You'll likely want to do this in a bathroom or in the privacy of your office, but you can utilize yoga's physiological benefits by getting your head below your heart. Sitting in a chair, put your head between your knees and breathe. Or stand and bend at the waist, hanging your head and arms toward your toes. By positioning your head below your heart, you reduce stress hormones and restore the balance of your autonomic nervous system. This actually lessens your body's involuntary reaction to the fight-or-flight response.
Embrace the Outdoors
Dr. Eeva Karjalainen, of the Finnish Forest Research Institute, told Medical Daily how our blood pressure and heart rate lowers simply by being in nature; so does the production of stress hormones such as cortisol. If you can't actually get out into the natural world, additional research has shown that sounds from nature—waves crashing on the beach, leaves rustling or rain falling in the forest—have a restorative effect on our minds by physically altering the connections in our brains. Download the NatureSpace app for a range of 3D sounds to soothe you.
Pop Some Dark Chocolate
Looking to give yourself a little break and touch of sweetness on an otherwise rough afternoon? Break off a square of dark chocolate and savor it slowly. Dark chocolate is lower in sugar, but higher in antioxidants than the standard milk chocolate variety. And it's been scientifically proven to boost your brain function and reduce stress. One of our favorite brands is Hu, which offers a variety of better-than-average bars, with flavors like hazelnut butter, sea salt and crunchy mint.
Massage Your Hands
Picture yourself on a padded massage table. It almost melts the stress away ... almost. If you can't leave work or don't have the option of booking yourself a massage, you can still encourage your body to relax. Give yourself a simple five-minute hand massage that's been shown to help relieve anxiety. Modern wellness app Urban offers up a handy five-step reflexology technique to help relax you and relieve the tension from typing at your keyboard or scrolling through your phone all day.