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8 Ways to Beat Stress in 15 Minutes or Less

Simple stressbusters that may surprise you.

Sep 19, 2019

Has school stressed you out yet?  Do have trouble relaxing when you’re not at school because you feel overwhelmed?  You’re not alone.  You feel that way because when you’re stressed, your body goes in to “fight or flight” mode.  Your blood pressure and adrenaline rise and your heart pounds.  Even though this is normal, you want to try to avoid being constantly stressed.  When you’re constantly in fight or flight mode, you’re at a greater risk of having anxiety, depression, memory and concentration problems, and weight gain due to unhealthy eating.

If you feel like your usual ways of relaxing aren’t cutting it these days, sometimes it helps to try something new.  Try these simple, proven ways to calm down quick.

1. Use color.

What colors soothe you?  When you feel emotionally overloaded, look at something peaceful.  Red is supposed to excite you, and colors like blue, green and grey tend to soothe you.  Fill your room with these colors or paint one wall of your room a tranquil color.  Put a picture of the ocean or something else that relaxes you in your locker.

Surround yourself with soothing colors like blue and green to relax.Surround yourself with soothing colors like blue and green to relax.

2. Visualize.

Did you forget study for a test?  Get into a fight with a friend?  When you’re having this kind of day, you’re most likely having all sorts of negative thoughts swirling around you. Try this:  Close your eyes.  Imagine that each thought is a cloud in the sky, floating above you.  Now watch as each thought drifts by you and floats away.  If you think this sounds dumb, don’t knock it till you try it.  When you view your thoughts as objects that come and go, your brain begins to think of them as less powerful.

Try visualization to calm down.  Put thoughts in clouds and watch them float away.Try visualization to calm down. Put thoughts in clouds and watch them float away.
 

3. Clean out your backpack or locker.

Not exactly a fun and relaxing activity, but studies show that decluttering helps with stress.  You feel like you can tackle your responsibilities more easily when you feel like there is order around you.  Getting rid of stuff you don’t need helps you feel like you’re more in control of your surroundings.  If you have more time, try organizing a larger space like your room.

Stressed at school?  Take a little down time every day to hang out, talk to your friends or family, or hug your dog.Stressed at school? Take a little down time every day to hang out, talk to your friends or family, or hug your dog.

4. Laugh at cat videos (or whatever else you find funny).

Research shows that looking at funny things activates the part of the brain that delivers a calm response.  So, keep those funny videos handy next time you need to destress!

Laugh!  It calms you down.Laugh! It calms you down.

5. Sing in the shower.

Or, belt out a tune wherever your heart desires.  The sound going through your body relaxes your mind.  It doesn’t matter what you sing—Whether the tune is heavy metal or a yoga chant, just sing it like you mean it!  Singing can bring up positive memories and can reduce the stress hormone cortisol.

Music is very calmingMusic is very calming

6. Take 10 deep breaths.  

Put down your homework, turn away from your computer screen, and close your eyes.  Inhale slowly, then exhale slowly.  Repeat until you reach 10 breaths, counting the number of breaths in your head.  Don’t think about anything else, just your inhales and exhales.

Take long slow deep breaths.Take long slow deep breaths.

7. Move for 5 minutes.

Set a timer and stretch or do some other sort of physical activity.  This will bring new oxygen to your muscles, heart and brain, helping you to feel renewed.

Stretching for 5 minutes can help with stress.Stretching for 5 minutes can help with stress.

8. Create an affirmation, or something positive you tell yourself.

Are you an optimist or a pessimist?  Research shows that good things happen to optimists because their positive thinking helps to create more positive things in their lives.  Train your brain to talk kindly and positively to yourself.  When you’re stressed throughout the day, say an affirmation a few times in your head.  Examples of affirmations include: “I’m learning and getting better every day,” “I’m a hard worker,” or “I’ll be so proud of myself if I keep trying.”  You can also think of something you’re grateful for and use that as an affirmation.

Stress can suck the energy out of you, which isn’t convenient when you’re expected to perform well every day at school, on the field, at home, etc.  Aside from these tips, make sure you’re taking a little down time for yourself every day to just hang out, talk to your friends or family, and hug your dog.  It’s time well-spent!

Pick an affirmation and say it to yourself throughout the day to reduce stress.Pick an affirmation and say it to yourself throughout the day to reduce stress.
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Have you tried any of these stressbusters?  What’s your favorite way to destress? Comment below!