving your muscles and stretching things out, which is basically lengthening the muscles and releasing those pent up nerves.
Try Essential Oils
Essential oils, albeit being around for quite some time, have become incredibly popular these days. These oils can be diffused, inhaled and rubbed onto the body to get the maximum effect, depending on their use. The next time a stressful situation can’t be avoided, pull out some of your favorite bottles and rub, smell or diffuse your worries away.
Chew On Some Gum
Chewing gum may seem incredibly simple but it’s known to be an amazing stress reducer. Not only does it possibly lower your cortisol levels, the hormone that helps your body respond to stress, but all the fruity flavors even make it that much more enjoyable.
Look At Your Favorite Photos
The next time you’re in a stressful situation and you need a time out, take a look at some of your photos. By seeing the things that make you happy and remembering what it felt like when you were in that situation might just be the key to finding some inner peace in a difficult situation.
Play An Instrument
If you’re one of the lucky ones who happens to know how to play a musical instrument, then use this tool as a way to relieve some stress. Not only will it take your mind of the challenging situation, it can actually bring joy to it too.
Think Of Your Next Vacay
When all these other tips on how to keep stress at its lowest level and they’re still not helping, just go ahead and plan your next vacation. Whether it’s a few months away, a year away or even more, dreaming of a sandy white beach located on a gorgeous tropical island with a Mai Tai in one hand and book in the other may just be the only thing you need to find yourself sitting back, relaxing and taking your mind off of anything else but having an amazing time.