4 Stress-Relieving Activities That Take 5 Minutes or Less
The beauty of these five stress-relieving activities is that they’re readily accessible;. They only take a little time to make a difference, and that might make all the difference in your day.
If you can spare five minutes for renewed peace of mind, you’ll probably gain those minutes right back and then some.
4 Simple Stress-Relieving Activities for Quick & Real Comebacks
1. Tapping (aka EFT)
Tapping is also known as EFT or Emotional Freedom Technique. It’s a scientifically-backed way to reduce stress by sending signals to the nervous system. Widespread testimonials praise this stress-relieving method for helping with everything from losing weight, improving health, and increasing financial abundance.
I’ve just started getting into tapping and every single time I finish a meditation, I feel better. Like, a LOT better. Enough to cast aside my worry so I can move forward and be productive about what was keeping me stuck.
I share a tapping sequence for inner peace and better sleep in my book Sleep Rituals: 100 Practices for a Deep and Peaceful Sleep. Get your copy for that and 99 other practices for less stress and more living.
2. This 4-minute Meditation for Letting Go
A 4-minute meditation that really works is proof that even the busiest person (like the mom with five kids who created it) can calm down and redirect before anxiety and overwhelm gets to rule. I shared one of her 4-minute meditations here specifically for anxiety and overwhelm.
Here’s another one that I like from the book You Have 4 Minutes to Change Your Life.
This is called “You Have 4 Minutes to Let It Go:”
Use this meditation when you feel like you’re ready to explode (even if you’re not, you can practice this so you’re prepared for those times). Wherever you are, whatever stance you want to take, this is an in-the-moment (thus practical) kind of meditation.
- Take a moment to draw attention to your breath. Follow its path as it enters and exits your body—in through your nose and out through your mouth. Don’t force anything; just breath normally.
- Match this one-word mantra to your breath: “Release.” Inhale, and exhale while saying “release” either out loud or silently.
- Repeat for ten full breath cycles (ten inhales and ten exhales) or until your breathing has slowed to a comfortable pace.
- Picture a soda bottle with the cap tightly closed. Notice the tiny bubbles rising to escape, and imagine you’re the bottle with bubbles of pressure wanting to break free.
- Now replace your mantra with this visual: with each exhale, see the cap of the soda bottle twisting just enough to let a little bit of “fizz” out. Inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth. Each exhale loosens the cap, releasing a bit of pressure. Do this until no more bubbles remain and it’s safe to take the cap off.
- To seal your practice, repeat this final mantra for three full breath cycles (three inhales and three exhales) either out loud or silently: “It isn’t my job to be in control. I accept what is.”
3. SODA: Stop; Observe; Detach; Awaken
Developed by an internationally recognized meditation expert and coach, this is another one of those stress-relieving activities that plants you deeper in the moment — so deep that you actually rise above it.
The four steps are:
- Stop: Actually telling yourself to stop so you actually stop
- Observe: Imagine a bigger version of yourself (literally)
- Detach: Put distance between you and the stimulus
- Awaken: Ask yourself, “What would the best version of me do?”
It's not your job to be in control.
4. Progressive Muscle Relaxation
This is simple (the best!) and it really works. In some cases, it’s recommended to help patients who suffer from mild to moderate depression and anxiety (as a complementary practice, and depending on the severity of one’s condition).
- Start with a few deep breaths, inhaling through your nose and exhaling through your mouth. Repeat 3-5 breath cycles.
- Focus your attention on your toes (you’ll work your way up to your face, focusing on one muscle group at a time).
- Tighten your foot muscles as much as you can for a few deep breaths and then slowly release.
- Make your way up to your face, stopping for a few breaths to tighten and relax each muscle in your body along the way. Include your legs, buttocks, abdomen, back, chest, shoulders, and facial muscles.
- End with a few deep breaths.
. . .
Which of these stress-relieving activities do you want to try next?
Tell me in the comments. I read every single one, and I’d love to know!
P.S. Need to stop taking stress to bed with you? Get my book Sleep Rituals for 100 at-home practices that are all about you + the present moment. There's a whole chapter with meditations, and another with breathing exercises that you can use anytime. To feel better. To make your life feel like it's yours.
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