A day trip to a spa or a week-long vacation to an exotic location would do wonders to help you switch off from the stress of the daily grind. But what can you do to relax your mind and body right now? Here are some of the best ways to reduce stress in 60 seconds or less.
Laughter stimulates your vital organs by boosting your intake of oxygen-rich air and boosts your mood by encouraging your brain to release “feel-good” chemicals called endorphins.
Need some help?
The Factor 75 team prescribes a healthy dose of laughter daily. These are our favorites:
- Basically any sketch by Key & Peele (but especially this one and this one)
- Fan of FOD? Get a load of their HOF! Funny or Die Hall of Fame
- Instagramers - go on a double tap free-for-all with side-splitting Texts From Your Ex and Tinder Nightmares
According to researchers from Swinburne University in Australia, chewing gum may improve your alertness and lower your stress levels. So go to chomptown on that DoubleMint. Just make sure you stick to sugar-free varieties to keep your dentist's stress level to a minimum, too.
Practice the Acupressure Press
Use your index and middle fingers to gently press down on the indentation at the center of your breast bone, a pressure point known as the Sea of Tranquility. Practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine believe that applying pressure to this spot helps restore the flow of vital energy, called qi, throughout the body. However, others attribute its positive effects to other factors, such as improved blood flow, reduced muscle tension, and endorphin release (a natural pain reliever).
Get a Hug
Hugging a loved one won’t just strengthen the emotional bond between the two of you—it has several physical benefits, too. Your brain releases a hormone called oxytocin into your bloodstream. Oxytocin counteracts the effects of cortisol, a hormone produced by your body in response to stress.
Put Your Feet Up
Putting your feet up can be almost as reinvigorating as taking a nap. Lie on the floor with your bum an inch or two away from a wall and extend your legs so that your heels rest on the wall. Place your arms alongside your torso, with your palms facing down towards the floor, and hold for 60 seconds. Studies show that short-term stress triggers reduced blood flow to the heart, but when you elevate your legs, you promote venous drainage, which encourages the blood in your legs to flow back to your heart.
Take it to the next level with a yoga inversion (like this one fromKimberly Snyder). Step up your handstand game with a CorePower Yoga 3 class (find one in Chi here).
Bounce on an Invisible Trampoline
Bouncing up and down releases tension from your muscles and helps you blow off steam. Stand with your arms at your sides and knees soft but slightly bent. Bounce lightly on your toes, letting arms move freely with the movement. Build up to a comfortable height, as though you are actually bouncing on a trampoline; continue for 60 seconds before gradually coming to a stop.
Chronic stress can wreak havoc on your physical and emotional health. Fortunately, you don’t need to go to great lengths to reduce your stress levels. By adopting some simple 60-second stress-busting techniques, you can boost your mood without wasting precious time and energy.
See? It doesn't take much!
Factor 75 journalist & blog strategist. Nutrition science geek. Cyclofeminist.