Your Simple 10 Minute De-Stress Plan
It’s hard to avoid stress in the modern world, but you only need 10 minutes to shrug off the worst of its effects, whether you are at home or at work.
Stress is hard to avoid in the fast moving modern world, but there are many ways to deal with it. One of the most important rules is to make sure you don’t let small stresses build up into something much more serious. Always ensure that you take a 10 minute break between one stressful task and the next – at home, work or even in your spare time. This will give your body and mind a chance to unwind before you launch into the next potential cause of stress build up.
Take 10 to unwind
If you’re feeling particularly frazzled, try carrying out this simple 10 minute stress relieving exercise. You can carry this out anywhere, at any time – on the crowded journey home, in your workplace, or even in the supermarket queue. You’ll be amazed at how quickly it helps you to feel much better.
Preparing to De-stress
Before you start your de-stress exercise, find a suitable area and try to distract your mind from the stresses around you.
If you can, pop outside and find a quiet spot in the fresh air. If you can’t, just opening a window will make a difference, even on a bus or train.
Flowers with strong scents such as geranium and lavender are good for easing anxiety; place a pot plant on your window sill or desk and let the breeze from outside waft its scent around the room. Place a few drops of essential oil on a hankie and breathe in the scent to help you relax.
Play soothing and melodic music; listening to it through personal stereo headphones is fine or just imagine it in your mind. The gentle sounds of the sea or harmonious instrumental music with few words are best.
De-Stress in 10 Minutes
Use this step by step guide as often as you can to de-stress anywhere, at any time, ensuring that you begin your next task feeling relaxed, refreshed and ready to go.
1. Gentle Breathing (1 minute)
Sit comfortably on a chair, with your back straight and both feet on the ground. If you can’t sit down, stand as straight as possible without slouching or leaning against anything. Close you eyes and focus on your breathing. Try to let thoughts pass by, rather than pondering on them or daydreaming.
2. Tense and Relax (4 minutes)
Make a fist with your right hand and tense all the muscles in your forearm. Hold the tension for five seconds and then relax your muscles for about 10 seconds. Now do the same thing for each part of your body. Tighten each group of muscles, hold the tension and then relax fully.
3. Visualise (3 minutes)
Next, try to recall a place or time where you felt content and relaxed. Use your imagination to reconstruct the place and how you felt when you were there. It might have been a beach holiday or mountains where you went hiking. Let yourself become totally immersed in the scene.
4. Let Go (1 minute)
Once your mind and body are completely relaxed, let go of your stress. Visualise a stream of light or energy pouring through your body and washing your stress away, or imagine the stress leaving your body with each breath out. Picture yourself getting through the rest of the day without stress by trying to anticipate any potentially difficult situations. Thinking about how you can get through them calmly will help you to put this into practice.
5. Stretch (1 minute)
Keep your eyes closed and breathe in and out deeply. Enjoy the feeling of relaxation and rest. Move your fingers and toes playfully. Then breathe in and stretch your arms up over your head. Stretch your legs out in front of you. Now open your eyes.
The more often you do this 10 minute stress relief plan, the better. You may be surprised at how relaxed and confident you start to feel, and how the challenging parts of your life no longer feel nearly so daunting and stressful.