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10 Ways to De-stress Yourself in 10 Minutes or Less

I'm a San Francisco-based freelance writer and blogger with nearly 10 years of writing experience behind me.

People who live busy lives find themselves in a bit of a catch-22 when it comes to destressing throughout the day. On one hand, they have a really busy schedule which makes it feel like it’s impossible to take the time to de-stress. On the other hand, that busy schedule creates the stress that requires them to need de-stressing more than the rest of us. Unfortunately, if they do take too much time to de-stress, they sacrifice their schedules and then end up more stressed because they took the time to supposedly relax. What a stressful cycle to be wrapped up in!

Luckily, it is possible to break this cycle. You can learn to take little moments of de-stressing time throughout the day which will allow you to relax without infringing on your busy schedule. The following ten tips offer you insight into ten small ways to relax in less than ten minutes at a time.

1. Wake up ten minutes early each day.

Nobody wants to wake up super early just to have time for themselves, but everyone can manage to get out of bed just ten minutes earlier than usual. The key here is to make sure that you truly take this first ten minutes of the day to really relax. Don’t allow yourself to worry about what’s coming in the day ahead. Simply sit quietly with yourself—listen to the birds outside or light a candle and make a wish for the day. Note that these ten minutes don’t actually have to be the first ten minutes of the day. Some people find that it’s better to follow their normal morning routine and then to take those ten minutes right before leaving the house because they’re up and running enough to enjoy them at that time.

2. Deep breathing exercises.

It doesn’t take a long time to relax when you’re doing deep breathing. There are many different types of deep breathing exercises that can get you into a relaxed state really quickly. One great example is alternate nostril breathing in which you plug one nostril, breathe in slowly as deeply as you can, and then cover the other nostril and breathe out. Repeat this as long as it is comfortable to do so. It should take less than ten minutes and you should find that any stress you were feeling at the start of the exercise has diminished.

3. Trade five-minute massages with someone in your home or office.

You wouldn’t think that a five-minute massage would to a whole lot to relax you but it actually has an amazing power to de-stress you. It reminds you of where your body is tensing up and brings you back into the center of your body where you can be more grounded. It also reminds you of the value of human touch which can improve your human relationships in a subtle way and reduce the stress in the air around you.

4. Enjoy a brisk ten-minute walk.

Getting outside and getting moving are both great ways to clear your head. A brisk walk gets the blood flowing and your lungs breathing better. This helps to make your mind focus better and reduces the immediate sense of stress that you may be feeling. Of course, it’s better if you can take twenty or thirty minutes at a time to walk out your stress, but even ten minutes can do wonders compared to not taking any time at all.

5. Write out the positive.

Whenever you feel yourself getting too stressed out, grab a journal and a pen and head somewhere quiet. Brainstorm a list of the positive things that are going on in your life or a list of things that you are grateful for. Re-focusing on the positive for ten minutes by yourself can bring you back to a happier place and reduce the feeling of stress in your life.

6. Immerse yourself in a scent that you love.

We can drastically change our moods with the right scents. Learn a little bit about aromatherapy and figure out how to take a few minutes out of each day to bring yourself back to a calmer place using the right oils or perfumes.

7. Make sure to take at least ten minutes of your lunch hour just to eat. Most people multi-task during their lunch hours.

You don’t have to give up the entire hour but do take the time to spend just ten minutes focusing on actually enjoying the food that you’re consuming. Mindful eating of healthy foods for just ten minutes can really brighten up your day.

8. Choose one song per day to listen to.

With the amount of music we have accessible to us online and on our personal music players, it isn’t difficult to take only five minutes to find a piece of music that will relax us that day. Take the other five to simply listen to it. See how relaxed you feel when you’ve done this every day for a week.

9. Flirt a little.

A little bit of harmless flirtation goes a long way towards brightening up the day and causing you to forget some of the stress that you have going on in your life. Send flirtatious text messages to your spouse. \Do something to add a little bit of fun and romance to your day and your stress levels will go down without taking up much of your time.

10. Take ten minutes at night to yourself.

End the day the way that you began it so that you go to bed without stress on your mind. Get away from the spouse and the kids and the phone and the computer and take just ten minutes to yourself without any interruptions. Don’t over-think the day at this point; just put it behind you and be in the moment. Wash your face with warm water or enjoy a cup of tea or do whatever it is that allows you to relax alone for just a short period of time.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.


Harlie on January 05, 2015:

Beryl , what an Beryl , what an amazing reicpe, I followed your directions to the T and it was amazing my wife and 2 children 3 & 5 yrs old all ate it up. AMAZING , That night the kids slept wit my wife & I because they do that some nights and all 4 of us were in our king size bed and Laughing because those beans gave us some wonderful anal artillary. I will check out some of your other video's as wellBlessings and Grace,Warren Tibbs , KC Missouri

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Marden on January 04, 2015:

This is a really intgelielnt way to answer the question.

Chillbrah on November 22, 2012:

or you could try

its for stress relief with things like flatulence filter underwear, non-ticking clocks, cooking-proof smoke detectors, noise muffling sleep masks, things like that which eliminate causes of stress and discomfort :)

Lee on June 13, 2012:

Another great way to de-stress is by listening to music. Music therapy is a great tool. I learnt about the benefits of sound therapy from a course Soothing Stress Relief Sounds Course

Biba on April 17, 2012:

well that's beneficial

Abc on April 13, 2012:

If I was more chilled I would be an ice box

priya on April 08, 2012:

Great website about destressing!! It changed my mood as soon as I finished reading the tips!! I really like the deep breathing exercise... it helps to calm down.. I will do that whenever I get stressed next time!! Keep up the great writing!!

... on March 20, 2012:

these de-stressing tips/advice really worked. i have 4 assignments due and i got very stressd and went on the computer to see what i could find. so glad i found this. :)

John on March 08, 2012:

Innocuous flirtation? Are you kidding? Live out some bullsht fantasy as a way to destress? You're sick lady

Hamlet on January 30, 2012:

Nice post..I liked it very much..

Read a similar post about waking up early-

prachi on December 26, 2011:

i like it

Lou1842 on November 14, 2011:

I really like these tips and will be putting them into action. Especially the one about getting up 10 minutes earlier as I am always rushing around in the morning. Thanks!

stanfill from CA on October 31, 2011:

Excellent suggestions my friend. Number 9 has got to be my favorite one of them all. I enjoyed reading your words.

Ana Gajic on October 13, 2011:

Fantastic advice:) I liked this hub very much:)

vick on October 01, 2011:

I really should try number 3, working at

Storm on September 07, 2011:

I love the walk idea,it really works,if you blessed like i am and have a lake with ducks and fish it s grt!Now days i take a bicycle ride!WOW!

manmade76 from Kolkata on August 27, 2011:

I need those to get rid of stress in these busy days.

Fixfear on August 07, 2011:

Awesome! I really like the part about taking ten minute breaks to restate the positive things going on in your life.

Kate on July 12, 2011:

Great tips especially the getting up ten minutes early. I find that spending just a few minutes every day preparing for the day ahead really helps to reduce the pressures of the day.

dusy7969 from San Diego, California on April 09, 2011:

Thanks so much for your provide the good tips.I did it that is very useful and wonderful.Good job and continue your process

Create Magic from San Francisco on November 30, 2010:

Great tips. Original and helpful!

readthispants from My Happy Place on November 17, 2010:

Thanks so much for a fantastic Hub! I loved it, I haven't personally tried the aromatherapy, but I'm really excited now to try it out! Maybe you should check out my hub on stress? I think they tie in well, maybe a possible link up?

Daniela Daljac from AUSTRALIA on November 06, 2010:

Very useful thanks!

Francoise Bonhoure on October 14, 2010:

I really enjoy shaking out my body to de-stress and change my bodily sensations which in turn change my mindset.

L a d y f a c e on October 10, 2010:

Awesome hub. This is great advice! I hope you don't mind my linking it :)

Rebecca E. from Canada on September 18, 2010:

I will be trying the get up ten minutes earlier, that I can do!

ofmelancholy on August 16, 2010:

you forgot to mention meditation, anyways good hub.

Jenny on August 14, 2010:

What a great article for stress management.

I have been dealing with a lot extreme lately, i am sure these tips will help me.

Being a stress sufferer i am always looking on the internet on ways to beat my stress and i found this great website

It has really helped me and i got a free report too. Higly recommend it !

pt21 from Birmingham on August 01, 2010:

Great hub, very simple but incredibly effective methods

CJ on July 30, 2010:

Great article - cited you and added your link to our site. Job well done - always looking for ways to destress. :)


leonieag from Norwich,United Kingdom on July 22, 2010:

I really enjoyed reading this blog,a lot of the tips honestly help!


Papa Sez from The Philippines to Canada on June 30, 2010:

Hi Kathryn, very practical tips these are. I'd surely take note of these and try them out.

Cheers! Papa Sez

Dmitriy bestlife from Moscow on June 12, 2010:

Let me introduce another way to prevent the problem of depression. It is about the luck of energy. All the adaptation resources and vital energy has gone to fight the consequiences of the pathogenic influences. It is possible to restore the organism energy state by means of drinking structured water. The depression will be gone in a daytime!

Mikal Smith from Vancouver, B.C. on June 09, 2010:

This hub has tons of great information! Since I was diagnosed with FMS a few months ago I have had to learn how to stay destressed all the time to avoid flareups. I will definitely put these techniques to good use!

hallowfever from San Diego on February 17, 2010:

very good list

SoManyPaths from West Coast USA on April 02, 2009:

I used to do #2 & #5 . and the other ones look great too. uhhh.. bookmark this one folks. good stuff.

fishskinfreak2008 from Fremont CA on April 01, 2009:

#2, #3 & #5 are the best ones, especially #3. Thumbs up

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