Everyone should have a list of 5-minute stress busters they can turn to. If you can find just five precious minutes to relieve some pressure, you stand a good chance of the stress dissipating before it turns into a major stress-fest. And stopping what you’re doing for five minutes will cost you less time in the long run anyway. Let stress take hold and you become less productive, begin procrastinating, and just generally waste time because you’re unfocused. Try out some of these five minute stress busters and keep yourself on track with whatever your priority is.
1. Drink Green Tea
One of the best and probably the simplest five minute stress busters is to drink green tea. Every sip of green tea will feel soothing because it is a perfect source of L-Theanine, which is a chemical that gives you the mental strength to overcome anger. When you don't want to turn purple with rage, consider having a cup of calming green tea to feel great.
2. Eat Some Chocolate
Even if you're not a huge fan of chocolate, you can have just a square of it to regulate levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Make sure it's dark chocolate as that is better for relieving stress and stabilizing your metabolism.
3. Have Some Honey
Slurping some honey can also be among some of the most effective 5-minute stress busters. The theory is simple – try honey and suppress your stress with sweetness. Honey works as an antibiotic and provides compounds that play a big role in reducing inflammation in the brain, helping fight anxiety.
4. Chew Gum
One of the simplest and probably the cheapest 5-minute stress busters is to chew gum. Just get a stick of gum in fruity, minty, or another flavor and chew it for a few minutes – it will work wonders to lower cortisol levels and reduce stress.
You already knew this was coming some time right? You don't have to go on a retreat to the mountains. Find a quiet place in your home or workplace and concentrate on your breathing for a few minutes to feel that negative energy flowing out of your system.
6. Lay Your Head on a Pillow
You don't always need to take a nap to relax your nerves – you will be on the road to relaxation simply by laying your head on a pillow or a cushion if you're in the middle of the office. While resting your head on a pillow, you can yield better results simply by using certain visualization techniques. Just imagine your pillow is a sponge with magical powers to suck up all your stress.
7. Breathe Correctly
It may sound ridiculously simple and of no use, but it's not. Many people don't realize that by changing their breathing pattern, they can actually control their body and mind. Take slow, deep breaths and you will end up lowering your blood pressure as well as your heart rate. To relieve anxiety, try taking a long breath from one nostril and let it out from the other. This yogic method will work wonders to balance the mind and body.
8. Count Backwards
It's definitely an interesting way of relaxing your nerves; in fact, it's among the simplest ways to relax in 5 minutes. All you have to do is count backwards, and you don't have to start from 100 either. Slowly count to ten and then go back to one again. This is a simple way of occupy your mind, and it will stop thinking about other stressful things in your life.
9. Try a Hand Massage
No, you don't need a professional masseuse for this – use your one hand to massage the other. Start kneading the base of your thumb – massaging this muscle will help relieve stress in the neck, shoulders, and scalp. You may want to use a luxurious hand lotion for better effects.
10. Try Acupressure
Just like massage, acupressure works amazingly well to balance the circulation of energies and fluids in your body. You have to use your forefinger and thumb to massage different soft areas between the thumb and index finger of your other hand – try lavender oil for additional relaxation.
11. Use a Stress Ball
Many people have received positive benefits from using a stress ball. The process is simple – you simply need to squeeze a stress ball in situations when you badly want to strangle the driver in the next lane, your coworker, or someone else. I used to have a foam brick that I could chuck around!
12. Run a Brush through Your Hair
It may come as a surprise to many, but you can actually relax your nerves through repetitive motions, like brushing your hair, knitting, washing dishes, and so on. Doing this doesn't take a lot of time, and that's why it's among the best ways to relax in 5 minutes.
13. Have Some 'Me' Time
It is another easy-to-do, hassle-free 5-minute stress reliever, and all you have to do is take a break and spend some time alone. This will go a long way in helping you collect your thoughts and getting rid of negative energies. You can even set up a room with a relaxing chair and soothing lights, and go there when you want to spend some time with your true self.
14. Stare out the Window
You can trust this as one of the five-minute stress busters that will produce instant results. You simply need to look outside the window and admire the natural beauty. You will feel relaxed by staring out the window and looking at public parks, trees, and other nature scenes. You may even consider heading outside for a few minutes if it is sunny out there – it will lift your spirits and get you out of a funk.
15. Get Clutter-Free
Have you ever thought those tape dispensers, poorly organized papers, and deformed paperclips may be contributing to depression and stress? If you're feeling anxious, make sure to get organized, and start by reorganizing your desk. If it’s going to take longer than five minutes just break it down into five minute sessions.
You don't have to be an expert to learn the right way to stretch. A simple chest-opening stretch or a shoulder rollout will work amazingly well to relieve muscle tension and make you feel more relaxed.
17. Do Some Yoga
You can find many yoga poses you can try to relieve tension and stress. Lying on the floor and putting your feet up against the wall improves blood circulation, relieves muscle tension, and creates peace of mind.
18. Run for a Few Minutes
Staying physically active is a good way of beating stress, and running for a few minutes is always one of the easiest five-minute stress busters. Running will get those endorphins flowing, making it easier to put up a fight against stress. If you can’t get outside for a run, find somewhere quiet you can run on the spot undisturbed for five minutes.
19. Try a Quick Walk
At times, it becomes difficult to concentrate on something – this happens when you feel anxious. You can resolve this issue simply by taking short, quick walk. A stroll around the block will only take five minutes and will clear your head.
20. Play Your Favorite Song
Whether you like Blondie, Beyonce, or the Biebster, just play it. Sometimes, listening to your favorite song will help relax your nerves, and if you want better results, sing it yourself. Listening to your favorite tune will create better effects if you do it before bedtime – try classical music for better effects.
Dancing can definitely be one of five-minute stress busters that can work for you. No one can argue the fact that dancing is one effective form of cardio – it improves blood circulation and keeps you from feeling anxious. Some researchers have also found that people feel less stressed out after a few minutes of dancing. Modern dance or the funky chicken style, just pick your dance form and get started!
22. Solve the Puzzle
While it is natural to think that you will feel even confused when doing a crossword puzzle, the reality is different. The catch is that playing brain games is never easy, and you need to concentrate properly to solve the puzzle. When your full concentration is on your puzzle, other things will stop bothering you for a while.
23. Smell Flowers
It might be hard to believe, but it is true that some odors have the power to change your mood. Consider placing a jar full of fresh flowers on your desk – just take a whiff whenever you start to feel anxious. Here, you may also consider taking advantage of aromatherapy – it involves dripping tea tree, lavender, or another essential oil into your palm and taking a long breath to absorb the soothing scents. You will find it a perfect stress buster.
24. Smell the Coffee
Do you feel anxious usually when you wake up in the morning? May be coffee is the answer to your problem. It's not about taking a sip, but it is about smelling it. The smell of coffee can play a role in subduing different stress hormones.
25. Play with Your Pet
Yes, we know you like to cuddle with your boyfriend or girlfriend, but that's definitely not going to help you get out of stress – well not always! Something that will always work is cuddle with your pet. If you're an animal lover, the first sight of your pet will bring smile to your face. The pets will reciprocate love, and that's why spending five minutes snuggling up with a pet will work as an effective stress buster. If you don't have a pet, you may consider getting one, as pets can help ease the pain of social rejection and boost your self-esteem as well.
26. Laugh Your Heart out
It doesn't have to be that difficult, does it? The theory of using laughter as a stress buster is simple: when you laugh, you actually improve your blood flow, which in turn boosts immunity. This will affect your mood positively and keep stress at bay. So, how do you have a fit of hysterics anyway? Keeping a book of jokes in your drawer and reading it whenever you feel anxious is a good start. With the internet becoming ubiquitous, you may even consider going online to check some hilarious videos on video-sharing sites.
27. Talk to a Friend
A friend in need is a friend indeed, and when you are stressed, you need quick help. That's when you call your best friend and share your feelings. Don't keep it all inside – you need to give negative energies the heave-ho and sharing your feelings with a pal is a step in the right direction. In case you don't feel comfortable opening up your heart in front of your friends, you may consider spilling it all to a family member or anyone else you trust.
28. Plan a Vacation
Yes, you don't have enough money yet, but it is not about going on a vacation, it is only about planning it. The combination of warm sand, crashing waves and gentle breeze is sure to take all stress away, and even the idea of paying a visit to such a place will change your mood. It is a great idea to take a short break and use the internet to explore some travel resources to shortlist a few future vacation spots. It doesn't take long to plan, and that's why it is one of the simple and effective five-minute stress busters.
29. Cool Your Wrists
You may have heard tell that some dabs of perfume on your wrists can help cool you down. That’s ok for when you’re merely feeling a little hot. When you’re stressed, the better option is drop cold water on your wrists and also, behind your earlobes. This is because there are major arteries under the skin in these places so cooling here can help calm the whole body. The best way to do this is actually with an ice cube.
Knowing a few five-minute stress busters is to your advantage. They aren’t difficult and for most you don’t need any special equipment. What do you do to relax when you feel stress bubbling?