Tags: Health Topics | Anxiety | Depression | stress | weight gain | sleep | mood

How to Beat Stress and Improve Your Health in 5 Minutes

a male jogger in the foreground shadows runs with the statue of liberty towering in the background
(Julio Cortez/AP)

By    |   Tuesday, 04 June 2019 11:13 AM

Whether it comes from demands at home, a slow commute, or monthly bills, it is hard to escape stress. Beyond affecting your mood, it can play havoc with your health, from lost sleep and stress-eating to weight gain and heart disease.

Fortunately, you can take steps to counter all these negatives. A simple solution is a 20-minute daily break to practice relaxation in a tranquil spot away from annoyances. But when time is in short supply, you can still do a five-minute de-stress to refresh and refocus. Here are five effective ideas:

  • Breathe with focus: Put all your concentration on taking long, deep breaths. Watch your belly expand as you inhale and contract as you exhale.

  • Meditate: Build on focused breathing by silently repeating a mantra, which can be just a sound, one word or a short, life-affirming phrase of your choice.

  • Exercise: Tap into the power of mood-boosting endorphins by spending a few minutes moving. You do not even have to leave your office – just close the door and try walking or running in place at your desk. Or get the mind-body benefits of yoga with a simple move like the Tree Pose: Standing straight, bend your right knee out to the side to place the sole of your right foot against the inner thigh of your left leg. Hold for 30-60 seconds, then switch legs and repeat.

  • Unplug: Turn off all your devices for the full five minutes and let your mind wander or contemplate the view from your window.

  • Guided imagery: With eyes closed, visualize yourself visiting a favorite place or doing a favorite activity. See yourself in the scene, smiling and having an enjoyable time.

And do not limit yourself to one technique – create a menu that you can pick from, depending on the situation.

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Whether it comes from demands at home, a slow commute, or monthly bills, it is hard to escape stress. Beyond affecting your mood, it can play havoc with your health, from lost sleep and stress-eating to weight gain and heart disease.
stress, weight gain, sleep, mood, anxiousness
301
2019-13-04
Tuesday, 04 June 2019 11:13 AM
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