We all have those days… You know, the ones where your upper back aches from being hunched over your computer all day with your shoulders in your ears, your lower body stiffens from sitting in that office-issue chair and your head aches from the sheer number of tasks your boss expects of you. You’re tired, cranky and, well, to put it mildly, seriously stressed out. Rather than bitching your boss out (never a good idea), snapping at your secretary (also never a good idea) or taking it out on your significant other, incorporate these stress-busters from Sue Kasson, a Certified Stress Management Consultant and the founder of LoseYourStressNow.com, in to your day whenever you feel your temperature rising.
5 Easy Ways to Reduce Stress At Work
Be present in the current moment. The best way to do this is to acknowledge and release negative, stressful thoughts. Want to drop that thought like a hot potato? Picture a red stop sign and silently say: “Stop!”
Count your breaths. Look away from your computer and, if you can, close your eyes. Breathe slowly and naturally. Inhale and then, as you exhale, count “one.” Inhale slowly again, exhale and count “two.” Repeat until you get to 10. It helps if you picture the number in your mind while you are exhaling.
Silently repeat a word or a phrase. Inhale slowly. As you exhale, silently say a word or phrase (like peace, calm or relax). You can do this for up to five minutes when you have the time but even just one minute works amazingly well to calm your brain and your body.
Give yourself love and approval. Loving self-talk is an instant route to relaxation and much more effective than affirmations. First say to yourself, “I’m getting rid of the negative thoughts I have about myself. I’m releasing my self-disapproval.” Then, take a deep breath and say, “I love myself and approve of myself.”
Do a quick body scan. Go through your body tightening each muscle group, one at a time, inhaling and exhaling with each body group. Start by tightening up your feet and toes. Really squeeze and scrunch them up tight in your shoes. Now relax all of those same muscles. Continue with your legs, your torso, and then your back. Lift your shoulders towards your ears and hold. Slowly release your shoulders and exhale deeply.