Easy Relaxation: 40 Little Indulgent Techniques

Here are some quick and easy relaxation techniques - actually 40 of them! Do something indulgent just for yourself. It doesn't matter how big or small, it just has to have meaning for you.

I'm sure you've experienced the stress busting power of doing something just for yourself in the past. Maybe it's running a hot bath, or curling up with a new book. Maybe it's going out and getting your hair and nails done, or heading out for an overnight fishing trip. Maybe it's buying craft beer and an MMA pay per view. No matter what it was, it felt good to do something selfish and you felt more relaxed and less stressed during and after.

If you're the type of person who has a hard time doing something for themselves and would rather do something nice for others, I need you to take today's tip to heart. It will have a huge impact on your life, your relationships, and it will work like a charm as a stress buster for you.

If you don't take care of yourself and do something selfish every once in a while, you'll get more worn out and more stressed as time goes by. Because of that you're not the best mother, father, friend, coworker, business partner etc. that you could be. When we're stressed out, we aren't thinking clearly. We aren't as patient as we could be. We aren't always were kind. It's easy to snap at the slightest provocation and regret it later. Don't get to that point. Take care of yourself first and make sure to treat yourself every once in a while. The people around you will benefit from it.

Your other worry may be financial. Some of these indulgences will cost money and you may be reluctant to spend it on yourself. There are two solutions to this problem. The first is to find things that cost nothing or very little. Carving out some "me-time" and spending that time on something you enjoy, such as a hobby, doesn't have to cost much or anything. Taking a hot bubble bath and listening to music doesn't. Pick a few things that relax and distress you but don't cost anything.

The second solution is to use spending money as a motivation to make more. Get a side hustle, work on your business, put in an hour or two of overtime, or find a few extra savings in your budget to make up for the money you're spending on yourself. Whatever you decide to do, don't feel guilty about treating yourself every once in a while.

If, on the other hand, you're someone who has no problem treating themselves you may want to use this with caution. You want to treat yourself when you're stressed and you've worked hard. Think of it as a treat that you have to earn first. Don't use it as an excuse to go out shopping and max out those credit cards! That's not the idea behind this quick stress buster.

So, here we go! 40 quick and easy relaxation techniques... Enjoy:)

40 Easy Relaxation Techniques:

1. Sip Green Tea
Instead of turning purple with rage, get green with a cup of herbal tea. Green tea is a source of L-Theanine, a chemical that helps relieve anger . Boil the water, pour it out, and take a soothing sip.

2. Nosh on Chocolate
Just a square (about 1.4 ounces) of the sweet stuff can calm your nerves. Dark chocolate regulates levels of the stress hormone cortisol and stabilizes metabolism . This is my kind of easy relaxation!

3. Slurp Some Honey
Replace stress with sweetness and try a spoonful of honey. Besides being a natural skin moisturizer and antibiotic, honey also provides compounds that reduce inflammation in the brain, meaning it fights depression and anxiety.

4. Bite Into a Mango
Take a tropical vacation without leaving the desk chair. Use a five-minute break to peel, slice, and bite into a juicy mango, which packs a compound called linalool that helps lower stress levels . Don’t fret about the juice dripping down your chin—the stress relief is worth the mess.

5. Chew Gum
Minty, fruity, or bubble-gum flavor, a stick of gum is a surprisingly quick and easy way to beat stress. Just a few minutes of chewing can actually reduce anxiety and lower cortisol levels .

6. Munch a Crunchy Snack
Sometimes there’s nothing more satisfying than munching away on a candy bar when we're stressed—one study found stressed adults craved crunchy and salty snacks more than usual. But that salty crunch doesn’t have to be so sugary—a handful of trail mix or a bag of celery sticks will work just as well.

40 Easy Relaxation Techniques:

7. Meditate
No need to go on a retreat to the mountains—five minutes of peace is all it takes to reap the benefits of meditation. There's evidence that just two quick bouts of silent meditation per day can relieve stress and depression . Find a comfortable spot in a quiet place, concentrate on your breath, and feel those anxieties start to disappear.

8. Lay Your Head on a Cushion or Pillow
There are days when all we really need is a nice, long nap. But it’s not always possible to start snoring in the middle of the office. If you’ve got a pillow, you’re already on the road to relaxation. Try this visualization technique: Lay your head down for a few minutes and imagine the pillow is a sponge soaking up all your worries.

9. Remember to Breathe
I love this easy relaxation technique! Slow, deep breaths can help lower blood pressure and heart rate . For the fancy noses out there, try pranayama breathing, a yogic method that involves breathing through one nostril at a time to relieve anxiety. The technique’s supposed to work the same way as acupuncture, balancing the mind and body (and possibly eliminating the need for a tissue).

10. Try Progressive Relaxation
Anxious? Just squeeze, release, and repeat. Progressive muscle relaxation involves tensing the muscles in one body part at a time to achieve a state of calm . The method is a great way to help fall asleep. If you'd like to try this easy relaxation technique, try my free guided PMR session:)

11. Count Backward
Nope, it’s not an IQ test, but it is a way to relax. When worries are running rampant, try slowly counting to 10 and then back again to calm down. It’s harder to freak about an upcoming date or job interview when you’re busy remembering what number comes before seven. (Hey, kindergarten was a long time ago.)

12. Use Creative Visualization
The doorbell rings. It’s Ryan Gosling (or Elizabeth Banks), and he/she wants to know if you’ll marry him/her. “Yes!” you shout and then—sorry, time’s up. These little daydreams, also known as "creative visualization," involve thinking of something that makes us feel happy. It’s an instant mood boost on hectic days when we’re feeling tense.

13. Close Your Eyes

James Taylor said it: "You can close your eyes, it’s all right." Take a quick break from a busy office or a chaotic household by just lowering your eyelids. It’s an easy way to regain calm and focus.

40 Easy Relaxation Techniques:

14. Give Yourself a Hand Massage
When there’s no professional masseuse in sight, try DIYing a  hand massage for instant relaxation that calms a pounding heart . Massages can be especially helpful for people who spend a lot of time typing on a keyboard. Hands in general can carry a lot of tension. Apply some luxurious lotion and start kneading the base of the muscle under the thumb to relieve stress in the shoulders, neck, and scalp.

15. Try Acupressure
Pressure to meet a deadline can be stressful, but acupressure can help release all that tension. Acupressure’s a kind of touch therapy that works by balancing the circulation of fluids and energies in the body. Use the thumb and forefinger to massage the soft area between the thumb and index finger of the other hand. Dab on some lavender oil for extra relaxation.

16. Rub Your Feet Over a Golf Ball
Leave the clubs at home and just bring the ball. You can get an impromptu relaxing foot massage by rubbing your feet back and forth over a golf ball.

17. Squeeze a Stress Ball
On days when you want to strangle a coworker, your BFF, or the driver in the next lane, squeeze a stress ball instead. It’s an easy, portable, and non-violent way to relieve tension.

18. Drip Cold Water On Your Wrists
Pass on the perfume and go with water. When stress hits, head for the bathroom and drop some cold water on your wrists and behind your earlobes. There are major arteries right underneath the skin, so cooling these areas can help calm the whole body.

19. Brush Your Hair
Really, it looks like a rat’s nest. Even if you’ve already done your 100 strokes for the day, repetitive motions such as running a brush through your hair, washing dishes, or knitting can cause the body to relax.

40 Easy Relaxation Techniques:

20. Be Alone
Not everyone needs a cabin the woods, but five minutes of alone time can help you collect your thoughts and clear your head.

21. Create a Zen Zone
Hiding in a bathroom stall might not sound calming, but do make (or find) a space that’s completely free of stress where you can go to relax. Set up a comfortable chair or light some incense and disappear there for a few minutes until the tension dissipates.

22. Find the Sun
Here comes the sun—and some stress relief. If it’s a sunny day, head outside for an easy way to lift your spirits. Bright light can be an effective treatment for people who suffer from depression, and can even cheer up otherwise healthy folks .

23. Look Out the Window
No spying on the neighbors allowed. When things get hectic, take a five-minute break to do nothing but stare out the window. Looking at nature scenes like trees and public parks can be a lot  more relaxing than staring at the TV screen. Some light entertainment is okay, but generally speaking, watching TV is really not the easy relaxation method it's cracked up to be.

24. Get Organized
A stack of papers, three tape dispensers, a bunch of misshapen paperclips: All this clutter could be contributing to stress. Take a few minutes to reorganize your desk(or table, or wherever you are), leaving just what you need on top.

40 Easy Relaxation Techniques:

25. Do Some Yoga
Put your feet up—against the wall, of course. The Vipariti Kirani yoga pose involves lying on the floor and resting the legs up against a wall. Not only does it give the body a good stretch, but it helps create peace of mind, too .

26. Stretch
Standing up for a quick stretch can relieve muscle tension and help us relax during a stressful workday . Why not try a shoulder roll-out or a chest-opening stretch right from the desk chair?

27. Run in Place
We may not be able to run away from stress, but it’s worth practicing. Try running in place for a few minutes to get those endorphins flowing. Even brief physical activity can help beat stress.

28. Take a Quick Walk
Now walk it out, now walk [stress] out.” When you’re feeling overwhelmed or having trouble concentrating, go for a quick stroll around the block. You’ll get the benefits of alone time, physical activity, and a few minutes to gather your thoughts!

40 Easy Relaxation Techniques:

29. Write It Down
“Dear Diary: Today I feel STRESSED. I want some easy relaxation.” Just putting our emotions on paper can make them seem less intimidating. Try journaling before a big exam and it just might improve your score .

30. Listen to Your Favorite Song
Beyonce, Blondie, or the Biebster, sometimes belting out the lyrics to a favorite tune makes everything seem all right. If you’re in a public place (that isn’t the opera), just listening to music or colored noise can be a quick fix for a bad mood . Classical music can be especially relaxing right before bedtime.

31. Dance
To the music! Research suggests people feel less anxious after a few months of modern dance, but if that’s not your style, five minutes of the funky chicken probably works, too . (At the very least, dancing’s a great form of cardio!)

32. Do a Crossword Puzzle
Number 10 across: Anxious, overwhelmed, or freaking out (seven letters). If you guessed “Stressed,” you’re in good shape to try some crossword puzzles. Brain games that require lots of concentration can help take our mind off of whatever is worrying us .

40 Easy Relaxation Techniques:

33. Smell Some Flowers
Really, stop and smell ’em. Certain scents can change our mood, and it’s hard to feel angry or upset with a nose full of roses . Keep a fresh jar of your favorite flowers near your work space or in the living room, and take a whiff whenever anxiety strikes.

34. Try Aromatherapy
It takes just a minute to drip some lavender, tea tree, or another essential oil into your palm and inhale. The soothing scents may help send stress and anxiety packing by stimulating smell receptors in the nose that connect to the part of the brain that regulates emotions .

35. Sniff Citrus
Orange you glad you’re not stressed? The smell of citrus can help us relax by increasing levels of the stress-related hormone norepinephrine.

36. Nose Full of Coffee
Wake up and smell the latte. Just the odor of coffee can help reduce stress hormones—no sipping required . (Just be sure not to burn the tip of your nose.)

40 Easy Relaxation Techniques:

37. Cuddle With a Pet
A boyfriend or girlfriend is okay, but they’re (usually) not furry enough. After a rough day, snuggle with a pet for an instant slobbery smile, since pets can boost self-esteem and even ease the sting of social rejection .

38. Laugh
Stressed? Me? Ha! Laughter’s one of the sillier ways to beat stress, but there’s science behind it. A fit of hysterics can increase blood flow and boost immunity. Keep a book of jokes handy in the desk drawer or check out a hilarious YouTube video (maybe a piano-playing pug?) for a quick pick-me-up.

39. Talk to a Friend
When something’s really bothering you, it can help to share your feelings with a pal. In fact, more talkative folks tend to be happier in general . So vent to a coworker or call a close family member and spill.

40. Start Planning a Vacation
Now this is my idea of easy relaxation! Crashing waves, warm sand, a gentle breeze ruffling your hair. Well, at least the image is nice. Take a break from work and start browsing the web for some future vacation spots. Sometimes the whole fun of a vacation is in the planning, anyway .

~ parts adapted via Greatist.com

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