Between work, family and a vacation this season, you may not have time to concentrate on keeping yourself at 100 percent. If you want to enjoy your life to the fullest and improve your health, you actually don’t need tons of time-just a minute will do! See below for quick stress reduction tips that you can find time for any day!
What you can do to boost your health, mood and life in 60 seconds flat:
Have an Attitude of Gratitude – Did you know that being grateful has been shown to decrease stress-induced inflammation? Having a positive outlook can improve your health and your mood. In one minute, write down five things you’re grateful for, no matter how small or silly. You’ll feel better in no time!
Drink a Glass of Cold Water – Did you also know that even mild dehydration can cause irritability and fatigue? Your brain and heart are made up of 73% water, your skin 64%, and your lungs nearly 90%! The next time you feel your energy dropping, and your patience waning, grab a glass of cold water and drink up!
Just Breathe – How often during the day do you think about breathing? If you are like most people, you probably don’t think about it at all. Stop and check-are you holding your breathe? To reduce stress, try Dr. Weil’s 4-7-8 breathing exercise to increase relaxation:
Sit with your back straight, and place the tip of your tongue just behind your upper front teeth, and keep it there through the entire exercise. Remember to exhale through your mouth around your tongue; try pursing your lips slightly if this seems awkward.
- Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whooshing sound
- Close your mouth, and quietly inhale, with nostrils wide, through your nose to a mental count of four
- Hold your breath for a count of seven
- Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound to a count of eight
- This is one breath. Now inhale again and repeat the cycle three more times for a total of four breaths
Twist to Unwind – Many of us spend every day at work seated in front of a computer or desk, nearly immobile with our lower bodies. Sitting is very bad for the health, and can increase your risk for heart attacks, as well as other dis-eases. To unwind, try this exercise from The Healthy Living Lounge:
- Place your palms on the right arm or back of your chair
- Turn your chest and abdomen to the right, moving your left shoulder forward and your right shoulder back
- Expand your chest fully with a deep breath, hold for 2 seconds, and release
- You should feel yourself detoxifying, and your heart rate slowing
- Repeat on the other side
Drink Your Watermelon – Beyoncé had it right with her watermelon drinking in her hit song, “Drunk in Love”- a tall glass of watermelon juice can seriously relieve muscle soreness because of the melon’s high levels of an amino acid called L-citrulline.
Savor a Slice – Of cucumber that is! Press to the roof of your mouth for 60 seconds and it can eliminate bad breath!
Hug It Out – A ten second huge can actually lower blood pressure by increasing the feel-good hormone oxytocine and lowering the stress chemical cortisol
Go In Feet First – the tops of your toes tend to get burned frequently, so be sure to slather sunscreen on these places, and regularly soak your feet to relax and release tension
Stick out your Tongue – then scrape it. This helps reduce everything from colds to cavities-and does wonders for your breath
Kick Off Your Shoes– At the front door, that is. Leaving them there can keep you from tracking in allergen-loaded soil and pollen.
Brought to you in part by AARP Magazine, in collaboration with Crave Local.