Health And Wellness

A 2-Minute Solution To Feeling Less Stressed When Even Just Thinking About It Is Too Stressful

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woman doing breathing exercise

When you're stressed out, self-care is usually the solution — but what if you just don't have time for any fancy stress management exercises?

We’ve all been there. You know the signs of stress. But the truth is sometimes there's just so much going on and not enough time to do anything else except swim as fast as you can, hoping no new wave comes to push you under.

Believe me, I get that — but what if I told you there's a way to relieve stress in just two minutes with a simple breathing exercise?

RELATED: 7 Ways To Let Go Of Stress (That Actually Work)

I can’t tell you how many times people have told me that they don’t even have time to breathe, much less get ahead. (Of course, they are still actually breathing. Good thing we have those automatic processes!)

Every time someone mentions "You need to figure out how to reduce your stress", you instantly feel more stressed.

Don’t they get it?! If you had the time for stress management, you’d give them an endless list of why that doesn’t work! But, duh, no time for that!

There are many ways to deal with stress, but you actually need to take time out to do them and you're just too busy for that.

There's a fix for that. You can have a measurable change in your stress level in less than 2 minutes. Honestly!

It’s not going to fix everything. That would be a ridiculous claim and my commitment is to make an actual difference — otherwise, it’s not worth my time or yours!

But, by doing this, you can reduce the effects of stress and take care of yourself even on the busiest of days.

A 2-Minute Solution To Feeling Less Stressed When Even Just Thinking About It Is Too Stressful

1. Take in one deep breath, pulling air up from your belly all the way up, so that your chest actually rises (do this to a count of 3 or 4).

2. Sit up as tall as you can before exhaling.

3. As you exhale to a count of 3 or 4, consciously bring your shoulders down and back, squeezing your shoulder blades together (this will feel like you are sticking your chest out).

4. Repeat 2 more times.

Did you try it? Congratulations!

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You’ve given your brain more oxygen, so you can focus better. You’ve used your body to signal to your brain that you are more alert and ready to release tension in your shoulders — a super popular place to hold stress.

You’ve done a quick tense-release which has started the relaxation process in your neck and upper back.

RELATED: How Changing Your Breathing Can Help Reduce Stress

Truthfully, it probably took you longer to read this than it did to do the exercise, right? So maybe this should be called the "1 minute or less" stress-reduction hack.

It seems like such a small thing and, yet, there is strong evidence that says even two minutes of meditation a day can significantly increase and maintain levels of happiness.

Dealing with stress is a commitment.

I find that amazing, and really hopeful because committing an hour or more a day can seem so unattainable. And if you’re like me, you want results fast so you can figure out if it’s "worth the time".

Of course, you are absolutely always worth your own time!

RELATED: 6 Ways To Let Go Of Stress When You Feel Burned Out In Life

Kristina Hallett is a Board-Certified Clinical Psychologist, graduate Professor of Psychology, and a Shaman. 

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This article was originally published at Huffington Post. Reprinted with permission from the author.