Quick Stress Relief

There are thousands of ways to deal with stress, but what can you do in mere minutes? Read on and learn how to reduce your stress (in five minutes or less)!

  • Realize when you're stressed and need to take a moment for yourself. Being aware is the first step to change.
  • Figure out if you get over-excited or under-excited when stressed. Your reaction should depend on how you react.
  • Swear if you feel it would help. Blow off your steam somewhere private if you're out in public.
  • Hold a comforting object. It might be a well-loved memento, or just a smooth stone that you can focus on.
  • Find a smell that comforts you. Whether it's a cup of coffee or a lavender-scented cloth, breathe it in and relax.
  • Ask a friend, family member or pet for a hug. Sometimes there's no better stress reliever than loving touch.
  • Organize something-- your desk, your notes, your music-- try to think about only the task at hand for a few moments.
  • Meditate. Sit up straight with your feet flat and close your eyes. Repeat on a positive phrase in your mind.
  • Get a stress ball (or something else you can squeeze). Work out your aggression (or frustration) safely.
  • Work on a crossword for a while. Keep one onhand and pull it out whenever you need a moment.
  • Force your muscles to loosen. If you feel your jaw lock or your back tighten, focus on making them relax.
  • Excuse yourself to the washroom and wash your face. Give yourself a pep-talk too, if needed.
  • Laugh out your stress. Keep a good video, image or song on standby and use it whenever you need it.
  • Brew a cup of green or black tea. Studies show that they lower stress and help relieve anger if enjoyed regularly.
  • Lose yourself in a daydream for a few minutes. Think of a scenario that makes you happy and play it out.
  • Ask for help if you need it. Stress can keep building up, and sometimes you need someone to help guide you out.
  • Eat a small piece of dark chocolate. Focus on the taste, the smell and the feel of it in your hands.
  • Take a break to play a game for a few minutes. Whether it's Temple Run or Solitaire, shift your focus for a few minutes.
  • Breathe slowly and deeply. Put a hand on your stomach and feel it move through your body. Get lost in the rhythm.
  • Wiggle your toes. Focus on the sensation and not on your stress for a minute or two.
  • Get up and move. Find an excuse to get a cup of tea or head to the washroom and pace if you need to!
  • Doodle on a page. Make a flowing design that calms you rather than one that matched your emotions.
  • Be present in the moment. Don't think about what's coming next-- take the time to enjoy the here and now.
  • Moisturize your hands and focus on the movement and smell. Take your time and do it twice if necessary.
  • Rub each of your fingers, one at a time. Relax your thumbs and pop your joints if you feel so inclined.
  • Get yourself a glass of ice-cold water and drink it slowly. Feel it flow through your body.
  • Rub your feet on a golf or tennis ball against the floor. A little foot massage can do wonders.
  • Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react. Think about that and use the power you have to react well.
  • Count backwards. Turns out this childhood trick works! Mix up what you count by (1s, 3s, 6s) and concentrate.
  • Be open to new stress relief ideas, but focus on what works for you. If it doesn't work, move on and try again.