Whether it’s with work, finances, or relationships, many of us can’t help but feel a bit stressed at times.
The days can consume us and if we aren’t practicing regular self-care, we may find that our minds and bodies become too revved up.
To release yourself from the daily burdens of stress, try practicing some of these tips that can reduce your stress levels in under 5 minutes.
1. Take a Sip of Green Tea
Sipping a hot beverage can feel good to the body, like a warm blanket. Yet most importantly, green tea contains L-theamin, an amino acid that produces calm and soothing feelings. L-theamin has been showed to induce production of alpha waves, which are the dominant brain frequency during relaxation.
2. Take Slow Deep Breaths
Breathing deeply activates the parasympathetic nervous system—a biological process that prepares the body for ‘resting and digesting.’ Deep breaths, even just 3 at a time, can lower heart rate, decrease blood pressure and lower emotional arousal.
3. Get Outside
Especially if you have been cramped inside all day, getting outside can be a great way to change up the environment and reorient your thoughts. Getting outside may also make your deep breathing exercises more fresh and pleasant, while simultaneously giving you an opportunity to marvel at the beauty of nature.
4. Write It Down
Writing can be surprisingly therapeutic for several reasons. For one, writing can give you an emotional catharsis. If you’re stressed or angry at a particular event, writing can allow your mind to release the tension. Additionally, writing orients the mind to be cerebral. Instead of feeling purely emotional, writing uses a the logical part of the brain. You may find that writing provides reasonable solution to deal with the stressors on your plate.
5. Exercise or Take a Gentle Yoga Break
It has long been acknowledged that exercising releases endorphins, which are chemicals that interact with your neurobiology. Endorphins interact with your brain receptors to induce positive feelings. If you aren’t feeling up to a cardio break, try a gentle yoga practice instead. Yoga involves an exercise of both of the body and mind. Some depression and bipolar treatments have even included yoga as a daily practice to increase positive feelings.
Studies have shown that merely anticipating a laugh can reduce the presence of detrimental stress hormones. Remember: laughter is contagious! You might even find yourself laughing at the fact that you are laughing and begin a whole other laughing fit!
There is no need to feel pressured by a long time commitment. Sitting a mere 3 minutes a day is enough to reap the benefits of meditation. Hop into your cozy meditation space, and allow your mind to empty it’s thoughts and declutter. For a guided meditation on relaxing or de-stressing, try listening to this meditaiton for progressive relaxation by David Anderson.