Life is stressful and oh-so-full these days. And while it seems like most of us would like to feel calmer, finding the time for a yoga class or massage can be very challenging.
While committing an hour or more to mindfully de-stressing can be daunting, there are easy and quick stress relief ideas to reduce the level of stress and increase your sense of calm and well-being. Try these at least once a day, and let us know your favorite method for quick stress relief!
Breathe. Just Breathe.
Sure, there are breathing techniques that take years to master, but just being still and taking a couple slow, deep breaths can seriously reduce your stress. Those few deep breaths release endorphins into your system and can even help regulate circulation and brain function, leaving you feeling calmer, focused, and well.
Visualize your favorite Calm Place
As you take those deep breaths, force yourself to visualize somewhere calm. What you visualize is up to you: A cabin by a lake? A hammock on a beach? A massage table in a secluded spa? Pick whatever works well, but focus on that image instead of on the stresses in front of you.
Music is a great stress reducer! You can blast your favorite dance song, or choose a soothing jazz or classical track. Whatever works best for you, choose your favorite let-go song, listen to it all the way through, and focus on feeling more peaceful by the time the song is over. Often, we only need that 3 minute breather of happy music to break a stressful streak.
Follow your nose
Your favorite candle, your favorite food, or your favorite essential oil can have instantaneous positive impacts on our stress levels. Don’t have essential oils or fresh-baked-bread on hand? Peel an orange or grapefruit and breathe in the smell of the peel to achieve an instant soothing refresher.
Bond with Man’s Best Friend
Dogs have been shown to decrease stress and loneliness, as well as reduce serious conditions like high blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Even in short doses, pets are great de-stressers, so a 5 minute game of fetch or a quick pet-and-snuggle can improve your mood and focus.
Clean it Up
Being surrounded by clutter can subtly create tension and stress. If you are at work, take a few moments to clean up your workspace. At home, take a few minutes to pick up your personal space. If picking up everything isn’t an option, create a haven where you work the most. It isn’t a time investment like deep cleaning, but removing the stuff that pervades our lives gives an instant sense of calm.
Laugh Out Loud
Laughter really is (one of the) best medicines. Whether trading jokes with a coworker or finding your favorite comic inspires your giggles, take a few minutes to actively amuse yourself. The de-stressing, calming impact will be long-lasting.
Life can be overwhelming, and we all know those days when just keeping everything going is the best we can do. In even the most overwhelming days, try to find a few moments to breathe deeply and intentionally relax. Just remember, when it comes to quick stress relief, you deserve it!