Ways to Relieve Stress in 10 Minutes or Less

Ways to Relieve Stress in 10 Minutes or Less

We all deal with stress on a daily basis, whether it’s work, family, friends, financials, or internal causes. But, we all have busy lives and many typical methods of stress relief may need more time than you can allocate.

Here is  a list of easy things to do to relieve stress in 10 minutes or less.

  1. Breathing: Paying attention to how we breathe can often be overlooked because it’s completely automatic. However, becoming aware of and incorporating breathing exercises into our daily routine has many benefits, including promoting calmness, increasing focus, and performing your best. Different breathing techniques work differently for each of us. I attached a PDF that reviews 6 different breathing techniques so you can find what works best for you.
  2. Stretching: All of us spend hours in one position and we may find our bodies starting to ache, and our posture worsening. Stretching increases blood flow to tight joints and muscles and can give you a boost of energy when you need it. Below are two links that show 8-9 stretches that you can do right at your desk.



  1. 5-4-3-2-1 Exercise:
    • 5: Acknowledge FIVE things you see around you. It could be a pen, a spot on the ceiling, anything in your surroundings.
    • 4: Acknowledge FOUR things you can touch around you. It could be your hair, a pillow, or the ground under your feet.
    • 3: Acknowledge THREE things you hear. This could be any external sound. If you can hear your belly rumbling that counts! Focus on things you can hear outside of your body.
    • 2: Acknowledge TWO things you can smell. Maybe you are in your office and smell pencil, or maybe you are in your bedroom and smell a pillow. If you need to take a brief walk to find a scent you could smell soap in your bathroom, or nature outside.
    • 1: Acknowledge ONE thing you can taste. What does the inside of your mouth taste like—gum, coffee, or the sandwich from lunch?
  2. Progressive Muscle Relaxation: find a comfortable place to sit or lay down, close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. Expand your stomach as you breathe in and contract it as you exhale. You can either start with your head and face muscles and work your way down your body or you can start with your toes and work your way up. While you focus on each muscle group, tense and hold for about 5 seconds and relax for 30 seconds, then repeat.
  3. Watch the Clouds: Spend 5-10 minutes watching the sky – notice what the cloud shapes remind you of, see if you can detect movement or changes in appearance.
  4. Write it Down: Jot down what is stressing you out AND one thing you are grateful for. Imagine the stressor staying on the page and think of something positive in your life to replace the stress-inducing thought.