Beat Stress at Work in 15 Minutes or Less
We posted a couple weeks ago about the insidious nature of workplace stress and ways you can help combat it in your employees, but sometimes stress is fleeting and just an otherwise normal part of a busy day. Maybe you’ve just had two back to back meetings and are running late for a third or your computer spontaneously decided to stop working and you’re on a deadline. When these kinds of things happen, it’s important to try and get control over the resulting stress so it doesn’t negatively impact your entire day. 15 minutes and a little focus is all it really takes to make a major difference in your approach during or before a demanding, stressful day.
Share these easy tips with your employees and give them a shot yourself next time you’re stressed at work.
- Wake up early –
Although it’s not something you can do in 15 minutes, it is a simple tip that can have a huge impact on the flow of your day. It is also one that most people skip in favor of extra sleep. However, you’ll actually end up feeling much more well rested if you avoid waking up with just enough time to rush out the door without being late. Establish a morning routine that allows you to properly prepare for the day and allows you to feel relaxed and energized before a busy day.
- Clench and release your muscles –
Tighten a muscle group without straining for a period of 7 to 10 seconds and then relax. If a particular muscle group is already tense – start with that area. Otherwise, it’s easiest to start by tensing your shoulders up by your ears or clenching your fists and then releasing. If you’re stressed, you are probably placing a fair bit of tension throughout your body without even realizing it.
- Take deep breaths –
Now, this one is obvious but the main key here is to focus on making your exhales as long as possible. Start by Inhaling deeply and slowly for 2 to 3 beats and then try to exhale for the same length of time. Extend your counts as you continue to breathe deeply and you should find yourself significantly more relaxed in no time!
- Feel your pressure points –
Putting pressure on certain points of the body can help release tension by promoting blood circulation to that area. The next time you have a tension headache or are feeling frazzled, try placing your middle and index finger on your ‘Third Eye Point’ (the space between your eyebrows). Hold this position for one to two minutes while providing gentle pressure.
- Exercise –
Take a quick walk around your building or do some light stretching. Getting the blood flowing and redirecting your energy even for a brief period is often an easy way to clean your mental slate.
- Tidy your junk drawer –
Taking a few minutes to organize may be the last thing you feel like doing, but having a mindset of de-cluttering helps to manage stress. Focus on a small project or space – maybe straighten out that cluttered top desk drawer or rearrange some files. There is probably at least one thing you have been meaning to organize at your desk. Tangible organization helps with emotional organization.
- Write mental thank you notes –
As you start to feel yourself getting sucked into stress and the depressed/anxious thoughts that often follow, try to put a stop to it by shifting your thoughts to more positive ones. Start focusing on the things you are grateful for, look around you and try to appreciate anything you find beautiful or pleasant in that moment. If you can learn to shift your mental energy to find some kind of positivity, you often get a clear path out of stress. It can also be helpful to store a list of things you appreciate in your life in your phone to reference any time things start to get out of control.
How do you handle stress during the day? Have you used any of these tips yourself?