Although taking long vacations would be an amazing option to relax and kick off for most of us… Unfortunately, if you’re one of the lucky ones, you probably have a busy life and very limited time and opportunities to do so.
However, you should be able to spare 10 minutes of your time during your day to relax.
There are many ways you can relax in just 10 minutes or less. If you can do a few of them several times a day, (yes – during breaks that you should be taking) you’ll notice dramatic changes in your state of mind & being.
Use these practices to relax in a short period of time:
1/ Entertain yourself
Listen to music you love
I know you’re thinking, I knew that… but the question is do you use it?
Music has an amazing ability to alter our mood.
Its vibration literally changes ours if we let it. Think of songs that always put you in an amazing mood and have them at the ready for whenever you need a pick me up. It’s simple enough trick but it works wonders.
Try it now. If you don’t have the song available right now, you could got to YouTube until you do, there you will be able to easily stream songs to listen right away.
Choose your favourite entertainment
If music isn’t your jam, it’s fine. Just find or chose an activity that can be done in small sessions, and that you really enjoy, and do that. It could be reading, playing an instrument, painting etc…
Ultimately the activity itself doesn’t matter as much as the joy it produces in you. so focus on that and you’ll be golden.
Talk to a friend or make new ones
Call up a friend and if you can do it via video so you can see them.
Face to face is generally better but nowadays, video will have to do.
A few minutes spent chatting with a good friend can really boost your mood and reduce your stress levels right down. You’ll also be maintaining your relationships by keeping in touch regularly. Win-Win-Win!
Spend time with your pets
Did you know having pets not only benefits them but you as well?
They really are a blessing. Most are low maintenance, yet you bring us lots of joy.
If you treat them well, they’ll always be happy to see you.
All you need to do is cuddle up with your furry friend and notice how much better you feel.
Plus, your pet will relish the extra attention.
Don’t have a pet? No worries, borrow one! lol. You could consider getting one or just move on to another relaxing technique
3/ Physically Move
Take a Break and physically move yourself. So you can re-energise, though exercise, change of activity or a change of scenery.
Go for a short walk
Long walks are great to clear your mind,
but if you only have 10 minutes, a short walk will still help a lot in reducing the stress you might be feeling.
Take the time to look at your surroundings as you walk, as if you were exploring a new area. It will keep your mind off your challenges for a few minutes and will become key to shifting your state and feelings.
Eat a chewing gum
I found out recently that chewing gum has been shown to be an effective cortisol reducer, which is the primary stress hormone. Who knew right?
Of course most people like to blow bubbles with them, but the real secret sauce is in the chewing.
So make sure you pack your chopping bags with your favourite brand and flavours so you can chew away whenever you need to. You’ll be lowering your stress and enjoying yourself at the same time.
Sit outside in the sun.
This is a favourite… On a sunny day, go outside if you can.
Take that time to relax for a few minutes on this nice day and enjoy the sun.
I highly recommend finding an empty spot on the grass or a bench.
Lie down if possible and then let each part of your body relax while the sun slowly warms you up. This alone can of be a great mood booster.
Plus you’ll also get the added bonus of a good dose of vitamin D.
There are many benefits to meditating. this is a very ancient technique despite its only recent popularity. But the reason it has been around for thousands of years is because it works, it’s just not practiced enough.
Experts often claim that even just one minute of meditation per hour is enough to gain benefits. And that’s definitely true. You don’t need to be meditating for hours to reap some of the benefits.
Of course the more you do it the better…
There’s a learning curve, i’s not innate for most of us but it is truly powerful when you know how.
If you’re new to meditation, you can start simply with this:
Control your breath
Your breath is one of the few parts of your physiology that you can control.
Purposely taking slower, deeper breaths will help you to relax.
Focus on the sense of your breath as it’s passing through your mouth and nostrils.
It might be helpful to count your breaths if you like however, the amount itself is irrelevant. go as long as you can, put a timer on if it helps, then observe how you are feeling after.
Start small then increase the length overtime.
You can also start engaging your imagination, with visualisations
Imagine a peaceful scene
As our mood follows our thoughts, we need to aim to work on improving our thoughts. Now I’m not judging anyone here. I’m just pointing out that we all tend to not have thoughts that always benefit us.
Since our mood is influenced by our thoughts, it’s only logical to conclude that, if we had nicer thoughts about ourselves. about others & about the situations we find ourselves in, we would be in a better mood. Resulting in a better experience and results to our endeavour and off course less stress which is what we want.
I know that was a mouthful, sorry. Hopefully it made sense.
So go ahead, focus on thinking about pleasant things throughout your day, and you can expect to experience a more enjoyable mood.
Write down everything that worries you.
Journaling is a very powerful tool. Underused in my opinion, but honestly you don’t need a journal to start benefiting from it.
Writing little notes on paper here and there can be a great starting point. It can help you for stress relief too as one way to be less stressed and anxious is to write down what’s bothering you.
This way, you can get it out of your system and down on paper.
Basically, give yourself permission to rant on paper, let it all out.
By externalizing it, you might find that things aren’t quite as bad as you thought or you might just feel better as your frustration lessens after saying your piece.
If you want to relax, choose one or several of these quick practices.
Use them several times a day if you can.
When feeling stressed becomes a regularity, it’s important to do something about it.
You cannot let it go unchecked.
Each day, ten minutes is all it takes and it can be enough to take the edge off your stress levels. See in your calendar where you can take 10 minutes just for you and use them to relax!
For a more permanent solution download “Develop Positive Habits to Reduce Stress“, which outlines habits that you can easily adopt to reduce negative stress in your life. Negative stress or less known as “Distress” not only make you feel miserable all the time, but it’s also, and most importantly, terrible for your health.
As our mood follows our thoughts, we need to aim to work on improving our thoughts to reduce our stressMaria Duckhouse