With all of the emails, meetings and spreadsheets to deal with in a day, it’s easy to get wound up. Here are 6 tips to reduce stress at work so you don’t have to find out what your breaking point is on Stress Awareness Day.
Take a Deep Breath
We need oxygen to live, but it’s also a great stress reliever. Deep breaths can actually slow your heart beat and lower your blood pressure. Even if you sit quietly for a few minutes, you can lower your heart rate. So when you’re sitting at your desk with a to-do list a page-and-half long, take a deep breath… or no breaths… or five deep breaths, if it’s that bad.
Take ten minutes to meditate. Focusing on a word or sound while relaxing each muscle in your body helps to clear the noise in your head created by stress. An adrenaline rush is a natural response to stress — meditation does the opposite of an adrenaline rush. By using this relaxation technique, your pulse slows, blood pressure is lowered and your metabolism slows down. You don’t need any special tools, just a little bit of time and a comfortable place to sit at the office and you’re on your way to being stress free.
Stop and Smell the Lavender
Lavender is used as a remedy for conditions from hair loss to insomnia, but did you know it could reduce stress? It lowers your heart rate and improves sleep quality. Keeping a sachet at work will keep your work space smelling fresh and calm when the going gets tough
When you have a presentation you’re feeling stressed about, pop a piece of gum in your mouth. Australian researchers found chewing gum decreased the amount of the stress hormone cortisol by 16 percent. They also found that it reduces anxiety and increased the ability to multi-task. All this and fresh breath to boot. Talk about stress reliever…
Dark chocolate is the anti-dote to many ailments – including stress. A study published in the Journal of Proteome Research shows the amount of the stress hormone cortisol was significantly reduced in people who ate a chocolate. The only down side to the study is they had to eat chocolate every day. That’s not such a bad trade off.
Read a Page or Two
Researchers at the University of Sussex found that reading can reduce stress levels by 68 percent. It’s a quick fix, too. It only takes about six minutes of reading before you start experiencing a lower heart rate and relaxed muscles. The study looked at other methods of relaxation – listening to music was a close second followed by a cup of tea and taking a walk.