Life is hectic. Whether you’re stuck in traffic on your way to work, or you’re trying to get your little one to sleep, there are moments when you wish you could just hit the pause button and relax. There is just one tiny, itsy bitsy problem about that. Have you found the pause button on life? Nope? Thought so; there is none. You can’t just stop time and chill.
There are a lot of excellent reasons for this blatant lack of control over life. Firstly, the life interface sucks. No user-friendly control whatsoever, in fact, there is no control at all, and that means, no pause button. Secondly, unless you’re a Time Lord, you can’t control time. Thirdly and more importantly, not everybody has the luxury of taking an extended break to relax. You’ve got things to do, a job to fulfill, and kids to look after. A long and peaceful holiday may not be an option right now. So you’ll have to make do with the few minutes you get here and there. Believe it or not, but 10 minutes is all it takes to release your tensions and go back to your everyday routine feeling centered and at peace.
Put your favorite song on and enjoy it
First of all, the calming power of music doesn’t require further evidence. Everybody knows that if you’re in a bad mood, listening to an upbeat and happy song is immediately going to put a smile on your face. There’s a reason why most people surround themselves with music; it has direct access to your emotions. A song can make you happy, gives you more energy, or simply keeps you motivated. So, put your headphones on, close your eyes and let the music do its magic. Depending on whether you need to boost your mood or to de-stress, you will pick a different melody. Classical music, while it might not be on top of your playlist right now, especially slow and quiet pieces. Indeed, it has a positive influence on your physiology, such as lowering blood pressure and decreasing the levels of stress hormones in your blood.
Indulge a little
Most bad habits come from a place of good. In moderation, they create only a minor risk to your health. But if you can’t keep them under control, they can have a destructive effect. Smoking, for instance, is one of those things. Nicotine has a neurologically demonstrated soothing influence by inhibiting negative emotions. Admittedly, if you’re in the process of quitting, the last thing you want to do is to grab a cigarette as a stress coping mechanism. But using vaping – which also contains nicotine but without the harmful tobacco effects – can be a healthier alternative when it comes to stress management. You can even alter your experience by choosing the best coils for flavor or clouds! It is a small indulgence that can have a tremendously positive influence on your mental and physical health – after all, stress can be deadly.
In doubt, always go for chocolate – in moderation
Can you name one person who doesn’t love chocolate? If you can, chances are, they probably feel quite miserable in life. Chocolate has been recognized as one of the most effective natural treatments against stress and anxiety disorders. Bear in mind; it’s not a cure. Eating a square of dark chocolate will not take away all your worries. But it will certainly boost your mood by improving your serotonin levels – the happy hormone. Additionally, dark chocolate – you shouldn’t use milk or white chocolate, which contains little to no amount of cocoa – also contains large quantities of magnesium, which can reduce stress. While the effects are not immediate – your body needs to digest it –, eating chocolate will put you in a better mood in a matter of minutes. First, because of the taste, and then the positive metabolic transformations take over!
Put your trainers on and jump
Sports can target your serotonin levels as well by stimulating the release of mood regulators. If you’ve heard of the runner’s high, – the feeling of pleasure after a long run – it’s precisely what the release of endorphins and serotonin does to your brain. However, it’s fair to say that when you’ve got only 10 minutes free to dedicate to sports, running a marathon may not be the most suitable solution. Have you considered high-intensity interval training, or HIIT for short, instead? You can get sore and sweaty in a matter of minutes, which is a good thing as it means instant mood boost.
In conclusion, while there’s no pause button on life – and we think it’s an unforgivable design flaw – there are some quick and effective coping strategies to relax in 10 minutes or less. You can’t stop life, but you can take the time to stop stress.