We give you 5 ways to destress in 15 minutes or less. It is common practice for our minds to be jumping from one thought to the next while our bodies are actively reacting to these thoughts. When this habit starts to feel unpleasant, our mental state becomes one of anxiety and our bodies can start feeling discomfort. This is when we start feeling stressed.
There are different types of stress. It can be triggered when facing a tight schedule, a heavy workload or when one is assaulted by too many things that need to be acted on from different areas of life. Stress can make one feel overwhelmed and helpless. During these times, maintaining a positive outlook can be challenging but it’s not impossible.
There are many ways to quickly combat stress, especially in the workplace. Stress is primarily a mental state so aside from quieting one’s mind, relaxing one’s body also helps to calm down a stressed mind. Here are some things you can do to destress in 15 minutes or less.
1. Rest Your Eyes
When we see a lot of things in front of us that we need to act on, this puts us in an anxious state of mind. To stop ourselves from being overwhelmed, it is helpful to close our eyes and rest them for a few minutes. Darkness can also have a calming effect on the mind.
A good exercise to do is to rub your hands together to warm them up. Then apply the palms of both hands on top of each closed eye and press gently for 15 to 20 minutes. Don’t press too hard though. Just enough to comfortably warm your eyes. Rub your palms again to warm them up while you keep your eyes closed and repeat as needed.
Another way to do to rest your eyes is to look through a window with a distant view. Gaze at this view for at least 15 to 20 minutes as you try to breath deeply. Be sure to sit in a relaxing position to do this or stand in front of the window.
2. Focus on Your Breathing
For this activity, it is also helpful to close your eyes while regulating your breath to help you focus. You can do this sitting or lying down. This exercise can also be a form of meditation and is a great way to destress.
Put your hands on your abdomen to help you focus. Inhale deeply and exhale slowly through your nose, feeling your abdomen contract and expand as you do so. This is the proper way to breathe.
You can also try inhaling through your nose and exhaling through your mouth. Exhale completely using your month. Then close your mouth and let your tongue touch the roof of your mouth. Inhale through your nose for 4 counts, hold your breath for 7 counts, then exhale for 8 counts. Repeat until you feel relaxed.
3. Self Massage
Massages can be helpful to relax yourself. You can give yourself a neck and head massage, a hand massage or a foot massage while sitting down. It only takes a few minutes and it’s easy to do. It’s one of the most pleasant ways to destress.
Here some videos you can follow and practice with to give yourself a good massage.
- Ear, Jaw & Scalp Massage
- Quick Neck Massage
- Longer Neck Massage
- Shoulder Massage
- Hand Massage
- Foot Massage
4. Stretching Exercises
You can do stretching exercises even while sitting or you can stand in front of your work desk to do some stretches. You can also find a wall to support yourself as you stretch.
Start from your neck to your feet. Stretch each part for 8 counts on each side. You can use your chair or desk for support for standing exercises. A good way to stretch the soles of your feet is to try and move a tennis ball or a similar-sized round object by touching it with the bottom of your foot.
Here’s a good stretching exercise to follow along. You might look silly while doing this if you’re doing it alone so try to ask an officemate to partner up with. Otherwise, you can always just grin at the questioning looks you may get from your colleagues and bear it.
5. Take a Walk
One of the best ways to destress is to get away from the situation. You don’t have to move out of town. Just take a short walk around the block. Try to find the sun, observe your surroundings or count yours steps as you walk to relax your mind. The trick is to find something else for your mind to think about and to get you physically out of a stressful environment. This will help you recalibrate your thinking and revitalize your body to tackle the tasks ahead.
Try out one of these DIY relaxing routines to melt your stress away. Most importantly, never lose your positive attitude to keep stress from piling up on your desk or in your mind.
Updated. First published on Pinoy Smart Living on 2019.01.13.
Feature Image: Original Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash.