It’s no secret that in today’s fast-paced world, stress can quickly take over and take its toll on both our physical and mental health. Thankfully, scientists have studied the effects of stress and have developed strategies for de-stressing in an effort to help us feel more relaxed and rejuvenated in less than 10 minutes. From thanking your way to relaxation to incorporating mindfulness into your day, here’s a look at the science of de-stressing and how to unwind in 10 minutes or less.
1. Thank Your Way to Relaxation
According to a study published by the journal Emotion, expressing gratitude can be a powerful way to reduce stress. In the study, researchers looked at the effects of daily gratitude journaling on stress levels and found that those who wrote down a list of things they were thankful for each day experienced a significant decrease in their levels of stress. While this tactic may seem too simple to make a meaningful impact, the results speak for themselves – so why not give gratitude journaling a try and see how it works for you?
2. Take in Some Fresh Air
Heading outdoors for a few minutes can be a great way to take your mind off of whatever is causing your stress, as well as provide you with some much-needed fresh air. Research has found that being outside in nature can reduce stress and improve your mental wellbeing, as well as reduce feelings of loneliness and depression. So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed, take a quick walk around the block or spend some time in your local park – you may be surprised at how much better you feel afterwards.
3. Use Visualization Techniques
Visualization techniques can be a great way to put yourself in a more relaxed state. Numerous studies have found that the practice of visualizing yourself in a peaceful environment can help reduce stress levels and improve your overall wellbeing. To get started, simply close your eyes, focus on your breathing and visualize yourself in a calming setting, such as a beach or a meadow.
4. Incorporate Mindfulness into Your Day
Mindfulness is a form of meditation that focuses on being fully aware of the present moment, without judging or evaluating it. Research has found that mindfulness can reduce stress, improve mental focus and even help to improve physical health. To incorporate mindfulness into your day, try to set aside a few minutes each day for a quick meditation session – you can even download a mindfulness app to help guide you through the process.
5. Reach Out
Research has found that connecting with others can be a great way to reduce stress. Talking to a friend or a family member can not only help take your mind off of whatever is stressing you out, but it can also provide you with some much-needed emotional support. So, whether it’s catching up with a friend over the phone, sending a quick text to a loved one or even chatting with a co-worker, making an effort to connect with those around you can make a big difference in how you’re feeling.
6. Take Some Deep Breaths
Taking some deep breaths is one of the quickest and easiest ways to reduce stress. Research has found that deep breathing can help to reduce stress levels and improve focus, as well as lower blood pressure. To get started, simply sit in a comfortable position and take 10 deep breaths, focusing on taking in and exhaling slowly.
Stress can take its toll on both our physical and mental health, but fortunately, there are strategies that can help us to relax and unwind in 10 minutes or less. From gratitude journaling to deep breathing, try out these techniques today and see how they work for you.