Being able to relax is important for our overall wellbeing and has been linked in new research to more than just feeling well. It’s vital for our heart health. Use these 10 simple ways to relax in 5 minutes or less.
The temptation to work at all hours is making home more stressful than the office, according to scientific research that has for the first time linked the habit of being always available with cardiovascular disease.
More than half of City workers are more stressed at home than at work as they experience a split personality from trying to act as if they were off-duty while surreptitiously thinking about their jobs, according to a scientific study backed by AXA PPP.
The researchers, who used wrist monitors to measure changing heart rates, believe the extra stress comes from the “spikes” of dealing with office problems when off-duty.
Here are 10 ways to simply relax in 5 minutes or less.
- Munch on a crunchy healthy snack. Sometimes there’s nothing more satisfying than munching away on a snack when we’re stressed—one study found stressed adults craved crunchy and salty snacks more than usual. But that salty crunch doesn’t have to be so sugary—a handful of trail mix or a bag of celery sticks will work just as well. The mindfulness experience of chewing things that are of different textures can also help you get in the zone and tune out.
- Meditation can be done anywhere —five minutes of peace is all it takes to reap the benefits of meditation. There’s evidence that just two quick bouts of silent meditation per day can relieve stress and depression. Find a comfortable spot in a quiet place, concentrate on your breath, and feel those anxieties start to disappear.
- Settle down with a good book and a hot drink – nothing more magical than having a great read to take us a away and get lost in. An antidote to modern living, a real book with a warm drink can provide a great way to get away from the daily stresses and relax.
- Counting backward – just like the breath it provides an anchor which is helping us to focus on something and away from our thoughts.
- Use creative visualisation – The door opens – it’s Ryan Gosling (or Elizabeth Banks), and he/she wants to know if you’ll marry him/her. “Yes!” you shout and then—sorry, time’s up. These little daydreams, also known as “creative visualization,” involve thinking of something that makes us feel happy. It’s an instant mood boost on hectic days when we’re feeling tense. The brain does not distinguish between real and imaginary events in its response, so it’s a clever way to cheat our way to happier self.
- Give yourself a quick hand massage – a hand massage for instant relaxation that calms a pounding heart. Massages can be especially helpful for people who spend a lot of time typing on a keyboard. Hands in general can carry a lot of tension so a little TLC can go a long way.
- Squeeze a stress ball – the clue is in the name! A stress ball is an easy and super portable way to simply relieve tension.
- Exercise – whether it’s yoga, a quick stretch or a walk around the block, exercise is a proven way to release stress and increase happy hormones.
- Write it down – every night get into the habit of writing down what you have to do the next day. A simple and super easy way to keep organised and release brain power occupied with remembering what you have to do.
- Dance – dancing is one of the best forms of exercise and you get to listen to your favourite music! Whether out on the dance floor or simply at home on your own, dancing helps us release happy hormones, get our bodies moving and is an awesome way to switch off.