How to de-stress in under 10 minutes

Stress is extremely common. Most people experience stress at some point in their life. The stress response happens when we perceive there to be some kind of challenge or threat we have to face. The response prepares your body to do one of two things: confront the threat or run away from it. This is generally useful and improves our ability to perform in challenging situations, the problem comes when we face what we perceive as constant overwhelming threats or when we are not challenged at all.

In some cases, lack of stress can mean you are under-stimulated whereas if you are feeling stressed for long periods of time, it can begin to negatively affect your health ranging from headaches, stroke, depression, heart problems, skin problems, anxiety, stomach problems and others.

There are various different ways you can de-stress fast when you are on the go. Here are our favourites:

  • Breathe. An extremely beneficial way to de-stress is by using breathing exercises, this includes different deep breathing techniques. Deep breathing allows more oxygen to your brain, ensuring you think clearer. It also slows your heart rate which in turns makes you feel less anxious and more in control. This can be done in a matter of minutes. The most important aspects of the exercise are to do it in 4 stages and to breathe with your belly. The for stages are: breathe in for a few seconds, hold for a few seconds, breathe out for a few seconds, hold for a few seconds, then repeat. 3 minutes will be effective in reducing your stress levels.
  • Deep muscle relaxation. Deep muscle relaxation, otherwise known as progressive muscle relaxation is an effective way of calming down. It works by tensing each muscle and then relaxing. It’s quick and easy to do. It works by using the connection that exists between your body and your mind. In the same way emotional tension translates into muscle tension, muscle relaxation results in stress reduction.
  • Chew gum. Chewing gum may seem like a nervous habit, but it has been the subject of research for a while in anxiety management. The jury is still out but there are a few studies that suggest that chewing gum might increase heart rate variability (a trait associated with a greater ability to cope with stress) and it might improve subjective anxiety levels. At the very least it can be a distraction / self stimulation / self-soothing technique.
  • Meditate. Meditation on a daily basis, you learn the ability to relax yourself anywhere and anytime. Meditation is used to build resilience and prevent stress as well as helping you lower your stress levels. When you are stressed, your heart rate is relatively high and so by meditating this lowers your heart rate, making you feel more relaxed.
  • Listen to soothing music, sing and dance. Classical musical in particular has been shown to lower your blood pressure, slow down your purse and reduce stress hormones, all in turn making you calmer and less stressed in an extremely short amount of time. Singing is a very engaging way to participate in music. It can serve as a potent distraction technique. Dancing is another very engaging way to participate in music and it has the added benefit of being a form of exercise, which has by itself good effects on anxiety.
  • Take time out. Taking a five minute break from whatever you’re doing will help to calm you down. The best form of break combines it with light exercise. Go for a short walk around the office. Once you step away from what is stressing you out, you should feel instantly better and able to return with a clearer, more relaxed mind-set.

If you would like to give meditation, deep breathing exercises, deep muscle relaxation and more a go, you can by downloading Feel stress free- It will allow you to complete these techniques on the go, for as long as you want.

Sam GlassComment