In a perfect world, we’d all have the time and money to de-stress with weekly yoga classes, wellness retreats in Bali, and hot stone massages. Those solutions aren’t always all that practical, though. Instead, check out these easy de-stress tricks you can try in 10 minutes or less!
1. Try deep breathing exercises.
Try out this technique: Close your eyes and inhale for 5 seconds, hold for one second, and then exhale for another 5 seconds. As you exhale, imagine that the stress is exiting your body with each breath. Continue this exercise as needed.
2. Put some music on.
There’s a reason people often put on some music while they relax — it actually reduces your levels of cortisol, the stress hormone! Go ahead and pop in those headphones.
3. Practice imagery.
Imagery is a common stress-management practice where you close your eyes and envision a place that makes you feel calm. Pay attention to the sounds, smells, sights, and feelings of that location, as well. Got some headphones around? Listening to ambient sounds, like a crackling fireplace or ocean waves, can make this practice easier.
Yes, it’s that simple. Counting gives your mind something to focus on other than what you’re stressing about. It’s a great distraction, at the very least.
5. Pop a piece of gum.
We’re not really sure why our teachers always told us to spit out our gum in class — It’s great for stress! The repeated motion is actually said to help relax your mind.
6. Hug your pet.
Do you ever notice how any negative feelings you’re carrying around instantly melt away when you’re with your furry friend? Not only are pets linked to reducing your levels of stress hormones, but they also increase the hormones linked to happiness and relaxation. No pet around? How about watching some puppy videos on YouTube, instead?
Stress and tense muscles go hand in hand, but not everyone has time for a whole stress-busting yoga session. A quick 5-minute stretch works well, too!
8. Get fresh air.
Fresh air, nature, and getting up and moving are all linked to stress relief. How about stepping outside for a 10-minute walk the next time you need to clear your mind?
9. Have a bite of chocolate.
Good news — Your favorite guilty pleasure has more benefits than you thought! Studies suggest dark chocolate works better than your standard milk chocolate, so keep that in mind the next time you indulge.
10. Look at some fresh memes.
Have you ever felt stressed while you were laughing? No? We haven’t, either. How about releasing some of those feel-good endorphins by laughing at some memes?
Which tricks work best for you? Share your thoughts in the comments below.