Relaxation is not something that should be seen as a luxury reserved only for people who break their backs with a grueling work schedule. Relaxation is vital to human health and should never be ignored or dismissed as a decadent treat. If you have come to recognize the importance of regular relaxation in your schedule, but are still a bit new to the concept, here are thirteen simple healthy life hacks to help you get relaxed in five minutes or less.
1. Drink Some Green Tea With a Dollop of Honey
There are certain compounds in raw honey that reduce inflammation in the brain, which in turn reduces both anxiety and depression. Combine honey with a piping hot cup of green tea, a great source of L-Theanine (the chemical that relieves feelings of anger), and you have yourself a winning (and tasty) relaxation option!
2. Nosh on a Mango
Need to reduce your stress levels fast? Science says, “nosh on a mango.” The compound in this delectable fruit, linalool, is a great resource that will help combat stress. So the next time you are about to head into a heated work meeting or a tense presentation, eat a juicy mango beforehand.
3. Get Out Your Yoga Mat
Or yoga towel. Or regular towel. Or just use the bare earth or floor in your home. Practicing a few yoga poses (particularly the legs-up-the-wall pose) will play a huge role in instantly relieving feelings of stress and anxiety. Not only that, regular yoga practice–even just fifteen minutes a day–is one of the best ways to reduce stress and anxiety long-term. Start your morning off with a few minutes of yoga and see how differently your day goes.
4. Go For a Brisk Walk
Fewer things are better for the mind, body, and soul than getting on your feet and putting them to good use. If you are overwhelmed with a work deadline or a school project, the best thing you can do is literally walk away from it for a few minutes. You will be amazed at how quickly your stress levels go down and how much clarity you get after a simple walk. Whether you hit some wooded trails, walk the track at school, or just walk around your block, getting in some light exercise in the form of walking will instantly put you in a better mood and have you feeling more at peace.
5. Go Barefoot
Kick off your boots (or heels, or sneakers, or whatever it is you are wearing) as often as possible–and not just inside your home. So long as you are in a clean area that is safe from debris, such as your own backyard, go barefoot. Soak your bare feet in the cool dirt and lush green grass. This simple practice doesn’t just get you as close to earth as physically possible, it offers plenty of health benefits, including an enhanced state of relaxation and a boost of energy. So the next time you are hit with a wave of anxiety or you are feeling extra stressed about a work project, walk around outside barefoot or try going for a barefoot run.
6. Write in a Journal
You know why the elusive “they” (whoever they are) tell you to “write a letter” when you are mad at someone? Because it is one of the most effective ways to get all of your frustrations out and articulate the emotions you are feeling without scathing the person you are mad at or saying something hurtful that you cannot take back. This technique works even if you aren’t mad at anybody and just need a cathartic outlet. If you catch yourself in a certain mood or are particularly anxious, write it all down. It’s amazing how something as simple as the act of writing can alter your mind and put you in a relaxed state.
7. Practice Gratitude
Particularly when you are feeling stressed or as if there is nothing you could be thankful for, you should take a few minutes to reflect on the blessings in your life and express gratitude for them. Making the practice of gratitude a morning ritual is an excellent way to get off on the right foot for the entire day and keep you in a state of mental clarity and inner peace. But, if you are already feeling a bit tense and anxious, pause for a minute and list the things in your life that you are grateful for.
8. Check Your Breathing
When you are feeling tense or angry, often you will not be breathing correctly. The next time you are feeling extra stressed, check your breathing. Take a few moments to practice some deep inhalations and exhalations. Close your eyes and focus on nothing but your breathing, in order to get more oxygen flowing to the brain and promote greater relaxation throughout your body.
9. Grab a Stress Ball
This is a great option for people who are extra fidgety. If you need a mini stress reliever while you are working, grab a stress ball. Using this at your desk or anywhere at work will quickly distract you from the tension you are experiencing and help alleviate your stress.
10. Get Some Sun
Maybe not a full-on tan, but even just a few minutes in the sun will quickly melt your tension and put you in a relaxed state. Studies have shown that people who suffer from depression find some relief from bright lights. So if you are experiencing a case of the blues, get outside in the sunshine to lift your spirits and let your cares drift away.
While it may not be socially acceptable to break out in dance at The Home Depot or in your office, you can literally dance off some of your stress in the privacy of your own home. As silly as it might sound, putting on your favorite song and dancing (even if you think you can’t dance) is a great way to put you in a better mood and help you forget the things that are worrying you.
12. Sniff Some Essential Oils
Aromatherapy is a form a therapy in which you take plant extracts with different scents and use them for healing purposes. If you need help sleeping or are looking for something to make you feel calm during the day, inhale some essential oils or apply them topically. Lavender works particularly well for relaxation. So the next time you are overwhelmed, keep those lavender oils handy or invest in an essential oils diffuser to keep your entire home smelling sweet, while simultaneously melting your stress away.
13. Coffee Everything
You don’t have to be a coffee drinker to get some of the benefits that coffee has to offer. Studies show that even just the smell of coffee is enough to reduce stress hormones. Start your day off with a cup of Joe (or just sniff some coffee), and keep the stress levels down for the rest of the day.
Looking for more healthy life hacks that will get you relaxed? Contact us today!