By Marcus Clarke
Stress is a constant factor in many people’s lives. With the right tools, though, those who feel stressed can create a better mentality in as little as five minutes. While five minutes may seem like an insignificant amount of time to reduce stress, these activities can have a positive impact on mental health.
1. Do Yoga
Yoga is the ultimate stress reliever. Stretching, deep breathing, and focusing on one’s thoughts can be cathartic. Yoga builds muscle, clears the mind, and promotes inner peace. Yoga also helps improve posture, and as research has shown, posture affects our emotions and thoughts, essential to our well-being. Simply put, yoga is a super-beneficial way to increase happiness.
2. Listen To Music
Music is useful in the pursuit of happiness in many ways. Our bodies are synchronized by the rhythm of our hearts. It stands to reason, then, that the rhythm in music can change our moods and help heal ourselves. The beats in music can influence our moods dramatically. When we are sad, we tend to play slow and sentimental music. When we are angry, we play music with hard and fast beats. When working out, upbeat music is likely on repeat. When we are in need of a pick-me-up, we should play music that reminds us of happy times such as pop songs from our childhood, or the song that makes us feel like we can conquer anything.
3. Watch a Funny Video
Whether it is a cat chasing a laser or a baby laughing hysterically at a mundane task, watching videos can boost happiness. Distracting ourselves from our stresses and indulging in funny videos will increase our mood instantly. Laughing has an effect on the mindset by removing negative thoughts. When we are laughing, we are happy.
4. Engage in a Quick Workout
Exercise, as scientifically proven, alters our brain chemistry. Feel-good endorphins are released when you exercise, improving mood and emotional health. Jumping jacks, running in place and push-ups are just a few of the ways to increase mental bliss. The rush we feel shortly after these activities may inspire us to work out for longer, or to engage in another activity that further increases happiness.
Studies have shown that smiling can increase pleasure. Even faking a smile is linked to multiplied happiness. Following a stressful event, participants of a study had lower heart rates which equaled a reduction in stress and anxiety. For anyone trying to increase happiness, this act is a no-brainer.
Feeling stress is normal but the effects can be harmful to our mental and physical health. Seeking relief from stress is vital to maintaining a healthy state of mind. Anyone who experiences stress is likely to see ways to reduce or eliminate stress through activities that are calming. These five methods of stress relief can help lower tension in a relatively short time. Although five minutes may not seem significant in the face of stress, this is plenty of time to engage in a soothing pastime. Try one or more of these outlets to ease stress and lift your spirits the next time you are feeling overwhelmed or sad.
Marcus Clarke regularly blogs at psysci, a psychology, science blog that examines the latest research and explains how findings can impact and improve people’s lives.