How to Kick Stress in 20 Minutes or Less
Help yourself relax almost anywhere.
Stress can manifest itself in numerous ways, both in the longterm and short. Whether you’re having a tough time unwinding after a long week, or you’re 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 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
Place one hand an inch about your belly button. Inhale for a count of four. Your belly should expand by about an inch.
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, try eating one square mindfully, without any distraction.
3 minutes: Stare at a picture of a snowflake
Or a nautilus shell, fern branch, or lightening 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 activity outdoors has been shown to boost mood and energy.