15 Ways to Combat Stress in Under a Minute

Maybe you're stuck at work, or staring down at the longest to-do list you've ever seen, and you [...]

Maybe you're stuck at work, or staring down at the longest to-do list you've ever seen, and you can feel that nauseating wave of anxiety settling over you. Sure, heading to the nearest yoga studio would work wonders on those escalating stress levels, but you just don't have the time! Luckily, we've gone ahead and compiled a list of some quick fixes for you in your hour of need! Check out these tips to combat stress instantly.

smelling flowers

>> Read more: 40 Healthy Ways to Relax and De-Stress

Take a couple deep breaths. Breathing in and out as deeply as possible and focusing all your excess energy on your breath increases the amount of oxygen in your bloodstream. This will help reset your nervous system, cooling and calming you down in no time! Check out the 4-7-8 breathing trick here!

Whip out a picture. Engaging your senses is key in relieving stress. Keep a photo that holds some special meaning for you tucked in your desk or wallet. The next time you feel that anxiety kicking in, pull it out and try to remember exactly how you felt in that moment.

Just dance. Crank up your favorite playlist for a few minutes and just let yourself go! All that nervous energy will be channeled into movement, and all that extra tension will roll right off you.

Move away from the situation. If you've hit a wall with a colleague at work or a wailing child, it may be time to step back and give the situation some space. Ducking outside for a minute or two will work wonders on your stress levels.


>> Read more: 11 Things to Help You Go From Anxious to Balanced

Meditate. Most people think that meditation is a time-consuming process, but if you need some instant relief, just one minute will suffice! Find somewhere isolated and just take a minute or two to focus on your breathing. Learn how daily meditation will improve your life by clicking here!

Entice your sense of smell. Aromatherapy is gaining popularity as a quick fix for high anxiety, so the next time you feel your stress levels spiking, try lighting a scented candle or grabbing a bottle of your favorite essential oil for some instant relief!

Cuddle it up with your pet. Nothing relieves stress like spending a little time pampering your pet! We recommend cuddling up to Lassie next time you are feeling overwhelmed! Check out these 10 ways your pet can improve your mental health here.

Laugh it off. Even if you are struggling to find humor in your situation, forcing yourself to laugh will still release those all-important endorphins that will help boost your mood!

>> Still skeptical? Read about why you should laugh more here!

Hug it out. Find a friend or reach for your hubby when things get overwhelming, because studies have shown that when you hug someone your brain releases oxytocin and dopamine into your body. This lowers your levels of cortisol (the stress hormone) and can clear up that stress in no time.

woman in yellow bikini on beach

Go to your happy place. Literally or figuratively will work for this one, ladies! Either head to that corner of the garden that you love, or just imagine yourself stretched out on a beach in the Caribbean! By immersing yourself — mentally or physically — in vivid details and sensations, you can actually reduce muscle tension.

Give progressive muscle relaxation a go. Deliberately tense one muscle group at a time for a couple moments, working your way up your body. This technique, developed by Edmund Jacobson, helps relieve physical tension with the intention of also alleviating mental stress. Click here to learn how physical health impacts mental health.

Crank up the music. Studies have shown that listening to music can actually decrease blood pressure and cortisol levels, so the next time you feel yourself getting overwhelmed, grab your iPod and turn on your favorite song!

Invest in a stress ball. Sometimes the best way to eliminate nervous tension is to literally squeeze it out of you! Stress balls are a great way to channel that energy and get it out of your system.

woman squeezing a stress ball at her computer

Walk it out. Experts recommend a technique called "walking meditation" for nervous tension. Next time you feel yourself getting jittery, try this simple solution: Take four steps as you inhale slowly, and then take four more steps as you exhale. New to meditation? Check out our beginner's guide here!

Chew gum. Not only is it next to impossible to feel miserable when you are chomping away at a piece of Juicy Fruit gum, but the physical motion of chewing will help reduce the amount of stress hormones in your body.

>> Read more: How To De-Stress in Seconds

Want to learn more about combating stress fast? Check out our sources here: Huffington PostReal Simple, HelpGuide.org