Finding ways to relax in our hectic, modern world is a challenge. With continual demands on your time, it can be a struggle to find five minutes to yourself. Fortunately, with progress comes innovation. Today, there are all kinds of new ways to relax, which take five minutes or less. Let’s take a look at a few of them now.
Start eating dark chocolate
Dark chocolate has two significant advantages over conventional chocolate: it contains more cocoa per bite, and it’s low in sugar and animal products. While people wax lyrical about the benefits of chocolate for peace of mind, the real superstar is the cocoa it contains.
Cocoa is one of the most complex foods we know about, containing thousands of phytonutrients – special chemicals that interact healthily with our bodies. Some of the chemicals in chocolate make us feel more relaxed and energized, providing you with an instant feeling of being soothed. Researchers say that you can feel the benefits of dark chocolate by eating just 40g per day.
Pet your dog (or cat!)
Several years ago, researchers got the first solid evidence that people who own pets tend to have better health outcomes than those who don’t. The reasons for this weren’t entirely clear, but over time, we’ve found that it probably has a lot to do with physical touch.
Petting your animals releases feel-good hormones in the brain called oxytocins. These hormones then filter out through the rest of the body, lowering blood pressure and improving glycemic control.
Get out in nature
Getting out into nature is one of the most relaxing things that you can do. Most of us live within five minutes of a park or local woodland – the perfect place to go to relax. Being in the woods improves feelings of well-being, and, like ghost train haze, it can be the ideal way to reset your anxiety levels. You might want to take more than five minutes on this one, but even being outside for five minutes is better than nothing!
Put some lavender on your desk
Lavender is a purple flower that blooms for an extended part of the year. What’s appealing about the plant, however, is that it seems to attack the anxiety centers in our brain and shut them down — people who breathe in the scent of lavender report feeling more relaxed and less liable to panic.
Find something that makes you laugh
There’s not enough laughter in the modern world. Everything is too serious. The news is dire. The world is going to come to an end because of climate change. It’s all too depressing.
Laughter, however, is an excellent antidote to all that. Enjoy the time that we have. Laughter helps to reduce stress hormones and gives you an instant buzz that can last all day.
Dance for joy
Dancing for joy might sound like something you’d do after hearing some good news like you’ve won the lottery. But research suggests that dancing for joy might be the thing that causes you to feel happy in the first place. By acting like you’re happy, you can rid yourself of those negative emotions that are making it tough for you to relax and get the peace you crave.
How do you relax? Let me know!