Meditation is just one way to calm your mind. You can also relieve stress and anxiety with other techniques that move the body and train the mind to rest.

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If you want to know how to calm down when nervous, you’re not alone. Many people have times when they want calming techniques that lead to feeling peaceful.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, approximately 31.1% of U.S. adults experience an anxiety disorder at one point in their life. That doesn’t necessarily include the many people who just want ways to get rid of anxiety fast, regardless of whether they have a mental health diagnosis.

Whether you regularly manage symptoms of anxiety or are living through a stressful period of time, it may help to know how to relax your brain. Here are a few easy ways to get 10-minute stress relief — without traditional forms of meditation.

It can seem like a tough task to get rid of anxiety. But there are many techniques you can try to find stress relief and a few moments of calm. These are backed up with scientific research — but the best option may be to simply find what works best for you.

Consider taking a pause in the afternoon — or indeed anytime you want to calm your mind — to sip a hot brew. One particular magic of tea is that it can make you feel less stressed.

A 2016 study of 34 adults found the experience of stress went down one hour after drinking a beverage that contained l-theanine, the primary active component of green tea, compared to a placebo.

There’s also evidence other kinds of tea may also contribute to better well-being. A 2018 study of 9,576 adults found an association between caffeine consumption — specifically from coffee and green tea — and a lower prevalence of lifetime depression.

If green tea isn’t to your liking, you have other options to sip away stress. black teas, such as Earl Grey and Chai, also contain l-theanine and caffeine.

Breathing deeply may sound like meditation — but that’s only part of the story. Human beings are designed to breathe deep into their bellies, but not everyone does, so getting the full benefit of this oxygen intake may take some concentration and effort.

Diaphragmatic breathing involves contracting the diaphragm, expanding the belly, and taking deep inhales and long exhales. It’s also called deep breathing and can be a big part of stress management.

Not only might these breathing exercises relieve anxiety, but they may also relax your mind.

A 2017 study of 40 people found that training in diaphragmatic breathing led to longer spans of sustained attention and lower levels of cortisol, a hormone related to stress response.

When you want a quick way to calm your mind, consider taking a deep breath, expanding your belly, and exhaling slowly.

Sometimes feelings of anxiety can stem from negative emotions or thought patterns inside the mind. When you are feeling anxious, it may help to recognize negative thoughts — and accept them.

After accepting the negative thoughts, you may find you have the power to create space between yourself and them, and feeling peaceful again becomes an option.

Some people find it helpful to also take a moment to think lovingly about a person or situation to give the mind another focus besides the negative thoughts.

If you’re experiencing a moment of anxiety and want to calm your mind, you might hesitate to let it wander. Some might worry that will only increase the stress response, and give you trouble falling asleep even after you close your eyes.

But some researchers propose that mind wandering is part of the brain’s natural resting state. Instead of being the opposite of mindfulness when it comes to mental health and cognitive performance, they say that positive mental states can come from both mindfulness and mind wandering.

So consider letting it go — and having your thoughts wander to a happy place.

Many people find it feels great, physically and mentally, to spend time in nature. There’s scientific research to back up this sentiment.

A 2015 study found that, in an urban center, having 10 or more trees on a block contributed to higher health perception among residents, equivalent to having higher income or being 7 years younger. A 2022 meta-analysis of studies found that a nature walk is an effective intervention for anxiety and depression.

So if you’re wondering, “how do I calm my anxious mind,” the answer may be as simple as a stroll in the park or finding a nice tree to sit near for a little while.

If you’re interested in how to calm your mind without criss-crossed-legs-and-fingertips touching meditation, you may find some benefits in techniques that are different from traditional meditative practices.

Movement practices, like tai chi and yoga, are often thought of as exercise. They also have strong meditative elements that can help to reduce the stress response and relieve anxiety.

A 2018 meta-analysis of studies found tai chi and yoga can help reduce heart rate variability as a measure of stress.

The analysis found yoga, practiced at least 60 minutes per week, was particularly effective. However, if you want to calm your mind quickly, doing a few postures may help you achieve the desired effect.

If you feel guided meditation may work for you, research shows even brief sessions may have benefits. A 2019 study found a daily 13-minute guided meditation decreased anxiety scores after 8 weeks of practice.

Calming the mind is possible even without meditation. You can try:

  • sipping tea
  • walking in nature
  • yoga or tai chi
  • practicing movement exercises
  • mind wandering
  • deep breathing
  • creating space between you and negative thoughts

Finding what works for you can give you a quick, in-the-moment technique to help you manage the stress response and leave you feeling peaceful.