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6 Tips Anxious Working Professionals Do to Relax
Numerous studies show that job stress is one of the significant sources of stress for American Adults. For 46%, their workload is their leading cause of stress, 28% say it’s people issues, 20% struggle with finding work-life balance, and about 6% struggle with job security. Overall, 40% of workers report having an extremely stressful job.
Whether you’re working from home or you’re back in the office, workplace stress and anxiety are following everyone around. At least one in four workers experience anxiety levels that interfere with their work performance. So working professionals are getting more and more creative when it comes to finding things to relax while working.
Here are some things professionals do to relax during and after a stressful day at work.
1. Listen to Calming Music
Whenever you’re feeling overwhelmed, relaxing music can help calm you down. A relaxing sound experience with meditation music that’s proven to lower our stress levels and keep us grounded can slow your heart rate and prevent an anxiety attack. Try to combine this practice with breaking exercises.
A simple breathing exercise can be breathing into a slow count of four and then breathing out to the same count of slow four. As you breathe, your body will become more aware of its surroundings and help your stress levels go down.
2. Use a Stress ball
A good-old stress ball can help in moments of stress and anxiety. Whether you have a squeeze ball, a foam button, a Rubik’s cube, or any other fidgeting item, these can help you manifest your anxiety in different ways. Turning to objects to channel your anxiety levels can be a healthier way to deal with buildup stress.
3. Quick Meditation Practice
You don’t need to sit down in the middle of the office in a meditation position to make this happen. As you’re listening to music, close your eyes for a few seconds. Start noticing the things around you, the sounds, smells, temperatures, and noises. This quick exercise will help you feel more grounded. Deep breathing and visualization exercises like this can help your mind focus on the now instead of daydreaming about your next vacation.
4. Have a Stress-Reducing Snack
When stressed, it’s easy to go for sugary or salty snacks. Coffee is another popular option to keep going in the workplace. However, these snacks will only fuel your anxiety levels, having the opposite effect. Instead, choose foods that can lower cortisol levels (aka the stress hormone) like avocados, almonds, blueberries, and oatmeal. If you’re struggling with cravings, opt for foods that have a natural crunch to them, like celery stalks, carrots, and apples – the crunchiness will trick your brain into thinking you’re having snacks and calm your cravings.
5. Go for a Walk
If you feel on the verge of screaming at your boss (it happens), ask for a quick 5- to 10-minute break from your boss to clear your head. Even if you can’t leave the building, walk around the office. As long as you can step away from the desk, you’ll feel the benefits of this practice. To prevent anxiety from building up, consider taking a 1-3 minute break in-between tasks to grab water, go to the restroom, or merely stretch your legs. These frequent breaks will help you stay more focused and calm.
6. Call a Friend
Sometimes you just need to vent out, especially if you’re having a rough day. Consider stepping out of the office and calling a close friend or family member to chat for a few minutes. It can be extremely reassuring to hear a familiar voice telling you it’s going to be okay. You can also consider texting a therapist or using a mindfulness app if there’s no one available to speak during your break.
Risks of Not Relaxing
Stress is part of everyday life. Even during highly stressful situations, these activities can help us manage our stress levels. Stress from work, however, can wear you out over time. When you don’t set time to relax, you’re more likely to experience symptoms of burnout, in addition to some of these adverse effects of stress:
- Frequent headaches and body aches
- Sleeping problems, including insomnia
- Stress-related illnesses
- Social isolation
- Increased risk of drug, tobacco, and alcohol abuse
- Poor performance at work
Just because stress is part of life doesn’t mean that you should let it get the best of you. Instead, reach for simple, quick, and easy-to-follow relaxation exercises that can help you control your stress levels. Even if you don’t feel stressed, taking time to meditate, exercise, and spend time in nature can be excellent ways to keep stress away in the first place.
Remember, if relaxation techniques don’t help your stress, you may want to seek help from a mental health professional. It could be that you’re struggling with anxiety or depression. They may be able to recommend the right treatment plan for you.
Geraldine Orentas is a writer for Happy Writers, Co. in partnership with rocklin physical therapy service, Burger Physical Therapy.