Take a Breather! Beat Workplace Stress With These Five Tips

Stress and work seemingly go hand-in-hand. It’s only normal to feel some pressure during your workday. But what can you do when stress gets the best of you? We’ve compiled five easy ways for you to banish unnecessary stress from your day.

Some of these may seem like no-brainers, but they are fundamental ideals that many people forget, or simply ignore.

Here are the top five ways you can reduce your workplace stress — now:

  1. Be organized. We won’t bore you with recommendations for the top “organizational systems.” Everyone works differently, but the underlying key to success is being organized. Keep everything in its place, map out your day–including meetings and top tasks–so that you’re not caught by surprise. Small steps toward organization can minimize the stress caused by work overload or last-minute “emergencies.”
  2. Relax! Easier said than done, right?! It can be extremely annoying when people tell you to “Just relax,” but there is some truth to it. The physical and mental effects of stress can be lowered when you use formal methods of relaxation. And the best part, you can do them right at your desk! Try closing your eyes and inhale to a count of seven. Then, hold the breath for a count of five, and exhale to a count of eight. Are you following? Do this 20 times, right at your desk. If you have headphones, try drowning out office sounds with some soothing music while you breathe. This can have a dramatic impact on how you feel, and can even decrease your blood pressure!
  3. Rest up. You may think your body runs well on five hours of sleep, but let’s face it–it doesn’t! Aim for seven to eight hours of uninterrupted sleep each night. You’ll be more prepared to deal with everyday stressors, and as an added bonus, you’ll have more energy and increased concentration.
  4. Take a break (or two). Each hour, spend 5 to 10 minutes grabbing a glass of water, or better yet, doing some simple stretches at your desk. Our bodies become hunched over, tired and achy while sitting and staring at a bright screen. And when you feel tired and achy, you don’t exactly respond to everyday stress very well. Taking a short break each hour allows you to mentally reset and physically rebound–so you’ll be better prepared to handle the inevitable stressors that can arise each day.
  5. Smile more. Although it may seem hard at times, force yourself to smile a little bit more. Smiling and laughing can relax you, and can also create a better overall mood within your office. Whether it’s sending around a link to a funny animal clip on YouTube (company policy permitting), telling a funny (and appropriate) story, or some other way to earn a chuckle, incorporate more smiles and laughs into your day.