10 Ways to Beat Stress in 15 Minutes

Work got you down? Try these simple ways to unwind and de-stress. 

Portrait of a beautiful chinese asian girl or young woman outside wearing glasses

1. Wake up early

As tempting as it is to hit the snooze button and continue to sleep for another 10 minutes, take those extra minutes to do something productive like yoga, catch up with the morning news or go for a jog instead. You may think that giving yourself the extra time to sleep in will keep you more awake and alert, but the truth is, your body and mind needs time to wake up too. So the 10 minutes you spent doing something will leave you feeling more refreshed and less frazzled.

More stories: 10 Ways to Improve Your Morning Routine

2. Create a calming space

By now, I think we have all heard that warm colours create energy in the room and cool colours relax you. That’s why most people reserve soothing colours for their bedroom and brights for their work space. But if you do want to create a zen workplace, go for lighter and softer colours. We’re not talking about repainting the entire room, but can always cover your desk with a table cloth or papers or decorate it with light coloured props. Or even change your desktop wallpaper to a view of the beach. The choices are limitless!

More stories: 6 Easy Ways to Make Your Home Stress-Free

3. Watch funny cat videos

Not necessarily cat videos, but any funny viral videos will do. Nothing relieves tension like these do:

There, feel better now?

4. Sing your heart out

When you’re feeling strung out, start belting it out. Recent studies revealed that singing helps to reduce the stress hormone in your body. That explains why you feel much better after each karaoke session. Not ready to unleash your inner Mariah Carey or Celine Dion yet? Start by singing out loud in the shower or in the car when you’re alone. Trust me, when you’re stuck in traffic, the best thing to do is to turn up the volume and start singing. It’s perhaps the most effective way to combat stress and tension during rush hour traffic.

Here’s Her World’s current favourite mood booster playlist on Spotify:

5. Take deep breaths

When all methods fail, just stay calm and take deep breaths. It’s effective and this method can be used anywhere. Whether you’re in a meeting or when you’re picking up your kids from school,  take a minute to breathe deeply through your nose into your abdomen. Breathing fully and deeply into the abdomen brings a sense of calm to your body and this is because more oxygen is delivered to your cells, which helps your muscles to relax.

6. Distract yourself

Some may call this counter productive, but spending that few minutes distracting yourself from the work that caused you stress can actually help to calm you down. Instead of focusing on a problem that you can’t solve, distract yourself for 10 minutes by doing things that don’t take a lot of effort thinking, like cleaning your desk. Who knows, maybe those 10 minutes may inspire you with new ideas.

You can start by reading one of these juicy stories. *wink*

9. Light scented candles

One of the many reasons people love scented candles is because of their aromatherapeutic properties. And research has shown that a person’s mood can change due to the fragrances or scents that surround them. So the next time you need something to calm your nerves, light up a scented candle, put in a CD, and sit back.

10. Exercise

Doing regular exercise helps to boost endorphins, the ‘happy’ hormone that calms you.  A 10-20 minute workout will do the trick. So don’t be afraid to hit the gym or go for a run the next time you find yourself trapped in a stressful situation.

More stories: Everything You Need to Know About Running

Photo credit: ingimage