Whether it's related to an issue at work, a fight with a friend, or problems with family, everyone feels stressed sometimes. In fact, are concerned about the level of stress in their daily lives. And while therapy can help (come on, everyone's thought about laying on that infamous doctor's couch at some point), most solutions (think talk therapy or medication) are dealt with in the long-term. So what can be done in the next five minutes to reduce—and prevent—stress? Here's our list of the Glamourgirlz ways to decrease stress right now. 1. Try progressive relaxation. All the way from fingers to toes— each muscle group in the body (lower arm, upper arm, chest, back and abdominals, etc.). Once the body is relaxed, the mind will be soon to follow Diezemann, A. Tagesklinik fur inderdisziplinare, Schmerztherapie, DRK Schmerz-Zentrum Mainz, Auf der Steig, Mainz, Germany. Schmerz, 2011 Aug: 25(4): 445-53.! 2. Try some light yoga. The combination of deep breathing techniques and poses makes this work to reduce stress, too Brown, R.P., Gerbarg, P.L. Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, NY. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 2009 Aug; 1172:54-62.. 3. Meditate. The “mental silence” that goes along with meditation may have on stress (especially work-related stress) . Marchand, W.R. George E. Wahlen VAMC and University of Utah, Salt Lake City, USA. Journal of Psychiatric Practice 2012 Jul;18(4):233-52. Manocha, R., Black, D., Sarris, J., et al. Discipline of Psychiatry, Sydney Medical School, Royal North Shore Hospital, Sydney University, St. Leonards, Australia. Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2011: 960583.. 4. Breathe deep. Taking a deep breath has been shown to lower cortisol levels, which can help reduce stress and anxiety Cea Ugarte, J.I., Gonzalez-Ointo Arrillaga, A., Cabo Gonzalez, O.M. Universidad Pais Vasco, Escuela de Engermeria. Revista de Enfermeria, Barcelona, Spain. 2010 May; 22(5): 48-54.. Studies suggest deep breathing can also cause a temporary drop in blood pressure Kaushik, R.M., Kaushik, R., Mahajan, S.K., et al. Department of Medicine, Himalayan Institute of Medical Sciences, Swarmi Rama Nagar, Uttaranchal, India. Complemantary Therapies in Medicine. 2006 Jun; 14(2):120-6. 5. Spark some scents. Studies suggest aromatherapy can be a good way to relieve stress Seo, J.Y. Department of Nursing, Youngnam Foreign Language College, Gyeongsan, Korea. Journal of the Korean Academy of Nursing. 2009 Junl 39(3): 557-65.. Certain aromas (like lavender) have been consistently shown to reduce stress levels Kim, S., Kim, H.J., Yeo, J.S., et al. Department of Anesthesiology and Pain in Medicine, School of Dentistry, Kyungpok National University, Daegu, Korea. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 2011 Aug 19.. 6. Listen to music. Research points to multiple ways in which music can help relieve stress, from triggering to assisting in treating stress associated with medical procedures Cervellin, G., Lippi, G. U.O. Pronto Soccoroso e Medicina d’Urgenza, Dipartimento di Emergenza-Urgenza, Azienda Ospedaliero, Universitaria di Parma, Italy. European Journal of Internal Medicine, 2011 Aug; 22(4): 371-4. Bernatzky, G., Presch, M., Anderson, M., et al. Department of Organismic Biology, Neurosignaling Unit, University of Salzburg, Austria. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, 2011 Jun 16.. 7. Laugh it off. Laughter can reduce the physical effects of stress (like fatigue) on the body Shin, H.S., Ryu, K.H., Song, Y.A. College of Nursing Science, Kyung Hee University, Seoul, Korea. Journal of the Korean Academy of Nursing, 2011 Jun; 41(3): 294-301. Noji, S., Takayanagi, K. Noji Clinic. The Journal of the Japan Hospital Association. 2010 Jul; (29): 59-64. Fonzi, L., Matteucci, G., Bersani, G. Dipartimento di Scienze Psichiatriche e Medicina Psicologica, Sapienza Università di Roma, Italy. Rivista di Psichiatria. 2010 Jan-Feb;45(1):1-6.. 8. Drink tea. One study found that drinking black tea leads to lower post-stress cortisol levels and greater feelings of relaxation . Steptoe, A., Gibson, E.L., Vuonovirta, R., et al. Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University College London, UK. Psychopharmacology. 2007 Jan: 190(1):81-9.. 9. Exercise. That post-exercise is one way to sharply cut stress. 10. Try guided visualization. may help reduce stress and . Rogers, K.R., Hertlein, K., Rogers, D. et al. Department of Marriage and Family Therapy, University of Nevada-Las Vegas. Complementary therapies in Clinical Practice 2012 May;18(2):106-13.. 11. Join a religious community. Surveys have shown a people practice religion is for stress relief. One study even found that college students who practiced a religion . And other research suggests religious people are less likely to experience stress-related mental illness . Bonelli, R.M., Koenig, H.G. Sigmund Freud University, Vienna, Austria. Journal of Religion and Health 2013 Feb 19.. 12. Chew gum. Studies suggest the act of chewing gum can , helping to alleviate stress . Scholey, A., Haskell, C., Robertson, B., et al. NICM Collaborative Centre for the Study of Natural Medicines and Neurocognition, Brain Sciences Institute, Swinburne University, Melbourne, Australia. Physiology & Behavior 2009 Jun 22;97(3-4):304-12.. 13. Get a massage. Getting a good ol’ rub down may do more than alleviate physical pain. Studies suggest massage may also be beneficial for fighting stress Lindgren, L., Rundgren, S., Winso, O., et al. Department of Nursing, Umea University, Sweeden. Autonomic Neuroscience. 2010 Dec 8; 158(1-2):105-10. Manocha, R., Black, D., Sarris, J., et al. Discipline of Psychiatry, Sydney Medical School, Royal North Shore Hospital, Sydney University, St. Leonards, Australia. Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2011: 960583.. It may also help improve body image Dunigan, B.J., King, T.K., Morse, B.J. Bridgewater State University, Bridgewater, MA.. Body Image. 2011 Jul 16.. 14. Try self-hypnosis. Research suggests hypnosis can help reduce anxiety. Plus, it’s a great self-mediated technique for stress-relief VandeVusse L, Hanson L, Berner MA, et al.Marquette University Nurse-Midwifery Program, P. O. Box 1881, Clark Hall, Milwaukee, WI 53201-1881, USA. Smith WH.Bull Menninger Clin. 1990 Spring;54(2):209-16.. 15. Talk About sex, Baby. Studies have shown sex can actually , like lowering blood pressure. 16. Take a nap. Napping has been shown to reduce cortisol levels, which aids in stress relief Faraut B, Boudjeltia KZ, Dyzma M, et al. Brain Behav Immun. 2011 Jan;25(1):16-24. Epub 2010 Aug 8. Ward TM, Gay C, Alkon A, et al. Biol Res Nurs. 2008 Jan;9(3):244-53.. 17. Hug it out. Hugging may actually reduce blood pressure and stress levels in adults Light KC, Grewen KM, Amico JA. Department of Psychiatry, University of North Carolina, CB 7175 Medical Building A, Chapel Hill. Biol Psychol. 2005 Apr;69(1):5-21. Epub 2004 Dec 29.. 18. Hang with your pet. Or, as we’ve put it before, just get a dog. Dog owners have been shown to be less stressed out—most likely thanks to having a buddy to cuddle Edney, AT. Vet Rec. 1992 Apr 4;130(14):285-7.. 19. Do an art project. can potentially reduce stress-related behavior and symptoms Mimica N, Kalinić D. Psychiatr Danub. 2011 Mar;23(1):125-8.. 20. Write it out. Keeping a journal may be one way to effectively relieve stress-related symptoms due to its meditative and reflective effects Charles JP. Clayton State University Morrow, Georgia, USA. Creat Nurs. 2010;16(4):180-4. Sloan DM, Feinstein BA, Marx BP. National Center for PTSD, VA Boston Healthcare Systems. Anxiety Stress Coping. 2009 Oct;22(5):509-23.. A can really help us , so pick a time every day to write down a few things that make you happy. 21. Take a walk. A can do wonders for stress relief, especially when we step outdoors . Jin, P. Department of Psychology, La Trobe University, Bundoora, Victoria, Australia. Journal of Psychosomatic Research 1992 May;36(4):361-70. . Morita, E., Fukuda, S., Nagano, J., et al. Department of Health Promotion and Human Behavior, Graduate School of Medicine, Kyoto University, Yoshida-Konoe, Sakyu-Ku, Kyoto. Public Health 2007 Jan;121(1):54-63.. Try not to rush, and take whatever pace feels most natural. 22. Kiss someone! kissing releases chemicals that ease hormones associated with stress, like cortisol. Forming positive relationships is also a key way to help reduce stress and anxiety. 23. Don’t write a list of the top 23 ways to reduce stress! This article originally posted September 2011. Updated March 2013 by Shana Lebowitz.
23 Science-Backed Ways to Reduce Stress Right Now