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Eight Ways to Reduce Workplace Stress

Posted 21 April 2015 3:30 PM by Caroline English

Stress in itself is natural to human beings. When your brain detects a threat, your body’s fight-or-flight response kicks in, producing hormones that are intended to help us survive dangerous situations.  But the threat we face today has certainly evolved since the time of our early ancestors. We’re no longer facing basic human survival, we’re battling the fact that the average business person has 30 – 100 projects on their plate at one time and is interrupted on average 7 times per hour.

Eight ways to reduce workplace stress

Too much stress is a health hazard, and is linked with disease incidence as well as reduction in productivity. Since April is National Stress Awareness Month, we at InMovement wanted to share our top 8 tips for managing stress at the workplace.

  1. Get Out of your Chair Studies have linked too much sitting time with psychological distress. When you’re feeling overwhelmed, take a ten minute movement break to clear your mind. Stroll outside, take a few laps around your office building or walk up and down the stairs. Whatever you choose, walking boosts stress-reducing endorphins and gives you a quick energy boost.  
  2. Practice Office Stretches Stress can cause your muscles to contract and become tense. Try some simple desk stretches to ease tension and get your blood flowing. Plus, the short mental break will help you regain focus so you can tackle those workplace tasks that are stressing you out.   
  3. Focus on One Task at a Time A mounting to-do list is a common workplace stressor. Prioritize your tasks realistically and tackle them one at a time. Multi-tasking can be less effective with regards to success and decreases the quality of your work.  
  4. Get Enough Sleep It’s easier to be calm and collected at work when you’re well rested. Stick to a regular sleeping schedule and try not to watch any stress-inducing TV shows before turning off the lights. If you’re still having trouble sleeping at night, add more simple movement into your workplace routine, which has been shown to improve sleep quality at night.
  5. Listen to Music What kind of music do you listen to when you want to relax? Try putting on your headphones and listening to some music that will calm you down if a meeting with your boss has you feeling overwhelmed.  
  6. Take a Deep Breath Taking a few deep breaths is a simple way to bring yourself back to balance if you’re feeling anxious. When you breathe deeply, it sends a message to your brain to calm down and relax.
  7. Use a Sit-to-Stand Desk Stand up to stress with an elevated work surface. A scientific study that introduced sit-to-stand desks at an office revealed that alternating from sitting to standing helped 71% of participants increase focus, 66% feel more productive, and 33% reduce their stress levels. 
  8. Walk and Talk it Out A stressful situation can seem much more manageable if you talk about it with someone you trust. Head over to a co-worker’s desk to discuss what’s troubling you. And if you take the long way to their desk, bonus points for the endorphin boost you’ll receive from the walk. 

Let us know if we missed any of your most successful stress reduction techniques in the comments section.

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