Stress affects both the mind and the body. So effective stress-busters will address both.
Incorporate one of these ideas today and watch how your daily workday stress changes!
Stress according to Medlineplus.gov is a feeling of emotional or physical tension. It can come from a event or even a thought that makes you feel frustrated, angry, or nervous.
Stress is your body’s reaction to a challenge or demand. In short bursts, stress can be positive, such as when it helps you avoid danger or meet a deadline. But when stress lasts for a long time, it may harm your health.
Top Stress Busters for the Workplace to Start Right Now
1. Mindful breathing
Breathing is the best way to address stress in both the mind and the body. Because it’s an automatic bodily process it’s linked to our physical selves. But because we can choose to control our breathing to some extent, it’s also linked to our mental wellbeing.
Take 30 seconds to focus on slow deep breaths before starting a new task. Taking focused, deeper breaths in and out has a tendency to straighten our posture as well.
If you have 10 minutes, try this ten minute guided meditation session.
Stress affects each person slightly differently, but there are patterns. Common areas to feel stress in the body are shoulders, neck, head, upper back, lower back, and stomach.
Depending on the type of work you do, your body will tend to tense up in static postures. For computer workers, this means shoulders get more hunched, chests cave in, and head and neck get stretched out towards the keyboard or screen.
Workers who spend most of the day on their feet will tend to feel stress in their lower backs. This comes from a fatigued posture where the body tries to relax as much as it can. But because of the upright posture, weight tends to settle unnaturally around the pelvis, hips, and base of the spine.
Whatever posture your body is holding throughout the day, counteract it with some gentle, sustained stretches. Don’t forget to stretch your hands as well to prevent carpal tunnel. Try these carpal tunnel stretches.
3. Moments of zen
Every office has some random sound that happens on a somewhat regular basis. Maybe it’s the elevator dinging down the hall, the front door opening and closing, a filing cabinet drawer that squeaks every time it’s opened… or some other sound unique to your office space.
Use these little triggers as a reminder to come back to the present moment. If you can, stop what you’re doing for 2 seconds, take a breath, and notice what your posture is doing.
That’s it. Then return to your task at hand. By breaking up the day with these little moments of zen, you’ll end up much less stressed at the end of the day.
4. Turn off notifications
Where multitasking was once lauded as an accomplishment, more research is showing that multitasking is not an effective way to produce quality work.
When focusing on a project, turn off as many notifications as you can get away with—or at least make it slightly harder to check them. It can be as simple as minimizing your email browser so you don’t see each time you get a new email.
Unless you’re anticipating receiving some information from someone else, you’re often better off focusing for 15-30 minutes at a time before checking in on your notifications. If something is going to burn down in that time, people will find other ways of getting in touch with you.
5. Get outside
At least once a day, rain or shine, try to get outside for a few minutes. Getting out of the fluorescent lights and into some fresh air can be a great way to hit the restart button.
Taking some time for a quick walk, even if it’s just around the parking lot, is beneficial as well. A quick lap around the building, or if you’re lucky, around some kind of trees or grass, will help you focus better when you return to your work.
6. Walking meetings
Why not take your calls while you walk through the park.
7. Make friends at work
Bonding at work can help build friendships, but the dedicated quality time spent team-building will help those friendships grow faster.
8. Eat healthier
Instead of eating unhealthy to soothe your stress, try these foods:
- Whole wheat bread
- Fruits and vegetables
- Kale and blueberries, contain mood-boosting antioxidants
- Chicken or wild-caught Alaskan Salmon
9. Talk to management about getting a EAP
Finally, the ultimate stress-busters—i.e. 24/7 mental health counseling, guided meditation, and virtual yoga—should be part of your company EAP. If your company doesn’t already have an EAP, or if your EAP is lacking, try our EAP.
Experience mental health sessions 24/7 with our talented practitioners. Enjoy virtual yoga, guided meditation, massage instruction, and personal training to keep your mental health in check year-round.
Ready to get started? Call +1 (800) 556-2950