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Easy Stress Relief: 5 Ways To Decompress In Just 5 Minutes

Let’s face it- life is busy. Hectic. Non-stop. Daunting. Overwhelming. For most, stress is something that is a constant in life. So how exactly can we calm down, regroup, recharge given that most of us probably only have about five minutes max to accomplish a sense of (brief) peace.. Here’s how! Below are five stress-relief activities to bring you back to Zen.

1. Enjoy A Mindful Snack

The simple act of eating a healthy snack can be both energizing and de-stressing. Focus on the textures and flavors of the food, and don’t get distracted by your phone, computer or even a friend. Try a small piece of dark chocolate, associated with reducing the levels of stress hormones in the body. You may also want to accompany your snack with a cup of black tea, which could help cortisol levels rebound more quickly after being triggered by a stressful thought or event. “[Mindful eating] slows you down, makes you more aware of portion sizes and helps you get out of negative, automatic food habits like overeating while watching your favorite TV show,” psychologist Dr. Susan Albers writes on the Huffington Post.

2. Do A Short Walking Meditation

Even if you’re on a busy city street, you can still take advantage of the stress-relieving benefits of walking. Leave stressful thoughts at home or at your desk, and try to clear your mind while you stroll around the block for five minutes. To get even more of a de-stressing benefit, follow a short guided walking meditation.

3. Try Some Heart-Opening Stretches

When you’re starting to feel overwhelmed at work or home, take five minutes to find a quiet, out-of-the-way space to do some gentle heart-opening stretches. Try a few yoga poses targeting the chest and shoulders to release physical and psychological tension. Heart-opening postures can help facilitate emotional release and mitigate the negative effects of sitting for too long, according to therapist and pilates instructor Tara Fass.

4. Use Visualization In A ‘Journey Meditation’

Try a relaxing visualization to quiet your mind and promote feelings of calm. Find a restful place where you can sit, and close your eyes. Once you’re comfortable, imagine a peaceful location, whether it’s a beautiful English garden or a remote tropical isle. Spend five minutes visualizing the sensations you would experience in this place, and when negative thoughts or worries arise, try to acknowledge and then release them.

5. Talk To A Friend

Instead of instant-messaging a friend or family member, step away from your desk and go talk to someone you care about in person or over the phone. Talking to a loved one can help induce the body’s “relaxation response,” psychologist Deborah Rozman, Ph.D., tells WebMD.
Article written by GUADS staff member Chelsea, with help from Huffington Post

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