Tips to Kick Stress in 20 Minutes or Less

Help yourself relax almost anywhere.

Stress can manifest itself in numerous ways, both in the long term and short. Whether you're having a tough time unwinding after a long week or preparing for a big presentation, too much exposure to stress hormones can put you at risk for certain health problems such as anxiety and depression.

But if you equip yourself with effective stress busters, you can help yourself relax almost anywhere. Try one of these quick and easy methods, which will help you beat stress depending on how much time you have to spare. Watch the video for the expert-recommended tips.

Don't have time to watch? Read the full transcript:

1 Minute: Breathe Fully

Place one hand an inch about your belly button. Inhale for a count of four. Your belly should expand by about an inch. Exhale for a count of four and your belly should move inward.

2 Minutes: Eat a Little Chocolate

One study found that eating 1.4 oz. of dark chocolate a day for two weeks helped reduce stress hormones. Or, you can try eating one square mindfully, without any distraction.

3 Minutes: Stare at a Picture of a Snowflake

Or, focus on an image of a nautilus shell, fern branch, or lightning strike. Their fractal patterns can help your mind unwind.

10 Minutes: Make Art

One study found that arts and crafts helped relax people who were caring for cancer-stricken relatives. Try an adult coloring book.

15 Minutes: Brew Some Tea

Green, black, or chamomile tea all show promise in relieving stress symptoms.

20 Minutes: Get Outside

Taking a walk can increase your levels of norepinephrine, a chemical that helps the brain deal with stress. Also, doing light activities outdoors has been shown to boost mood and energy.

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