Ten Simple Ideas for Stress and Anxiety Relief at Work

Did your boss just yell at you? Was a customer rude? Are you super-stressed about a report due at work? If so, there are several simple techniques you can use for stress and anxiety relief.

Be Aware of Your Body

The first trick to fast stress and anxiety relief is in knowing when you are tense. What does tension feel like for you? Do your shoulders tighten up? Does your jaw clench? Make it a point to “check in” with your body a few times a day. If you find signs of tension, it’s time to activate some plans for stress and anxiety relief.

Get Moving

Stand up and stretch, take a walk, go jogging on your lunch hour, or schedule a twenty-minute workout at the end of the day. Moving your body is one way to relieve stress and anxiety quickly.

Take Time to Breathe

Go into your office, cubicle, or some other place where you will not be interrupted. Take a deep breath. Inhale through your nose, hold your breath for a count of three, and exhale through your mouth. Do this ten times, and you will feel the tension in your body melt away.

Use Imagery

Another surefire method for stress and anxiety relief is to imagine yourself someplace else, someplace you find relaxing and comforting. Many people imagine a favorite spot in the wilderness, or a favorite room in their house.

Challenge Irrational Thoughts

As you become more upset, your thoughts may become more irrational and catastrophic. (For instance, “If I don’t get this report finished on time, I’ll lose my job, and my wife will divorce me, and I’ll end up homeless…”) Stop the irrational thoughts as soon as you notice them and replace them with a more realistic assessment. “Asking for a two day extension won’t be the end of the world,” or, “If I take a deep breath and focus, I can bring this in on time.”

Break Large Tasks into Small Steps

If you’re overwhelmed at the idea of completing a large project, break it up into small steps. Give yourself a little reward, like a trip to the soda machine or a five-minute mini-break after completing each tiny step.

Lay Off Caffeine and Sugar

Ever seen a two-year old get completely wired after eating a couple of cookies or drinking a pop? That’s exactly what happens to adults when we take in too much sugar or caffeine. But since we can’t very well run around the office making airplane noises, we carry the stress in our bodies.

Take a Play Break

Some professionals keep “squish” balls at their desk to squeeze for fast relief of stress and anxiety. Other people take a few minutes to play a game at www.addictinggames.com. They’re quick (less than five minutes), easy to play, and many don’t require a download.

Blow Off Steam…Judiciously

There’s nothing wrong with venting a little, but words spoken in anger can haunt you for a long time if they’re read or overheard by the wrong person. Don’t put anything in email you don’t want the whole office to see.

Don’t Expect To Avoid All Sources of Stress

Finally, remember that it’s natural to feel stress when you leave your comfort zone. Some stress must be endured as you expand your horizons, learn new tasks and earn new responsibilities. That kind of stress may not be much fun, but in the long run, it’s worth it!