How to Reduce Stress in Five Minutes

stress photo

At home or on the road, these quick tips help reduce stress and get you back on track.

There is no way around it, life these days is stressful.  Stress is everywhere, especially at work, but even in the comfort of your own home.  We’re all on sensory overload these days – the phone is beeping and buzzing, e-mails are piling up in the in-box, the kids are yelling, horns are honking, and lights are flashing everywhere.  We’ve got too much to do, both at work and at home.  And if you’re one of the millions of Americans who frequently travels for work then you have the added stress of airports, hotels and transportation.  With all that we have going on in our lives it is very hard to get a little peace and quiet.

Going on a fabulous tropical vacation may be the best way to relieve some stress, but it isn’t the only way.  Before the stress gets the best of you, and serious problems start to develop, take charge of your health and well-being.  Here are seven easy tips to help you reduce stress that will take just five minutes or less.

  1. Take a time out.  Shut your eyes, turn off the lights, lay down if you can, and just relax.  Breathe deep and clear your thoughts.  If it’s hard for you to empty your mind, try focusing on something tranquil, like a gently flowing stream or the beautiful blue ocean.
  2. Drink a cup of green tea.  Not only is the very ritual of making and drinking tea relaxing, green tea contains L-Theanine, a chemical that helps relieve stress.  Stirring some honey into that cup of tea will give you even more stress relief.  The compounds in honey help reduce inflammation in the brain.
  3. Count to ten.  Breathe and slowly count to ten and then backwards down to one.  Depending on your level of stress, you may want to repeat it a few times.
  4. Stretch.  Even if you’re in the office, get up from the desk and do some gentle stretching.  This will relieve tension that is built up in your muscles.  Don’t forget to breathe deeply while stretching.
  5. Eat some chocolate.  All it takes is 1.4 ounces of dark chocolate to help regulate your levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
  6. Squeeze a stress ball.  This is a much better option than squeezing necks or yelling!
  7. Get some sunshine.  If the sun is shining get outside and soak it up.  Sunshine lifts our spirits and produces Vitamin D in our bodies.

Photo by bottled_void

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