Ways to Beat Stress in 10 Minutes or Less

Stamp Out Stress!

More than likely, you’ve felt that you just cant unwind after a demanding week! That’s because stress triggers your body’s fight or flight response: your adrenaline starts pumping, your heart beats faster, and your blood pressure rises. Long-term overexposure to stress hormones can cause increased risk of health problems such as anxiety, depression, heart disease, weight gain, and memory and concentration problems.


Wake up early

It may seem unreasonable to deprive yourself of sleep, but giving yourself an extra 15 to 20 minutes before you head out the door will leave you feeling a lot more refreshed and less frazzled. A lot of people shoot out into their days like a rocket ship and it never gets better from there, so it is important to center yourself before you head out.

Consider that caffeine takes 20 minutes to be metabolized for you to feel its effect. During that time, think about your goals for the day or read something inspirational. You might find that your normally crazy day goes a little smoother.

Find a soothing place

Research suggests that warm colors like red excite you and cooler, muted colors like blue, green, or grey relax you, but surrounding yourself in any color you find soothing can help bring on calm emotions. The theory behind the use of color therapy is that colors enter the eyes, which then send messages along the nerve pathways to the area of the brain that regulates emotion. So whether it’s a certain colorful room in your home or a spare room at work during your rest break, it’s a good idea to go take yourself there when all seems too much to handle.

cabeadbabhddag-14-ways-to-quickly-relieve-stress-83228Clear out unusable objects

If you’re like the majority of people that can find nothing worse than clearing out when they’re already experiencing a horrible day then you must read on! Truth is, tidying up your home can also tidy up your mind. Having a mindset of de-cluttering helps to manage stress, purging unused items gives a sense of order to your physical environment, which helps you feel calmer about your stressors.

Visualize your stressful thoughts

Your coworker have left outstanding amounts of work behind. Your husband/wife forgot to walk the dog. When it’s just that kind of day, try thought diffusion, a sort of visual mindfulness meditation, a way to sweep out whatever is buzzing around unhelpfully in your head.


  • Here’s how it works: Imagine your thoughts are like clouds in the sky, and let them drift by above you. When you begin to observe your thoughts as mental objects that simply come and go, they become less unpleasant, less threatening and less emotionally powerful.

Woman Singing 2003

Sing your problems away

As sound reverberates through the body, your mind relaxes, whether singing in a chorus or meditatively chanting. Singing has even been found to reduce levels of cortisol (the stress hormone) in the body, and one case study revealed that singing prior to surgery reduced blood pressure.  However, we don’t all enjoy the sound of our voices, so if you’re not ready to belt out a classic track in the office or an empty room. Start by singing in the shower. Singing tunes you love brings up positive memories and takes your mind off the stressors.


Start a physical hobby

What stress does to someone’s mind is flood it with thoughts, all of these thoughts knock about your head and they make you feel overwhelmed. The best way to stop the stress spiral is by refocusing your mind on one thought, and it doesn’t always have to be the gym: Gardening focuses you on the physical feeling of the soil that you can hold in your hands. Knitting concentrates your thoughts on the predictability of loops of yarn. The important thing is that you channel your energy into one thing and this, in turn, relaxes your mind by eliminating all of the distracting stresses.


And Breath!

No matter if you’re checking out in the supermarket or waiting to pick up your kids from school, take one minute to breathe deeply through your nose into your abdomen. Breathing fully and deeply into the abdomen brings about a sense of calm because more oxygen is getting delivered to the body’s cells, which helps the body to relax. This type of breathing also helps to increase what is known as the ‘relaxation response,’ which is connected to the parasympathetic nervous system involved with calming the body.

thank_you_note_1659815614Write mental thank you notes

Before stress gets worse, it’s so important to learn to harness your thoughts, for example, when you notice the tension in your body, picture a big red stop sign. Immediately switch your thinking to start mentally focusing on all the things you are grateful for. Look around you to include anything you find beautiful or pleasant in your present moment. Store a gratitude list on your smartphone so you can reference it any time things get hectic. Why not place smiley post it notes with messages that will make you smile when you find.

Feel your pressure points

You’re stuck in traffic and feeling like you’re going to explode. Time to try pressure point therapy, a form of acupuncture you can practice on your own. Pressure to certain points on the body can help to release muscular tension and promote blood circulation. It’s easiest to start with the Third Eye Point, the space between your eyebrows where the bridge of your nose meets your forehead. Place your middle and index finger on it and hold the position for one to two minutes using gentle to firm pressure.

images-2Smell the roses

It is believed that once inhaled, the scents alter the mood by stimulating various parts of the brain associated with emotion. Try a scent that reminds you of nature, add a few drops of your favorite scent or coconut oil in your bathtub so that the scent can linger longer once you’ve come out of your candlelit relaxing experience. Smells like salt water or fresh rain are especially calming because they help you to think of life outside of your current stressor.

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