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10 Ways to De-Stress in 10 Minutes

And all of them are backed by science.

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We all experience stress — you know the feeling: the imminent headache, upset stomach, incurable insomnia, muscle pains, fatigue, and so on. It only takes one moment to switch from feeling perfectly calm to suffering from an induced panic. Whether you're a stay-at-home mom, student, or even starting a new job, the stress of life happens to us and often unexpectedly. 

 

So what do you do when you need to center yourself? Try one of these quick tips on de-stressing your life in 10 minutes or less.

 

1. Luxuriate in lavender. Have you tried it? Several studies suggest that lavender aromatherapy helps to relieve insomnia, stress, and anxiety. Make your own lavender-scented candles, lavender-infused spa products, or a vial of lavender oil to have on hand when you need a minute to unwind.

 

[TRY IT: 6 Soothing Reasons to Love Lavender]
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2. Take on a new hobby. Studies have shown that hands-on hobbies like sewing, knitting, and painting will induce a meditative state. Plus, it's a way to release your inner crafter and upgrade some items in your home. 

 

[LEARN MORE: The 5 Health Benefits of Crafting]
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Photography by: Christopher Baker

3. Strike a (yoga) pose. It can be done anywhere with moderation. Many yoga poses — like the eagle pose — alleviate symptoms of stress, as they open the shoulders, relieve neck tension, and dissolve physical tension.

 

[TRY THIS: 6 Benefits of Working Out With Friends]
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Photography by: Bryan Gardner

4. Sip a cup of tea. Green tea or peppermint tea or chamomile tea, specifically. The therapeutics of herbal teas have been long touted, along with other health benefits. So why not brew yourself a cup? 

 

[GET THE RECIPE: Stress-Soother Tea]
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5. Turn off the iPhone. It happens to the best of us: you're on Instagram, Facebook, and chatting with your second cousin about family problems... and then, suddenly, you're stressed. It's called digital stress, and it happens more and more in our increasingly digital world. Do yourself a favor: turn it off for a couple of minutes.

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6. Close your eyes and take a deep breath. If you're running on no sleep, it's bound to catch up to you. And a lack of sleep feeds into stress just as stress feeds into insomnia. So close your eyes and try a breathing exercise.

 

[TRY IT: Breathing Exercises to Calm Down]
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Photography by: Bryan Gardner

7. Go for a walk. Too many of us live a sedentary lifestyle and sitting at an office desk all day is hard on your body. So get up and move! Scientists have found that a brisk walk helps to trigger soothing neurons in the brain.

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Photography by: John Dolan

8. Go out and garden. Take a step out into your backyard and tend to the ripening tomatoes, blossoming bushes, and thriving ferns that you grew yourself. Not only is that a worthy accomplishment — the sights, smells, and sounds of an outdoor garden are said to promote relaxation and reduce stress. If you don't have a garden, a few minutes outside in the fresh air will do the trick.

 

[LEARN MORE: The Best Plants to Purify Your Home]
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Photography by: Kate Mathis

9. Deep clean. Fact: clutter and disorganization is leading cause of stress. So take some time out of your day to throw out unwanted items, start a filing system, or .

[TRY IT: The Revolutionary Organizing Method Known as KonMari]
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Photography by: Mike Krautter

10. ​Listen to a soothing song. Have a playlist on-hand. Classical music specifically helps to slow your heart rate, lower blood pressure, and improve your mood.

 

 

[TUNE IN: A Bedtime Playlist for You and Your Kids]