We all deal with stress, but certain jobs, family issues, and personal health situations can create chronic stress that makes you forget what it’s like to feel peace.
A therapist can help you learn effective methods for coping with stress long term, but there are some measures you can take right now to reduce your stress levels quickly.
We found 6 things you can do right now to reduce stress. Take 5 minutes and do something nice for yourself!
6 Things You Can Do Right Now to Reduce Stress
1. Do something with your body
You don’t have to go to the gym to get the stress-reducing benefits of exercise. Just get moving and you’ll feel less stressed! Anything that gets your blood pumping will work:
- Put in your headphones and dance to your favorite song
- Do 10 push ups or jumping jacks
- Use your chair to do some exercises
- Take a quick walk around the block
2. Wake up early tomorrow morning
Waking up early tomorrow morning will help you start the day feeling less stressed, get some extra work done ahead of time, or take some time for yourself to be active, enjoy a cup of coffee, or read the news.
Waking up earlier than usual has benefits for your productivity levels as well: Early risers tend to perform better at work than their night owl counterparts.
3. Don’t check your email
If you take a quick break at work and feel tempted to check your email again, don’t! Checking email too often is associated with higher levels of stress. That’s not because the emails we’re reading are intensely stressful–it’s because people who tend to check their email a lot are generally more stressed about work.
If you can refrain from checking your email right now, you can learn to gradually train yourself to check it only as often as you need to. You’ll feel happier.
4. Mindfully meditate for 10 minutes
Don’t let the stereotypical image of meditation scare you away. The practice has lasted thousands of years because it really is effective. Mindful meditation involves deep breathing and a sense of being anchored to your physical body in the present moment. Do it for 10 minutes and you’ll notice feeling less stressed all day long.
Being anchored in the present moment and focusing on the physical body keeps you from focusing on stressful concepts, events, people, and ideas. Learning to meditate mindfully will give you a private mental oasis away from stress wherever you are.
5. Talk to someone
Talking to friends has amazing stress relieving benefits, but so does making new connections with strangers! If you run to the coffee shop or to grab lunch, strike up a conversation with a stranger with the intention of making a new connection. You’ll be left with an uplifted mood and lower stress levels.
Think of the person you’re talking to as a new friend instead of a stranger. If you focus on the connection this way, you’ll be warmer and friendlier than if you considered the interaction as just a “Hello/Goodbye” scenario.
6. Take a nap or lie down for 10 minutes
Getting enough sleep at night is crucial for mental clarity and physical health. Taking naps during the day counts! If you have a few minutes, turn off the lights, put on some background music or white noise, and take a quick nap. If you can’t fall asleep, just lie down for 10 minutes and enjoy the benefits of relaxation.
Arianna Huffington of The Huffington Post insisted on a Nap Room for HuffPost HQ because she so strongly believes in the power of a good nap.