Human Resources

20 Ways to Reduce Stress


If your boss, coworker, or workload has you down in the dumps, try one of the proven relaxation methods below to blow off some steam in a healthy way:

1. Concentrate on your breath. Close your eyes and start breathing deeply and slowly. Let the breath out for a count of five. Repeat this practice ten times, focusing on the way the breath feels in the body. Feel the rib cage expand and relax, and feel your mind relax.

2. Stretch. Raise your arms above your head, reach out to the right side of the room for four counts, then to the left side. Next, reach straight up. Reach all the way through your fingers to stretch your back and shoulder muscles. Then, take your arms back down and release your neck by moving your right ear toward you right shoulder. Repeat on the opposite side.

3. Walk it off. Take a walk at lunch or during a break. Walk around the building or climb the stairs.

4. Eat a healthy snack. Keep fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole-grain foods on or around your desk. They contain stress-busting B and C vitamins.

5. Visualization. Put a flower or blade of grass on your desk and spend a few moments each hour contemplating it. Imagine the cells within it teeming with life, or imagine you are a ladybug climbing up the flower or the grass, taking in its color and smell.

6. Drink healthy liquids. Switch your regular coffee drink for some healthy fruit juice, low calorie vitamin water, or electrolyte-infused water.

7. Treat yourself. Enjoy a banana, orange, or tangerine. Peel it slowly and enjoy the fragrance. Allow your thoughts to focus on the way the fruit smells, tastes, looks, and feels. Savor each bite. Don’t do anything else while eating.

8. Take time to laugh. Write down some funny jokes where you can see them or find humorous points of the present situation.

9. Talk to your coworkers. While on break, chat with colleagues about hobbies and activities outside of work.

10. Imagine a peaceful place. Close your eyes and think of yourself resting on a beach, in a meadow, or at a spa. Take in the scene completely, thinking about how it would feel
if you really were there.

11. Take a minute. Look out a window and let your thoughts take flight.

12. Break time. Take a break from your work and think about your life outside of your job. Think about something enjoyable you will do when you get home.

13. Journey outside during breaks. Sit next to trees or flowers. Enjoy the way their leaves float in the breeze.

14. Take a meditation break. Close your eyes, deepen your breath, and focus on peaceful feelings for five or ten minutes. When you open your eyes, take the peaceful feelings with you as you go back to work.

15. Make a cup of hot tea or broth. Enjoy the smell and the warmth.

16. Complete something you’ve been putting off. Notice how good you feel having completed it.

17. Make time for play. Do a crossword, play solitaire, or another game during a break.

18. Massage yourself. Rub your shoulders, neck, and scalp. Close your eyes and imagine the muscles releasing.

19. Release tension through movement. Follow this exercise: Sit up straight, then drop your upper torso, arms, and head between your knees. Exhale and then inhale as you roll up, starting from the base of your spine.

20. Adjust. Focus on your posture and adjust it if necessary. Place your feet flat on the floor, lower back supported against the chair, shoulders moving down, chest moving up, and chin parallel with the floor. Breathe through this posture.