Friday, October 25, 2013

5 Ways to Relieve Office Stress

Work is one of the topmost stressors for people in the U.S, and its not hard to understand why. Just about everyone has to deal with the same work problems, namely bosses, deadlines, and coworkers. All this stress over work combined with stress at home can build up into a nasty temple of either acute or chronic stress that inhibits your health, ruins your day, and destroys your life. Don't let that happen to you. Your life is too short and too worthy to not enjoy it. If you're stressed at work, here's some great ways to relieve it!

Breathe


Breathing

Just breathe. You'll be shocked at how much better you feel. Breathing has a long history in the health world for a good reason. It releases a calming a effect that can be instantly felt and makes the body feel physically much better. Many psychiatrists, health professionals, and yoga experts actually recommend it for stress management and people with anxiety, digestive problems, and high blood pressure. All you have to do is take three minutes out of your day to find a calm quiet place, perhaps even at your desk, to breathe deeply. Take a 5-second long deep breath in through your mouth, hold it for a moment, and then exhale slowly through the nose. Do this several times for three minutes and then several times throughout the day, every thirty minutes to an hour if you need to. Its been scientifically shown that people who do this not only handle stress and anxiety better, but they lead much healthier lifestyles if done on a regular basis even if it is the only change to their daily routine they make. All it takes is remembering to do it and the diligence to do it often. The health benefits are astounding. Just breathe.

Healthy Lifestyle

Healthy Office Lunch

Leading a healthy lifestyle may sound sort of redundant on a post about stress management, but it is extremely important. Even if you have trouble managing stress or anxiety, simply eating well and getting plenty of sleep is a huge step in the right direction, and we mean huge. Following a good eating pattern puts wonderful health benefits on the body and physically forces you to feel better. Of course, both chronic stress built up over time and acute stress that occurs for just a moment can both cause stomach pains that prevent us from wanting to eat. The best thing to do in this case is breath deeply (remember it can also effect the digestive system?) to see if you can loosen up some of the stomach stress, and then eat something healthy and calming such as soup or a smoothie. Additionally, sleeping well can also have an enormous effect on your health. If you are stressed, you're probably one of the 40% of Americans that lie awake thinking about it at night. It never, ever helps. Tell yourself that there is nothing that staring at the ceiling can fix, especially since your day is already over. Do whatever you need to fall asleep on time. Force yourself to get into and maintain a sleeping pattern. The body loves repetition, and if you go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even on the weekends, your body will reward you by feeling much better. All it takes is 21 days to form a habit, and in this case, your health depends on it, so get forming!

* ASAPScience on Youtube.com has great scientific health videos such as "Should you use the snooze button?" that provide tons of easy-to-understand scientific information about healthy lifestyles usually under three minutes. The videos are fun and informative with great cartoons that illustrate the information easily. Check them out and see if you can apply the knowledge to your life.

Find Your Balance


Balance

In order to maintain a healthy lifestyle, its critical to find balance in your life. It may seem like its in your best interest to devote all your time and energy to work, but if its stressing you out too much, it may actually end up costing you more in the long run in terms of health and money. Make sure you divide up your time so that its manageable between work, home, and recreation. Time to "stop and smell the roses" will never come unless you seek it out and make time to do it. Sure, it sounds like a difficult task what with co-workers and kids trying to snag your attention all the time, but that doesn't mean you can't include them in your recreation. If you can find time during a break to play fun card games with co-workers, go for it. They'll probably enjoy a break-up in their routine just as much as you. At home, make sure you give time to your family, but let them know that you also need time for yourself and that its okay if they need to exercise a bit of time alone too. Set times where you all can have a few moments peace from each other but also some times to come back together again to eat dinner together or play some games at the end of the day. Recreational activities are extremely important for health reasons, so make use of them. Sometimes kids need activities and breaks after all that school and homework too. If you all work together to maintain a good balance in each other's lives, there's a good chance you'll all succeed, and that's just one less thing to worry about.


Exercise or Deskercise

Deskercise

Most people recognize that exercise is another huge leap that needs to be taken to improving health. Like breathing, exercise also releases endorphins that help us feel good, and people who find the time to walk the dog, go for a jog, ride a bike, or take a stroll in the park generally have much healthier views on life than people who don't. If you can, see if you can find the time to take breaks during your office hours. Instead of heading to the lounge or the break room, go for a walk outside instead. Use the time to focus only on your surroundings and clear your head. If you don't have the time to do this, "deskercise"or exercising at your desk is a trend that has been sweeping the nation. There are videos, pictures, and pamphlets that illustrate the exercise moves that can be done in your office chair. If your office doesn't make use of ergonomics, talk to your boss to see if you can convince them to include ergonomics into the workplace. Not only does affordable office furniture for executives increase comfort and workplace efficiency, but ergonomic office chairs improved health as shown through scientific studies!


Focus


Focus

If you're constantly worrying about work and the other big stressors in your life, you may think that's probably too much focus and thats the last thing you need to relieve your stress right? Wrong. Constantly worrying about work is not actual focus, its just worrying. Studies show that people who spend time stressing out over constant focus on work actually get much less of it done than the people who genuinely focus just on what they're doing at that moment. Instead of trying to just plow through your day, start off by just working for a straight hour and a half with a concentration only on the work that you are doing, not on everything else that needs to get done. This will set up a momentum for you that you should do your best not to break. After you get the momentum going, make sure you take brief breaks in which you can breathe for a minute or use your comfortable chairs for office use do a few deskercise moves. This will help you keep the "work" frame of mind without overworking yourself. Completely shut off your cell phone unless you need it for work, and even then only text or take calls that are imperative to work. Leave games and social networking sites alone completely to reduce distraction. Studies have also shown that standing can help increase your circulation and improve brain function while you work. If you can, see if your workplace has any office desks with modern design that provide height adjustability so you can stand up while you work. Try it out and see if it works for you!
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