Stress seems almost inevitable in today’s fast-paced world, which is why we have a whole month (National Stress Awareness Month) dedicated to it.
My routine has always been to get proper rest, hang out with friends and family and explore fun and interesting hobbies.
But, if you don’t have that kind of time on a daily basis, here are a few quick ways to de-stress in 12 minutes or less:
1. Dark Chocolate
Yes! Dark chocolate (the kind with more than 70 percent cocoa) is a great stress buster. Dark chocolate fights the stress hormone cortisol, and has an overall relaxing effect on the body.
Chocolate also contains antioxidants called polyphenols, which offer many health benefits. Plus, chocolate helps fight heart disease and lowers the chances of cancer.
I’ll leave it to you to visualize all the wonderful things happening while you bite into a beautiful slab of your favorite brand!
Keep in mind, commercial chocolate products often contain high levels of sugar and fat, so moderation is the key to success here.
The medical community is beginning to pay a lot of attention to the many different ways meditation can physically and mentally benefit us by lowering our stress and tension levels.
There are various short meditations that can instantly de-stress you. If you don’t have the time to take a class at a studio, there are some great online, guided meditations you can try.
Besides relieving stress, meditation also benefits us by promoting emotional well-being, increasing productivity and combating asthma, anxiety disorders and heart disease.
4. Classical Music
Studies have found that classical music can help individuals quickly recover from stressful experiences.
Listening to classical music while working also raises people’s moods and improves work satisfaction.
Classical music also seems to boost IQ scores by a few points, a result called the Mozart effect. But, don’t get too excited because the effect wears off within 15 minutes.
5. Green Tea
Green tea, filled to the brim with the amino acid L-theanine, can also help you shrug off a hard day at work. L-theamine has been extensively studied for its relaxing effects on the human body.
Tea, of course, also contains caffeine, which increases your heart rate and metabolism levels.
That’s not a good thing if you are trying to relax, but the positive effects of L-theamine, in my opinion, offset the negative properties of caffeine.