How can I relax in just a few minutes?
A nice walk, whether it be in the park or another calm place, will calm you down very quickly. If you are feeling stressed at the office, for example, you can take advantage of your lunch hour to get out and walk around a nice area for a while. You only need five minutes to forget about your problems, hear the birds singing, look at some pretty flowers, etc. It can also help you think about something that’s bothering you, because walking helps you step back and reflect.
You’re probably thinking, “but I’m always breathing!” But, in this case, we’re talking about conscious breathing. The first thing you should do to make this happen is pay attention to the air entering your lungs, not merely as a mechanical function that your body carries out so that you can survive. Breathing is a vital force, and it plays a very important role because it nourishes your body, reduces stress levels and allows you to receive more oxygen. If you want to relax, just try breathing deeply (always through your nose). You don’t have to go to a park or out in the middle of a field; you can calm down just by sitting in your office. To help move this process along, close your eyes and get comfortable (sitting, standing, or lying down, however you like). One helpful exercise is to press down on your right nostril and only inhale through the left one. Then alternate and breathe through the right side. This will calm you down very quickly.
Basically, what this means is that you should “daydream,” because this technique is very relaxing. For example, if you are having a hectic day at work, you can try imagining yourself on a Caribbean island drinking from a coconut. Or maybe your idea of peace is being in the woods among trees or flowers. You can also try thinking about your ideal future to reduce your stress levels. However, make sure to pay attention to your reaction to this technique, because sometimes, thinking about wanting to go on vacation or move into the house of your dreams can increase your stress levels. Imagine yourself doing an activity that you love and you’ll surely feel calmer.
Have a snack
An empty stomach can increase your stress level and nervousness. By eating a healthy snack, not only will you feel full, but happy, as well. This happens because there is a significant connection between what happens in your stomach and what the brain perceives. Don’t hurry through your snack, and try to enjoy every bite. Choose healthy foods, such as an apple, a granola bar or a piece of dark chocolate. Avoid eating fatty or sugary foods, because these could have the opposite effect.
Do some gardening
This is an incredibly effective type of therapy for people with high stress levels. In addition to being a source of fresh air that will help improve your breathing, plants help to calm your nerves. You may only have one pot, or you may have a few. Put aside a little time to water your plants, get rid of any weeds, and even talk to them. You will immediately see how your blood pressure starts to come down, as well as your heartbeat.
Get away from the computer
Using the computer for an extended period of time (something that lots of people do) can cause increased stress levels. This, in turn, causes sleep loss, insomnia, depression, sleeping problems, nightmares, headaches, muscle pain, strained vision, etc. As much as you can, try to take five-minute breaks every two hours while you are at the office, and when you get home, don’t just sit in front of the computer (the same goes for the TV). Try not to use the computer for the hour before bedtime, and definitely don’t leave it on if your computer is in your bedroom.
Get in touch with nature
A bit of sunshine, walking on the grass, smelling a flower in its natural habitat or walking on the beach: these can all be extremely relaxing activities. For people who suffer from stress, anxiety or depression, just being in touch with nature can greatly reduce their symptoms. When you are in the city, try to get a bit of “green” time by going to the park, or fill your office up with plants and flowers.
Give yourself a massage
You don’t have to go to a masseuse for an hour-long massage (although it would be great if you could do that on a daily basis, of course). If you are at a point in your day where you feel like you’re going to explode because of all the responsibilities in front of you, just give yourself a little massage. Press down on the spot between your pointer and middle fingers to get rid of heart tension. On the other hand, you can massage the area under your thumb to relax your shoulders and neck. If you have a headache, there’s nothing better than making circles on your temples, and don’t forget to close your eyes.
Listen to music
Music has a calming effect on our mind. But watch out, because we’re not talking about just any genre. We suggest listening to instrumental music, classical music or mantras if you want to calm your nerves. Lots of people choose to listen to these types of music when they go to bed at night. However, you can also choose to listen to one of your favorite songs (try to avoid slow or sad songs) to provoke the secretion of natural hormones that will automatically cause you to relax. You can use headphones to listen to music, or just put it on at a low volume at home, whatever works for you.