Stress Management: 5 Ways to Reduce Stress at Work
If you’re sitting at your desk or walking the floors of a warehouse or retail store, reducing anxiety and stress at work can seem like a challenge. While exercise, massages, and yoga are excellent stress management tools, they’re not always an option at work.
To help reduce work related stress and anxiety, here are some quick and easy activities to try.
When it comes to stress management at work, laughter is an effective medicine. Stress and anxiety can put a harmful strain on your muscles. This is responsible for that irritating feeling of tension throughout your body.
With every big bout of laughter, your intake of oxygen rich air increases drastically. This in turn releases endorphins which allow your muscles to release the toxins.
When you feel overwhelmed or just need a break from the day, give yourself a few moments to laugh. Laughing with friends in the breakroom or listening to a comedy station on your phone can reduce stress and anxiety at work considerably.
Exercise is the leading drug of choice for stress management. But it’s not always feasible, especially at work.
Stretching wakes up your body as forgotten muscles revitalize. Not only will it make you feel refreshed, a good stretch will release the lactic acids responsible for tension. This reduces anxiety and allows you to perform more efficiently at work. It can create the right level of relaxation needed to perform efficiently.
Whether you’re sitting at your desk or standing beside it, try a few different stretching techniques to relieve tension. Stretch your legs and back. Move your arms and hands. Get your blood pumping and oxygen flowing.
These actions don’t take much effort or time, but they will aid in reducing stress.
Stress management through overeating is never a good idea. In fact, filling up on sugary foods and alcohol actually increases stress levels. However, eating the right foods in times of elevated anxiety may do your body a favor.
Foods high in magnesium such as pumpkin seeds and cashews have mood boosting properties. The magnesium in these foods aids in calming your nervous system. So when you’re feeling the twinges of an anxiety induced food attack coming on at work, reach for the jar of nuts in your desk and chew away the stress.
Your nervous system moves to hyper drive when an anxiety attack is imminent. And when you’re at work, the feeling intensifies. You may literally feel your temperature rise as your heart rate skyrockets.
The quickest way to quell this raging fire brewing is with a glass of ice cold water.
The cooling effects of the ice can lower your temperature and give you the sense relaxation. This in turn will lower your heart rate and give you the ability to regain your composure.
When you’re feeling on edge about an upcoming presentation or any work event for that matter, your breathing adjusts to your heart rate. You may not realize it but this sort of shallow breathing increases your anxiety and can cause you to hyperventilate.
Deep breathing can prevent this.
Deep breathing for stress management goes hand in hand. By allowing your lungs to fully open with oxygenated air, your body has an opportunity to reset. Your brain will switch from panic mode to calming mode with just a few deep breaths.
Deep breathing can be done anywhere and doesn’t take much time. If you feel overwhelmed, head to the restroom or find a quiet room. Focus your mind to a calming scene such as a flowing river. Take a deep breath in and hold it before slowly releasing.
Do this again and again until you feel your tension release.
Stress Management for Life
It’s important to understand, stress management is not just about work performance. It’s about improving your overall health. Relieving stress and anxiety goes a long way to prevent heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and other illnesses.
Work related stress is the leading cause of heart related illnesses in America. On an average day, over one million Americans cite stress as their reason for calling out of work. To avoid being another statistic, take stock of your work environment, workload, and home life. Determine which elements can be altered or even dismissed. Small changes will go a long way toward relieving stress and anxiety at work.
Next time you’re feeling stressed or anxious, try one of these activities. It may be just the mood booster you need.