The five-minute stress buster

A physician’s toolbox to help reduce stress

Paula S. Katz | October 21, 2015

Got five minutes? That’s all it takes to short-circuit your stress, at least for a while, says Peter Moskowitz, MD, executive director, Center for Professional and Personal Renewal, Palo Alto, Calif.

He recommends developing a tool box of quick stress relievers. Then when you’re feeling stressed, take a five-minute time out and select a tool. It shouldn’t be kept secret from your co-workers: Tell your nurse or partner you’re taking a five-minute break.

Consider adding the following activities to your 5-minute toolbox:

  • Walk around the block.
  • Listen to music.
  • Relax in your office.
  • Do a deep breathing exercise.
  • Use a relaxation tape on your cellphone.
  • Look at a funny joke.
  • Share a joke with colleagues.

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