Nine Fun Things You Can Do To Decrease Your Stress at the Office
We are bombarded with pressure from our employers, our customers and families to the point where some people actually do break. Most of us today in professional lives spend between 8 and 16 hours a day at the office, which equates to almost two-thirds of our lives being in a place we often do not want to be, but there are things you can do to decrease the stress in your office.
Remember this, what we call stress, is really what we put on ourselves. Whilst other people can influence the way we feel, ultimately we are the ones who choose whether we are going to be stressed or not. You are in control of how you are going to feel, no one else is. Stress as such is going on in our heads, so the real secret to de-stressing is to find things that would make you happy and content within.
1. Have a Photo of the Happiest Time in Your Life where you will see it all day long.
If that’s not possible, put a screensaver on your desktop or on your phone. Then, every time you look at it, think back through the moment. Really feel the joy you felt in that moment. Give that memory your full attention for a few minutes. Know that the memory is yours forever; no one can take it away from you. Relax, smile, and get on with your day. You can repeat this exercise several times a day if you feel the need. This is an instant fix because your brain releases happy chemicals every time you recall a happy memory. Use the happy times, to control the times when you feel the most vulnerable and stressed.
2. Get Up and Do Some Office ‘Deskercises’
No one on the planet can deny that doing exercise gets the blood going and burns off the stress. If you can’t get out during lunch to do a quick walk or visit the gym, you can still do ‘Deskercises’. These are things like rolling your shoulders, clenching your hands and releasing them, stretching your legs out, flexing your toes, clenching your butt, and even neck exercises that will help release the stress.
Often, much of our built up stress is simply due to sitting at the computer all day looking at the screen. Make sure that every hour you get up and stretch for at least five minutes. You will find that if you do not do that over a period of time this will lead to aches and pains, which can help increase your stress.
To get the best Office Exercises for you to do simply talk to your General Practitioner or visit a Physiotherapist and they will be able to help you develop an Office Exercise plan and you will be surprised how much easier life is to cope with.
Click here for a short pdf on Deskercise: http://www.firstdatabenefits.us/media/uploads/Wellness/desk%20exerc.... Print it off and put it where you will see it often at work to remind you. I set a timer in my office to remind me to get up and stretch, otherwise I forget as I’m so engrossed in my work!
3. Plan Your Day
This is really important and will ensure that your days are mostly stress-free. The first thing you should do in every job you work in, is to make sure you schedule two decent breaks a day which include at least half an hour for lunch and a 20 minute break somewhere else in the day. If you are like most people you will be using something like Microsoft Outlook or Lotus Notes to manage your day. Both allow you to schedule unavailable time in your calendar, so do IT. You need it.
4. Limit the Amount of Time Spent Dealing With Emails
Technology is a wonderful thing, but when technology rules your life, then you have a big problem and very quickly technology like email can overwhelm you causing you to become stressed. One of the rules I have in the office is that I only spend 15 minutes 2x a day checking emails. I periodically unsubscribe to ‘stuff’ I don’t want, I block senders I don’t know or haven’t subscribed to, I empty junk everyday and re-route by ‘Create Rule’ all emails I do need to see into relevant, pre-created folders. My aim is to have an empty inbox every day. Most liberating.
5. Be Prepared To Say "NO!"
We all want to get ahead in the world today and be nice and helpful. However, most of us make the mistake of simply saying yes to everything that is thrown at us. Now whilst that is great to say yes, all of us are only human and sometimes we simply have to say "NO!"
Where is the point in saying to our bosses, "Yes we will have this 500 page report written for you tomorrow" when in reality there is absolutely no chance of that occurring? Sometimes in this world you simply have to say no and that does not go just for the boss, it also goes for the customers as well. And, it goes for YOU. You need to give yourself a break and don’t make unrealistic demands of yourself that require you to push yourself beyond reasonable limits. Schedule tasks by making a daily plan, and watch your stress decrease in proportion. If you are working for yourself, this is even more important. You need to schedule time out.
6. Take your shoes off and walk on the carpet or go barefoot on grass or sand if you can.
If you go down to the beach, what is the first thing you do. You take off your shoes to feel the sand through you feet and how does it make you feel, relaxed. If you go to the park with the children, what do you do? Take your shoes off so you can run around and have fun or to play in the grass.
My dog just loves rolling in the grass. He gets quite euphoric about it, and throws himself into the activity with gusto. He’ll lie on his back, belly up, paws akimbo, and just roll. Now whilst you may not want to emulate that in quite the way he does, you’ll still find that walking barefoot can be a great stress-reliever. Whether we realize it or not, when we disconnect ourselves from mother earth we really do start to stress. Tune in to nature every chance you get. You’ll feel better for it. I also find toe-tapping quite good for getting the blood flowing through the legs.
7. Play Music
This is my personal favorite. I’m always playing music (either my own subliminal recordings or some gorgeous piano music that I find totally uplifting). Listening to the right type of music is really important when you are trying to reduce stress and find your inner peace. Some music when listened to, whilst stressed, can in fact heighten your stress levels. To reduce stress music should be slow, without lyrics. 60 beats per minute is ideal, and in tune with what our heart rate should be.
Some of my recordings have been designed for daytime listening, and can help with learning ability, creativity and calmness. Pop your headphones in and carry on working as you normally would. When I first tried this, I was surprised that the music, instead of distracting me, actually increased my focus, and I listen most of the time when I’m working now. If it’s really not possible for you due to your work environment, make it a habit of listening during your breaks.
Ok, I don’t mean that you have to sit cross-legged on the floor chanting ‘Om’…. I suggest you do this either before you go to work and/or (preferably both) in the evening before you turn in for the night – for 20 minutes each time if you can. The core advantage meditation will play in your office is to help you to relax and deal with challenging situations more effectively. The more relaxed you are the more creative you can be in dealing with any issues that arise. You will be really surprised the difference it makes to your day. Just try it out, you have nothing to lose and the rest of your stress-free life to gain.
9. Be grateful
Compared to many people may be very lucky to have a job. Being grateful for everything you have in life is one of the most profound stress relievers of all. When you realize how much you do have to be grateful for, just express thanks for it, in your heart. You will feel instantly better. The positives almost always outweigh the negatives. Try to find new things to be grateful for every day, even things you’d not really thought about. A smile from a colleague. A computer that works. Your mobile phone. Go on, you think up some more now…
Pop on over to my website and pick up this free MP3 to help offload some stress.