Whether it's related to an issue at work, a fight with a friend, or problems with family, everyone feels stressed sometimes. In fact, 54 percent of Americans are concerned about the level of stress in their daily lives. And while therapy can help (come on, everyone's thought about laying on that infamous doctor's couch at some point), most solutions (think talk therapy or medication) are dealt with in the long-term. So what can be done in the next five minutes to reduce—and prevent—stress? Here's our list of the Greatist ways to decrease stress right now.
1. Try progressive relaxation. All the way from fingers to toes—tense and then release each muscle group in the body (lower arm, upper arm, chest, back and abdominals, etc.). Once the body is relaxed, the mind will be soon to follow !
4. Breathe deep. Taking a deep breath has been shown to lower cortisol levels, which can help reduce stress and anxiety . Studies suggest deep breathing can also cause a temporary drop in blood pressure 
6. Listen to music.
Research points to multiple ways in which music can help relieve stress, from triggering biochemical stress reducers to assisting in treating stress associated with medical procedures  .
9. Exercise. That post-exercise endorphin rush is one way to sharply cut stress.
11. Join a religious community.
Surveys have shown a major underlying reason people practice religion is for stress relief. One study even found that college students who practiced a religion were less stressed than their non-religious counterparts. And other research suggests religious people are less likely to experience stress-related mental illness .
13. Get a massage. Getting a good ol’ rub down may do more than alleviate physical pain. Studies suggest massage may also be beneficial for fighting stress  . It may also help improve body image .
20. Write it out.
Keeping a journal may be one way to effectively relieve stress-related symptoms due to its meditative and reflective effects  . A gratitude journal can really help us put things in perspective, so pick a time every day to write down a few things that make you happy.
22. Kiss someone! Research suggests kissing releases chemicals that ease hormones associated with stress, like cortisol. Forming positive relationships is also a key way to help reduce stress and anxiety.
23. Don’t write a list of the top 23 ways to reduce stress!
This article originally posted September 2011. Updated March 2013 by Shana Lebowitz.