12 ways to quickly relieve stress and increase productivity in the workplace
Even if you love your job, you probably feel like a squeezed lemon from time to time. New messages are pouring into your inbox, managers and colleagues are demanding a report from you, you are forced to search for the necessary information on the net , and at the same time, even more important and urgent matters are constantly being found. Even the level of light and air temperature in the office can become sources of additional stress. All these factors overlap, and now you are already suffering from a headache, seizing anxiety and tossing and turning from side to side at night, unable to sleep.
But no matter how easily stress builds up throughout the day, you can just as easily counter it from the comfort of your desk. Try these 13 ways to help reduce stress, improve your mood, and increase productivity at work.
1. Write down your problems
Whether you’re anxious about preparing an important presentation or the results of a future project, simply writing down your concerns can help reduce stress and improve productivity . Worrying about an evolving situation impairs short-term memory by draining your brain’s “processor” power. By writing down problems, you stop replaying them over and over again in your head and identify the true sources of stress. As a result, your short-term memory resources will be freed up, and you will be able to perform more efficiently when the need arises.
2. Watch funny videos
Laughter not only helps to unwind and clears the brain, but also reduces the stress response . It reduces blood pressure and pulse rate, improves blood circulation, relaxes muscles and promotes the production of endorphins. And it not only helps fight stress, but also enhances creativity and productivity .
3. Turn off the monitor for 10 minutes
Monitors of computers and smartphones, TV screens attract our attention from the moment we wake up until we go to sleep. The resulting computer vision syndrome leads to eye fatigue, headache and neck pain, nausea, and increased anxiety and depression. So try to switch off as often as possible – literally. Instead of checking out social media during your break or texting a friend, turn off your monitor, close your laptop, and let your eyes rest. Read a book or magazine, go for a walk (don’t play Pokemon Go!) or make yourself a cup of coffee and chat with a colleague.
4. Try Progressive Muscle Relaxation
This relaxation technique relieves muscle tension resulting from stress. You need to tense and then relax the main muscle groups for five seconds each. This will help slow your breathing and heart rate, stabilize your blood pressure, and help you relax.
5 . Pet the dog (or take a walk in a dog park)
Playing with your dog helps lower blood pressure, promotes the release of feel-good hormones such as oxytocin, and reduces the production of the stress hormone cortisol . By the way, dogs are great listeners, so you can safely share your worries with them without fear that they will judge you.
6 . Snack but don’t overeat
We are often advised not to eat stress, but sometimes you can treat yourself to a treat without harming your figure. In fact, a healthy snack contributes to a slight increase in blood sugar and, as a result, a good mood . The main thing is not to reach for a box of donuts, but to choose foods that have proven to be effective in combating stress , such as berries, nuts, dark chocolate and oatmeal. Also remember to eat slowly, enjoying every bite, rather than chewing on the run.
7 . Breathe deeply
You don’t have to go to a yoga studio to experience the full benefits of deep breathing that can lower blood pressure, help you relax and calm your nervous system. Plus, it’s a great way to relieve stress—quickly, efficiently, and discreetly, even in a crowded office. Just inhale for four counts and then exhale for four counts.
8 . Take up meditation
Recent studies have proven that a few minutes of meditation a day can have a significant impact on stress levels . What’s more, meditation improves attention and mental performance, and even increases the density of gray matter in the brain. You can download a free meditation app like Calm , listen to meditation podcasts on iTunes, or watch YouTube videos to carve out a few moments of peace right at your desk.
9 . Look out the window
Take a few minutes to just look out the window and take notes. Admiring nature (real nature, not the picture on the monitor) helps to relax and slow down the heartbeat, and by dreaming, you unleash your creativity and can find an unexpected solution to the problem.
10. Remind yourself of what is important to you.
Do you have a gratitude journal? Don’t be too quick to dismiss the idea — keeping a gratitude journal reduced stress levels by 27% in a group of Stanford University students, and recent research from Yale and Columbia University found that using gratitude journals increased attention, receptivity, and energy, as well as boosting the immune system. system and reduce anxiety.
11. Call friends
When you communicate with a close friend, your body’s production of the stress hormone cortisol decreases, and talking with a loved one can trigger the so-called ” relaxation response “. So the next time you’re worried about signing a new client, call a friend or mom.
12. Take up a soothing hobby
Solve a Sudoku, spend ten minutes knitting, read a chapter of a detective novel, tend to a bonsai plant – whatever your hobby, it helps you take your mind off work and focus on your favorite pastime, which means it is a great opportunity to reduce anxiety and stress.