Zen In Less Than Ten: 40 Quick Ways To Relax And Keep Stress At Bay

By Harpreet K

Do you ever feel like your stress is taking over your life? That no matter what you do, there’s still too much on your plate and never enough hours in the day? We all know how it feels to be overwhelmed with obligations, and some of us have suffered the physical and psychological effects of chronic stress. 

The good news is that even if it feels like we have no control over our stress levels, small changes can make a real difference. By utilizing simple strategies like deep breathing exercises and engaging our creativity, we can cultivate more calmness in our lives. 

Today, we’ll guide you through 40 simple yet effective stress-beating hacks you can easily incorporate into your daily routine to give yourself a break from the chaos. What’s even better? They all only take about 5 minutes!

1. Honey for quick energy 

Whether you’re having a busy day, a long night studying, or feeling down and out, a spoonful of honey can do wonders. When energy levels are running low, or the mood is not optimal, honey can provide an instant boost to get back on your feet and feel elevated again.

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Not only is it tasty, but it also has antiseptic and antioxidant properties that benefit your body. Since honey helps maintain blood sugar levels, instead of relying on processed snacks and sugary drinks during periods of stress, it’s worth keeping a jar handy in the kitchen for moments when you need to recharge quickly!

2. Grab a cup of green tea

Looking for a way to beat the stress of everyday life? Why not make yourself a soothing cup of green tea? Even though some people find it bland, studies have shown that it can also reduce cortisol levels, a hormone triggered by stress.

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Whether you prefer yours extra hot or iced and cold, give it a try and feel your worries start to melt away. Plus, taking time out of your day to look after yourself is always a good idea. So, treat yourself – it’s tea time!

3. Tropical mango snack 

Taking a moment for yourself has never tasted so sweet! Eating a tropical mango snack is the ultimate stress-busting hack. Whether it’s simply savoring the flavor or experiencing the perfect burst of juicy goodness with every bite, it grants you a moment of carefully curated ‘me’ time.

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Mangoes can be your ‘fruitful’ way to keep calm and carry on through stressful moments. Take a break from it all and indulge in an energizing treat that rewards your taste buds as well as your spirit. That’s one delicious stress-buster right there!

4. Soothing music to the rescue

If you need a mood boost, your secret weapon may be just a click away. No matter what musical genre you favor, a little timer reset is often all that’s needed when life hits the fast-forward button. So, queuing up your go-to calming tunes may help put even the craziest of days back on track.

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Don’t hesitate to hit play because that chill-out track could be the quickest fix for whatever challenge you face! Make a few playlists for specific moods and vibes, so you’ll have them handy when you’re in a hurry. They’ll relieve any stress from work or school in no time.

5. Lower your head 

Have you ever been so stressed out that you felt like curling up into a fetal position and simply disappearing? Well, it looks like science is once again offering us a solution to our woes. New research has found an easy hack to reduce our fight-or-flight response and therefore regulate stress better.

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Put your head between your legs or lower your head and arms toward your feet. This posture will instantly relax your autonomic nervous system (ANS), working as a natural remedy for high-stress levels. So, add head-between-legs movements in your daily stretches and get ready to take life with a calmer attitude.

6. Tense and relax

Progressive relaxation is a surefire way to de-stress. Do this the next time you’re feeling overwhelmed and tight with stress. Instead of going into a panicked frenzy of irrational thoughts, pay attention to your muscles and start tensing them one by one and relaxing them.

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It will feel strangely satisfying. As a result, tension will melt away like ice cream in the summer heat until you feel balanced and more relaxed. That’s how progressive relaxation works, like an effective hack against stress. Give it a try and experience the power of body awareness!

7. Chewing gum for stress-busting 

When looking for a quick way to reduce stress, consider a stick of gum! Not only does it provide an opportunity for distraction from whatever is causing the stress, but it also does that with a little flavor! Chewing gum can help keep your mind occupied and off of whatever thoughts are stressing you out.

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For extra motivation, make a game out of it. Pick a certain amount of gum, and only allow yourself to chew one piece at a time. Once that piece is done, see if you can make the next one last until you feel better. You might even discover a new favorite flavor along the way!

8. ABCs in reverse

Learning the ABCs in reverse might seem like an impossible task, but you’ll be surprised how quickly it will become second nature. Not only does this silly exercise provide a fun way to break up the monotony of regular tasks, but it can also help take your mind off worrisome thoughts and emotions.

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The rhythmic pattern of saying the reverse alphabet forces your brain to focus on a new task, helping to temporarily shift your stress-filled mindset and give yourself a break. Try it out next time you’re feeling overwhelmed! You can also try numbers and reverse spellings after mastering ABCs.

9. Focus on full breaths 

Taking a few deep breaths may not seem like an intimidating task, but it can be surprisingly effective when it comes to managing stress. If you’re feeling stuck in a stressful loop, take a break to wrap yourself up in this tiny yet mighty hack.

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Inhale slowly through your nose and exhale steadily through your mouth in a continuous motion. It’s like reaching outside of yourself and surrendering to something greater — allowing yourself to feel your ups and downs without getting too caught up in them. Here’s to taking full breaths as a way of gracefully floating through life!

10. Use creative visualization 

If you’re feeling extremely overwhelmed, creative visualization can be one of the most calming and soothing practices for de-stressing. Ever heard of it? It involves closing your eyes and picturing a tranquil setting like a beach with waves lapping against a shore or a meadow full of colorful flowers.

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By imagining this setting, your mind begins to relax and let go of anxiety. You can even incorporate other sensory details like pleasant smells, the way the grass feels under your feet, or the warm sun on your skin. You may just surprise yourself at how effective visualization is in helping you calm down!

11. Snack on dark chocolate 

If you’re feeling stressed and in need of a pick-me-up, why not snack on some dark chocolate? Not only is it delicious, but research shows that indulging in this yummy snack can help to lower your stress levels. Dark chocolate also has less sugar, so it’s better.

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The antioxidants found in dark chocolate help regulate hormone glands and reduce levels of cortisol, which is linked to stress. Plus, the serotonin found in the sweet treat will give you an extra confidence boost. So, don’t be shy: go ahead and indulge – your mood will thank you!

12. Take a nap

Taking a nap is the ultimate stress-busting hack – like a reset button for our minds. Just think about it: it’s the power to instantly step away from the world and its drama, have some little “me time,” and recharge your inner batteries before facing whatever threw you off in the first place.

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The best part is that this solution requires no external investment or complicated steps – just lie down and let yourself drift away from all your worries. With such an easy, fast-fix solution available at arm’s reach, why not make use of it, if only for a few minutes? 

13. Find a zen spot

Taking a moment to center yourself can make all the difference when life gets overwhelming. Finding your own personal zen spot can be as simple as closing your eyes and breathing deeply or taking a few minutes to enjoy nature quietly.

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Whether it’s inside or outside, whenever you feel out of sorts, this is just what you need to take a quick break from life and relax. Plan ahead of time so that when things get hectic, you have something to look forward to that requires little effort on your end but provides a great reward!

14. Hand massage to fight anxiety

Have you ever found yourself feeling overwhelmed and anxious for no reason? Well, it’s time to give your hands some love with a hand massage! Recent research suggests that a simple 5-minute massage can not only help you relax physical tension within your body but also fight off feelings of anxiety.

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You don’t need any special skills or products–just use your own gentle yet firm touch to deliver a relaxing minute or two of relief. You may also use a lotion for an aromatic effect. So, take a break and free yourself from the pressures of stress and anxiety with the power of massage.

15. Meditate for some peace

Everyone needs to take a deep breath and unwind every now and then, but settling the mind can be easier said than done! Thankfully, there’s an easy way to find some inner peace; meditation. Ten minutes of meditating feels much better than going from 1 to 10 on the stress scale.

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And you don’t need to invest in special gear – just find yourself a quiet space and focus on your breathing for some instant sanity-saving! So take a break from life and give meditation a try. Even if you don’t miraculously unlock any inner wisdom, at least you’ll emerge feeling relaxed.

16. Acupressure for healing

Acupressure is a centuries-old technique that uses finger pressure on specific points on the body to help in healing and relaxation. This ancient art can provide swift relief from stress and offer calming, rejuvenating, and energizing effects. The massage will also relax tensed muscles in the body.

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Acupressure is better than acupuncture if you’re scared of needles. You just need to learn the specific points that you need to apply the pressure to. After that, you can give yourself an acupressure massage and enjoy how quickly your tension melts away!

17. Stroll around

Taking a leisurely stroll may seem like a mundane activity, but it can be a great way to relax quickly. Striding through nature and taking note of your surroundings helps to clear the mind of stress and worry – particularly when the environment is full of color and life!  

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If you don’t have access to a park or other area with greenery, taking a short walk around your neighborhood is still an effective way to get out of your head and lighten up. Even if it’s just for 10 minutes, it can do wonders to ensure you’re focused.

18. Roll the ball

If you ever feel that your body is tense and your mind is filled to the brim with stress, why not try rolling a ball under your feet? It may sound ridiculous, but this fun hack has been proven to reduce cortisol levels and help relieve tension in both your body and mind.

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Best of all, it’s a simple activity that can be done anywhere and takes virtually no time at all. So, the next time you need a quick chill-out session, grab a ball, roll it around under your feet, and do some deep breathing—you’ll be stress-free in no time!

19. Scalp massage to fight tension 

When tension starts to build, a simple scalp massage can help. This quick relaxation hack is not only straightforward, but it can also go a long way toward banishing stress and creating a relaxed atmosphere. You can increase circulation in your head, shoulders, and neck while relieving tightness in minutes.

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The only possible side effects include feeling ultra-zen! Next time tensions run high, don’t hesitate to tap into the power of the scalp massage! You can also use some hot aromatic oil to do the massage. It’ll help your hair grow longer while also relaxing you!

20. Out in the sun

If you’re looking for a quick-fix solution to stress, the answer may just be lying in the sun. Stepping out into the sunlight can do wonders when it comes to relaxation; there are even scientific explanations as to why this is so.

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Exposure to natural light, specifically, can increase your production of serotonin, which is your happiness hormone. Plus, walking around in nature can also stimulate your parasympathetic nervous system – making you feel more relaxed and peaceful overall. Just remember to wear sunscreen!

21. Get rid of clutter

Clutter is often considered to be the sworn enemy of a peaceful home. It serves as a visual reminder of all your unfinished tasks and consumes much-needed space. As if that isn’t enough – it can even cause stress and anxiety! So, get an immediate sense of calm by clearing the clutter in your home.

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It’s surprising how much better one feels when there isn’t a heap of disruption fighting for your attention. So, don’t wait any longer – put on some music, roll up those sleeves, and watch yourself becoming more relaxed with every item you manage to clean out!

22. Legs up the wall

When life starts to feel like a race, one of the easiest and most enjoyable ways to unwind is with the ‘legs up the wall’ yoga pose. It’s perfect for unwinding after a long day, especially if you’re short on time. This pose can also help reduce anxiety and stress while boosting your physical health.

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You don’t need to be an advanced yogi to reap the benefits either—simply lie on your back with your legs propped up against a wall. Forget counting sheep! Unwind faster and relax deeper with this timeless yoga pose, and you’ll be in dreamland before you know it.

23. Smell fresh flowers

When you feel the stress mounting and your head spinning, take two minutes to grab a blossom from your garden or the local flower stand. Studies have found that inhaling scents such as lavender can cause the body to relax.

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If those aren’t your thing, then gather some daisies or sunflowers and enjoy their bright, natural scent instead. Smelling flowers releases endorphins in the brain and helps you regain clarity of mind – so why let life’s stresses become a burden when respite is as easy as taking a whiff of a sweet flower?

24. Stretch a bit

Want to relax, but you’re short on time? Consider stretching, the perfect quick relaxation hack! Whether you take a few minutes to stretch at your desk or make some moves while watching TV, stretching has real benefits, such as pain relief.

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Not only can it reduce tension in your body, but it also releases endorphins which will give you an emotional lift too. Plus, you don’t even need to leave the comfort of your own home – so there’s no excuse not to give it a try!

25. Call a friend

Why not call a friend when you’re having a stressful day and need to take a break for some serious self-care? It sounds cheesy, but sometimes a quick chat with someone close can put things in perspective. That’s why the most underrated form of relaxation comes from catching up with your inner circle.

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Plus, it is way better than a temporary distraction from stresses you can’t escape. Next time you feel overwhelmed or need to relax, pick up the phone and give your favorite person (or people) a ring—trust us, you won’t regret it.

26. Elevate your heart rate

Nothing beats a good sweat session in increasing your feel-good hormones and reducing stress. Why not give yourself a mini-break and sneak in some exercise? Crank up the tempo of your favorite upbeat tune, or even better, find an energizing playlist for the ultimate mood boost.

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You don’t need equipment or gym clothing – just move your body around and have fun! Try some squats, lunges, burpees, and mountain climbers to get your heart racing. Let those endorphins flood in so that you can get back to working with clear thoughts and restore your vitality.

27. Pen it down

Writing is an excellent way to relax. Jotting down your feelings or thoughts can be remarkably cathartic and help to clear the fog from your mind. It doesn’t have to be a work of art either – it’s okay if you don’t even reread it after you’re done!

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Even playing around with words can bring clarity and calmness when things are up in the air. So, next time you need a quick relaxation hack, grab some paper and pen or open up a blank document: you never know what might come out of it!

28. Brew fresh coffee

Nothing compares to the feeling of indulging in a perfectly brewed cup of coffee, whether it’s a flat white, an Americano, or something else entirely. But who has the time? With lives becoming increasingly hectic, sometimes having that relaxing cup of joe isn’t possible.

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Investing in fresh beans and a quality coffee maker means you can have an aromatic, delicious specialty-grade brew whenever you want. S, if you’re looking for an easy way to slow down your pace and kick-start relaxation mode, grab some hearty sip-stimulating beans and start brewing!

29. Munch on nuts with a clenched jaw

You’ve definitely heard the old saying ‘going nuts’ used to describe someone having a meltdown. But did you know munching on some healthy nuts could be a great way to prevent a meltdown? Packed with protein, vitamins, and minerals, nuts are a great way to reduce stress.

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Even better, their crunchy texture can relieve building tension and distract your mind from whatever it was that you had worked up in the first place. So, why not give this simple yet effective stress relief hack a try next time you find yourself headed for an emotional breakdown?

30. Dance it out

Taking a break to move your body can be the best way to relax and get some relief. You don’t have to do the entire Macarena. Just step away from whatever is stressing you out. Shaking it off with some good old-fashioned movement, even for five minutes, can help clear your mind and increase focus.

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Put on your favorite song, or enjoy the sound of your breath – either way, let yourself get lost in the motion for a little bit and feel yourself immediately starting to relax. It might sound like a trivial solution but trust us, dancing it out is one of those tips that works every time.

31. Alone time in the bath

Taking a hot bath is like hitting the reset button for your brain and body. It’s the perfect escape from the endless to-do lists and anxieties of everyday life. Consider it an investment in mental well-being. In an age where self-care is a necessity and not a luxury, consider taking some time for yourself.

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Make your bath with or without bubbles; it’s all up to you. It can make an enormous difference in how you approach the rest of your day. So if you’re feeling overwhelmed, take some quality alone time in the tub, stay as long as you need and show yourself some love! 

32. Do some crossword

If you’re feeling a bit mentally drained and need a quick relief, it might be time to give crossword puzzles a try. You don’t even need a degree in rocket science or an encyclopedia of world knowledge. Just a certain level of patience and attention to detail. Two qualities we all possess!

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Not only can these games help take your mind off other stressors, but they may also give your brain a little workout. Make the most of your alone time with an exciting game like crosswords. With clues that range from simple to tricky, there’s something for everyone.

33. Aromatherapy with oils

When life has you feeling a bit stressed, consider giving aromatherapy with oils a shot. This quick relaxation hack involves lightly inhaling or diffusing essential oils that have been proven to reduce stress in many individuals. You may use these oils in a diffuser or dab them on your clothes.

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Oils such as chamomile, sandalwood, and lavender can instantly help you relax and provide a sense of calmness. Plus, the pleasant aromas will make your home or office smell nice! Aromatherapy with oils helps you calm down and gather your thoughts again in just a few minutes.

34. Gaze at nature 

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a little respite from the hustle and bustle of life? We’re all guilty of trying to squeeze too much into our days, so what better way to relax than by slowing down and giving ourselves a chance to take it all in by gazing at nature outside the window?

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It doesn’t matter if your window looks out on a cityscape, an expanse of fields, or even a tree-filled backyard—whatever scenery comes naturally can be wonderfully soothing. Put down your phone and turn away from the screens and take it easy. It’s almost like a low dose of meditation.

35. Smell citrus fruits

Picking up fresh citrus fruits such as oranges, tangerines, and lime and taking a deep whiff is one of the quickest and easiest ways to relax. These nutrient-rich beauties contain essential nutrients that are beneficial for the immune system and calm us down.

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And unlike going on a tiring yoga retreat or meditation camp, this quick hack is easy and convenient! Take a few minutes to peel, smell and eat these delightful citrus fruits and restore your inner Zen. Relaxation has never smelt so good!

36. Cuddle with your pet

A break from a stressful life doesn’t necessarily have to involve a lengthy spa session with facials and massages. Spend five minutes cuddling with your pet, and you’ll immediately feel the tension slipping away! It’s an adorable activity that will undoubtedly fill your heart.

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Getting much-needed affection from a loving animal has been scientifically proven to reduce stress levels. If you don’t have any pets at home, no problem. Simply head down to a shelter or cuddle with someone else’s furry friend. Before you know it, stress will be replaced by peace of mind.

37. Squeeze a stress ball 

When you’re exhausted and stressed in the office, one of the best things you can do for yourself is to find the magical stress ball. Squeezing an effective stress ball is like giving your hands a mini massage! Many have found this simple trick quite helpful in relaxation.

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Furthermore, it helps in increasing focus and quieting anxious thoughts. It turns out that squeezing something small and malleable can paradoxically help someone feel immensely relaxed. So even if you feel powerless amidst life’s chaos, you can always squeeze your way back to balance.

38. Laugh it off

Everyone needs a little break from the daily grind now and then, and one of the best ways to do that is by laughing. It’s an instant stress reliever and something that works no matter how bad the day is! Just a few chuckles can make you feel better in no time.

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Even if you have time for a short laugh with friends or family, it’ll still help lift your mood and ease any tension. You can also give your stress a one-two punch with some laughter by watching some silly animal videos or stand-up comedy. 

39. Plan a vacation 

Planning a vacation is often seen as something that requires a lot of effort and resources, but if you want a quick relaxation hack that won’t break the bank, why not plan a visit somewhere close and warm? There’s no need for complex booking; just find some budget flights to sunny beaches.

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Look up the best cheap accommodation in your destination. Most beaches have stunning views, endless golden sand, and ice cream shacks where you can grab a sweet treat! It’s also an opportunity to explore different places, pick up new hobbies like paddle boarding or yoga and immerse yourself in new cultures. 

40. Splash some cold water

When you’re feeling overwhelmed, there are moments when taking a deep breath just won’t do. But did you know that splashing some cold water on your face can provide quick relief and relaxation? Not only is it an instant pick-me-up, but it can also reduce puffiness and improve circulation.

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So, why not take a moment or two to fill up the sink with cold water and splash away? Whether it’s 3 o’clock office fatigue or late-night study blues, an icy wake-up call is sure to leave you feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the world!