Are you looking for ways to relax and take a short break? Everyone serves to benefit from a little more relaxation. The only problem is that we live in a fast-paced world, and relaxing generally requires time we don’t have.

If you can pencil in a few five-minute breaks throughout the day where you can stop what you’re doing and focus on something else, you’ll find that your stress levels drop and everything else gets a little easier. Think of these short breaks as your five minute moments of Zen.

Here are seven ways to relax quickly and efficiently:

1. Listen to Something Great

Most songs are around five minutes long, and this is excellent news for music lovers. Some people find that calming or classical music helps them feel refreshed, but it depends on who you are.

If you find that you can work through your stress by headbanging to death metal for a few minutes, that’s exactly what you should do. Get some good headphones and work it out through music.

2. Cuddle with Your Pet

Your puppy, your kitty, or even your chinchilla. Whatever furry bundle of joy shares your home wants to spend time with you. Many people find petting animals to be soothing. That’s why so many people have therapy animals. Lay on the floor with Fluffy or Fido and give her a few good pets. Talk to her in a silly voice and enjoy each other’s company.

3. Isolate Yourself

If you’re naturally anxious or overwhelmed by the sights and sounds of your life, sometimes the best break you can get is one where the world just stops for a few minutes. Find a place where you can sit comfortably and isolate yourself from the people and the noise. You may even want to close your eyes to block out all the light. Put yourself in a little bubble of personal space.

4. Give Yourself a Treat

Numerous studies have found that certain sweets, specifically dark chocolate, have a calming effect on the brain. Grab a few squares of the good stuff or a small brownie.

If calories are a concern, opt for a smaller portion or a pre-packaged variation that’s been formulated for dieters. Some of these even have additional vitamins and nutrients, so you can munch nutritiously.

5. Write it Out

What’s got you frazzled? By writing it out, you’re letting it out of your head. You can look at it on paper, and view it from an outside perspective. You may have a small epiphany about how to get things back on course. Writing isn’t limited to just journaling, either. If you enjoy writing poetry or short stories, jot down some of your ideas.

6. Reach for Candy or Gum

Chewing gum or sucking on hard candy is a slight distraction, and it’s one you can allow yourself while you’re multitasking. Doing so may reduce cortisol levels because of the repetitive motion and slight preoccupation they cause. Your brain will divide its processing power slightly, and everything will seem a little less overwhelming.

7. Create Something

Create a quick sketch. Write a short comic. Go outside and take some nature shots with your phone camera. Engage your creativity. It’s productive, rewarding, and it’s a skill worth enriching. Creativity allows us to view the world in different ways.

We gain new perspectives and learn to innovate through developed creative skills.

These five-minute ways to relax will help you get through a difficult workday, but don’t forget that you deserve much longer periods of relaxation. Don’t forget to set aside a few hours a week for some time away, whether that means a trip to the spa, or watching something on Netflix with a pizza and some loved ones by your side.

Do you know any other effective ways to relax fast? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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