Stress is eating us up. Especially at work. We have never been as stressed as now. We all desperately need proven ways to relieve stress.
Where does all the stress come from?
The main source of stress is our jobs. Did you know that when you measure your blood pressure (a good indicator of stress level), it is twice as high during your work day compared to at home or while on time off?
Your mental restlessness could be coming from different work-oriented factors. There may be tension between you and a colleague (or your seniors) because you have a feeling that they have been deliberately undermining your efforts.
Your brain could be panicking because you’re overloaded with important tasks, especially if the deadline is around the corner. It could also be that you’re physically strained because you use non-ergonomic furniture in your office.
You may also encounter physical discomforts because of bad lighting, poor aeration as well as spending prolonged hours gazing at digital screens.
If uncorrected, all these raise the possibility of eventually succumbing to stress. Stress at work can have drastic consequences. First, your tasks will seem harder as days go by.
Then, you might start deriving joy in being absent. Your performance also drops to worrying levels while you’re picking fights with pretty much everyone on flimsy grounds…
The list is endless.
The only way you can keep stress and accompanying illnesses at bay is by modifying your lifestyle.
And that’s where this guide comes in.
We have analyzed different ways to relieve stress and have come up with some of the most effective tactics to reduce it at work.
To give you a better outlook, this free guide is prepared from an organized content list. We strongly recommend that you read the first chapter to start. The rest of the chapters can be read depending on your particular interest.
The Guide on Ways to Relieve Stress includes:
– Four Important Tips to Start (A MUST READ)
– General Tips to Deal with Pressure at Work
– Exercise to Relax and Calm Down
– Yoga, Meditation and Other Strategies to Enhance Your Mental Health
– Eating and Drinking to Build Resistance to Stress
– Interaction With Friends and Family to Cure Mental Health
– Sleep Well to Reduce Stress
– Extra Help: Effective Tools and Home Remedies to Bring Down Stress
– Nothing Works? S.O.S
Four Important Tips to Start (A MUST READ)
If you keep on reading, I assume that you are ready to throw down the gauntlet and start fighting that dreaded enemy, stress. Treat this fight as a structured process and crucial project.
As with other projects you manage, you have to do some homework. First you need to find out where you are.
1) Identify Your Stressors and Stress Level
What is the starting point? Are you aware what your pains are? What really bothers you every day? What are the obstacles that stress you out?
Think about the factors in your office that make you unhappy and strained mentally and physically.
Busting stress starts with knowing and understanding your stressors. They can encompass external and internal aspects. The external type come from daily habits and routines, including your workload and job responsibilities. Internal stressors are all self-imposed and may focus excessively on personal concerns.
Take your time and identify at least three events that regularly make you feel worse.
Examples include addressing your boss, presentations to top management, interactions with certain people at work, office talk or personal worries without a basis.
It is also important to assess your stress level. The challenge is that stress is difficult to measure, especially if you are not a healthcare professional or a psychologist.
But, you can take a stress level test in which you can assess your stress level. Then you need to define your objectives and goals. What do you really want to achieve?
2) Decide What You Want to Achieve — Set up Goals
No project can be successful if you do not define what success means. You must define your stress management goals and later monitor your progress towards them.
Think about the things you want to change in your life.
Which stressors would you like to address above all? Around these stressors, you should define your goals. If you manage to reduce the impact of these key stressors, your overall stress level will diminish.
If you have taken an individual test to determine your stress level, the goal could be linked to general improvement or a result related to a specific stressor. We suggest you repeat the test each month during the first six and then every three months thereafter.
Success can be also defined as the incorporation of 3-5 anti-stress strategies into your weekly routine.
Again, they should be strategies that attack your key stressors. In this free guide on stress management, you will find more than 90 different ways to relieve stress.
3) Devise a Plan of Action to Manage Your Stressors
Once you have identified your stressors and defined your goals, you need to create an action plan to help you escape from these conditions or, at least, to reduce your negativity when they occur.
Having decided those things you would like to change, you need to pick up one to three specific actions to implement for each stressor.
For example, if you want to reduce the impact of the stressful events in your office or on your family life, you can:
1. Visit a gym on the way home
2. Ask your life partner to listen to you for 10-15 minutes to help ease your frustrations
3. Jump into a sport activity with your kids immediately after arriving home
It’s better to be proactive and confront your stressors than to stand and watch your stressors take a firm foothold.
4) Be Patient in Your Stress Management. Start Small.
This is probably the most important advice we can give. It has taken you months, or maybe even years, to achieve the current stress level.
Do not expect miracles: changes take time.
It is important to start small and build on it. This means that trying everything at once is a mistake. Limit your scope to just one stressor and select three appropriate actions.
Adjust your plan as you go. When you shift gears and approach new strategies, you will find that you can beat stress.
General Tips to Deal With Pressure at Work
According to the World Health Organization, workplace stress is the most pressing health epidemic of our times. As a modern-day executive, you’re more at risk of suffering mental turmoil due to the hyper pressure that comes with your job.
The long business trips, demanding negotiations, energy sapping presentations and crazy deadlines may inevitably take a toll on you at some point. As a result, you might find yourself grappling with stress, heightened anxiety and increasingly deteriorating health.
Let’s look at some of the most impactful ways to deal with pressure at work. You can learn to reduce stress in the workplace despite the cutthroat nature of today’s corporate environment.
5) Prioritize Important Tasks
One of the best ways to deal with pressure and relieve stress for busy executives is to prioritize important tasks. Contrary to popular belief, research shows that our brains do not do well when bombarded with many tasks and actually become less effective.
That said, plan with priorities. Start with the most crucial items on your to-do list and follow up on one after the other to reduce stress.
6) Stop Procrastination
Studies have repeatedly demonstrated that procrastinators habitually live with higher pressure and stress levels. Not only does putting off a pressing project at work increase the magnitude of your stress, but it also makes you uneasy every time during work meetings.
You can avoid this by doing what needs to be done in a timely manner. A handy tip is the five-second rule given to us by coach Mel Robbins. Before jumping into a task feet first, count backwards from five to one. He promises success with this method.
Learn more about stopping delays by reading this book that explains 21 awesome ways to stop procrastinating.
7) Establish Boundaries and Say NO to Extra Demands
You may be overworking and, therefore, are getting stressed because you have allowed others to encroach on your boundaries.
Instead of suffering silently, know your boundaries and jealously guard them. This means you must refuse to overcommit. Train yourself how to say no and to be assertive when circumstances demand.
Even when sharing roles in teams, be open and refuse unnecessary activities. In time, you’ll have more time for the chores that count and you will see a decline in stress at work.
8) Eliminate Interruptions in the Workplace
If you feel stressed about deadlines, try to implement measures that will help you focus on core tasks. For instance, have you ever estimated the time you spend scrolling through social media, checking your emails and responding to texts?
Turn off notifications at least during your most productive hours to improve your concentration. Similarly, shun other distractions and interruptions, including too much office banter cleverly.
Do not even fear keeping the door closed when working on duties that demand your complete attention.
9) If You Are Experiencing a Mental Block Due to Stress, Take Short Breaks at Work
A mental block prevents you from accomplishing your requirements because of the uncontrollable suppression of productivity. One of the best ways to relieve stress lies in the power of breaks.
Simply take leave from your desk and try walking around for about 10 minutes. In the meantime, distract yourself from the current state of affairs by thinking of something else — preferably an event that fills your heart with joyful feelings.
10) Practice Time Management
To defeat multitasking and disorganization, schedule your workday. This enhances efficiency and, in due course, reduces stress at work.
To illustrate, you can reply to emails or make calls only during set time windows. Schedule tasks in your calendar according to their significance.
11) Focus on Smaller Tasks
Stress makes it hard to fully concentrate at work. One of the best ways to relieve stress is to focus on smaller tasks.
In case you find yourself frequently struggling to kick start a pending task, break it down into smaller constituent parts and tackle them on one at a time.
You should, along the way, get the energy needed to conquer the whole project.
12) Learn to Delegate, If Possible
It’s difficult to excel in your most pivotal responsibilities if you hog all the obligations. Delegation is the panacea to overwork, allowing you to focus exclusively on high-level assignments. You will get the free time to get things done, thereby reducing your level of stress. Here’s how to do it:
– Delegate, guide, and remember to clearly frame the performance objectives for the mundane tasks
– Assess job success with feedback
– Avoid busy colleagues and find those with the required skills
13) Identify Self-imposed Pressure
We are humans and every day we wake up to new challenges as our positions evolve. Subsequently, it’s very normal to feel anxious about meeting the expectations that come with the job.
You should, however, stop heaping more pressure on your shoulders by pretending to be Mr./Ms. perfect at work.
Likewise, don’t spend sleepless nights attempting to end a task before the set deadline just to secure a bonus.
Doing this makes things harder for yourself unnecessarily and could escalate your stress. Over and above this, understand that high achievement comes from doing your best and not from perfectionism.
14) Learn to Cool Down Quickly
Another healthy way to relieve stress is to study your reactions when under pressure. Overall, we advise to avoid being kneejerk.
This is what you can do to reduce stress at work: instead of reacting to a provocation instantly, take a deep breath and try to relax.
Ultimately, you might eschew a costly utterance or action that could put you on edge.
Angry outbursts only worsen matters.
When frustrated or angry, attempt acting cool using beneficial techniques such as breathing exercises to bring down your stress and anxiety.
You can also learn self-calming techniques that help pressurized minds relax and reset. Meditation books can help train you how to respond calmly when under pressure.
15) Be Assertive in Your Communication
Learn to become a good communicator. This way of relieving stress includes holding open discussions with your team about assigned projects and seeking clarification from your boss when necessary.
On top of this, always issue clear instructions when delegating. Such skills are a powerful remedy for stress relief as they eliminate misunderstandings that can amplify interpersonal conflict.
It also helps your juniors perform with confidence, indirectly boosting your own productivity.
16) Be a Good Listener
There is a real art to communicating. It is more than verbal self-expression. You also have to be a good listener. Few realize that they are talking too much.
Distractions mar one’s ability to communicate such as when your mind wanders. You end up speaking of irrelevant things.
Stay on track with all your senses tuned to the person at hand.
There is something called “empathetic listening,” which is simply tuning into someone with eyes and ears fully open. Use good listening and work and watch the reaction. A positive one will reduce your stress as misunderstandings are kept at bay.
17) Listen to Music at Work to Deal With Pressure
Motivational music brings a refreshing feeling and can help your mind escape from the routine and get distracted. This way of relieving stress can help you ease up ahead of important presentations, tense meetings or heated negotiations.
For daily inspiration, load energetic music into your car device as you gear up for a stressful workday.
18) Clean Your Workspace
A messy desk denotes a messy mind. Get rid of that flood of papers and messages and see your productivity grow.
Declutter! Clearing your workspace can be the breath of fresh air you need to destress and rediscover yourself.
From happy bosses (because of the pretty looks), improved creativity, and higher immunity, the advantages are tremendous.
19) Reorganize Your Desk
You should go beyond decluttering and do a thorough clean up job. Reorganization is a known stress buster. You will find things faster and toss what is outdated and irrelevant.
One’s work environment is the key to productivity and that means reducing those little piles here and there.
Move equipment if it helps access needed items within easy reach.
20) Personalize Your Workplace
As yourself to describe your work environment. If you say stressful and toxic, you are in trouble. Your mood and productivity are likely to decline. You must remedy the problem with a better workspace, one customized to meet your personal needs.
Fortunately, even small tweaks can make a huge difference. Check for excessive lighting and improve aeration if it seems stuffy.
An exciting office décor may also lift your spirits. Some say plants work wonders just about anywhere on or beside a desk. They beautify the space as they reduce anxiety.
The right color plays a vital role in creating a pleasant atmosphere. Neutral or soft tones are at the top of the list to create calm. If you want to infuse the space with energy, go for brights. Meanwhile, blues and greens are known to promote restfulness while earth hues denote warmth. Intellects love yellow by the way.
A personal touch also goes a long way in setting the right tone. Who doesn’t love a photo of a spouse or the kids? Vacation memories are always popular and generate good feelings.
A Tip: Request senior management to lend a hand in attaining these changes.
21) Create a stress-free zone in the office, if possible
A stress-free zone is any place you can go to relax. It could be a lounge, rest area, stock room, or even part of a lobby with available seating. You may choose to play a game, meditate or listen to music. You will come to know what works best for you. A special treat would be practicing yoga on a portable mat.
22) Put Printable Mantras in the Office
We associate mantras with meditation; they are a single word or phrase that focuses the mind through a repeated rhythm.
Pressure and stress can be effectively treated by clearing the mind of negative thoughts.
You can use your breath along with the mantra you have chosen to focus your attention. They are an age-old way to relax though sound vibrations. You can teach your body to become calm at will.
We suggest this post on 40 useful mantras to reduce stress and how to use them! With this list, you have many choices. Use it daily and find yourself engulfed in peace and tranquility.
23) Stress Free Business Travels
Ask any business person and they will say that travel is stressful. Getting to a meeting or appointment takes time and effort, not to mention the hectic schedule at your destination.
We all know the meaning of jet lag and the hassle of flight delays or cancellations. A lack of sleep means coming home exhausted. It is all part of the process so you have to deal with it as best you can. We suggest melatonin supplements to sleeping better upon arrival.
Exercise to Relax and Calm Down
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) exercise can reduce stress. Along similar lines, a 2008 article in the British Journal of Sports Medicine observed that as little as twenty minutes of physical activity lessens nervousness and distress by as much as 20 percent.
Exercise reduces stress levels since our bodies tend to release more endorphins during workout sessions. Besides lessening anxiety, endorphins are renowned natural painkillers.
Best of all, even simple activities can make a massive impact, according to research studies. Some of them have been conducted to observe the impact of exercise on stress and depression. It seems to be a point of agreement that a ten-minute daily walk equates to a 45-minute workout.
The data is positive on the relief provided for anxiety by exercise. Furthermore, it points out that doing something daily is superior to the weekend warrior who crams it all into one long session. In this case, quantity beats quality for once.
Just read the evidence. It shows that physical activity breeds lower levels of stress. Sedentary people are out of luck. Furthermore, the exercise chosen must be on-going and rather vigorous to ward off depression long term.
Don’t say your schedule is too busy; you can work something in. Listen to an online poll from the ADAA (The Anxiety and Depression Association of America). Participants including walking and running exercise as a stress preventative showed better results.
24. Walk to Work
Why drive to work when you can walk. It is not just about saving money on gas and parking. Think about all that traffic and the stress of enraged drivers rushing to pass you by.
You can avoid all this by walking. What a great way to wake up and burn some calories. It is important to wear the proper shoes, of course, and change them upon arrival at the office. Don’t risk sore feet so invest in quality at the start.
25. Choose Public Transport Instead of Your Car to Commute
Everyone loves the ease of public transport. You usually arrive on time, free from driver’s stress in traffic. Put yourself in the professionals’ hands. Besides, you will likely have to walk a bit to get to the station.
People look forward to their time on the train or bus. They can read, do a puzzle, listen to music or sleep. Experts tout the benefit of getting off early and walking that extra mile.
26. Park Far Away From the Door of Your Office
Don’t be lazy! Park at a distance from the office front door and watch those extra steps add up on your portable fitness meter. It won’t be as much as walking all the way, but every little bit helps. Keep your body and mind fit with exercise anywhere it is possible.
27. Go For a Walk When at Home
You don’t have to limit your walks to before work in the morning. Why not do one after work on the way home.
You can run some errands, visit friends or family, and enjoy less stress the next day. You can reset your mood each and every time you move those muscles and keep those worries at bay.
28. Take the Stairs at the Office
You are missing out if you constantly use the elevator. The stairs are there to provide a bit of physical exercise, so use them. Every office building has a few options. You can even go up and down a few times a day to get that heart rate up. Your stress will conversely drop.
Nothing is as good for mental tension as exercise. It has the additional benefit of controlling weight and building physical fitness.
29. Take the Long Way to the Bathroom at the Office
Wherever you go in your office building (and we hope it is large), don’t take the short cuts. If you go to the most distant bathroom, for example, it will serve as a great break. Try visiting someone on another floor by taking the stairs.
Sedentary people need to get up and move to prevent stress on the job from feeling confined and pent up.
30. Stand and Walk on the Phone
The “rule” about exercise even applies to a phone call. You can certainly walk with your phone at your ear. Let’s say it takes ten minutes. You get that much time in motion to add to your aggregate number of stems. Plus, you get to clear the “jam” in your brain.
31. Walk at Lunchtime
We can’t say it enough times: walk, walk, walk. Use your lunch hour to really hike about. You can eat in ten minutes and then go outside for a walking break. Perhaps there is a walkway around the building that allows you to enjoy some sunlight and vitamin D.
You will be refreshed and energetic when you return to your desk, full of vim and vigor, not to mention a dose of optimism. Stress is gone and you are happy as a clam.
32. Have a Walking Meeting
There really is such a thing as a walking meeting. If everyone is on board, get moving together as a group and cover your agenda as you travel. It is a social experience and a great form of communication.
Imagine the combined steps you all take during fifteen or twenty minutes. Soon everyone will copy you, even for short brainstorming sessions.
33. Use Excuses to Walk More in the Office
We bet you can find an excuse to walk more in and around the office to break up your workday. We have made many suggestions such as during meetings, breaks, to go to the bathroom, get water or coffee, etc. You can get up to get supplies or throw out the trash.
Why email a colleague when you can walk to their desk. It is just as quick and face-to-face communication is personal and effective.
34. Do 20-Minute Workout at Work to Achieve Clarity of Thought
Busy bees. That’s what executives are. Endless days are filled with projects from morning until night. It seems that there is no time to spare, especially for a workout.
Okay, you might have to do it at home. But if possible, a 20-minute exercise break will do wonders for clarity of mind and creative thought. A little movement is fine so you don’t have to break a sweat and go change. On a routine basis, this is a great mood enhancer.
Certain sections of our minds associated with information processing get clogged over time. The answer is a simple, short workout. For this reason, work hard and make time to workout at work.
Check out these 11 ideas to get started and be more active in the office!
35. Run to Reduce Stress
Running used to be the most popular athletic pastime. It is coming back for executives as a stress reducer because it can be done without relocating.
Have a look at Science. There is an article on how running negates chronic stress. It has the most impact on that part of the brain responsible for learning and memory, or the hippocampus.
In short, running has so many important benefits, among them stress control. It only takes 20 minutes a day and it happens right away. You will immediately notice more mental clarity and raised spirits.
Just a few weeks is needed to tone up your muscles and feel a new lease on life.
Yoga, Meditation, and Other Strategies to Enhance Your Mental Health
36. Practice Yoga at Work
It is praised so widely for most everything; no wonder yoga is said to be the perfect panacea for what ails you – mentally or physically. It affords one a feeling of peace and happiness while managing stress.
Thus it is touted in its many forms for everyone, workaholics and family addicts alike. You can choose your preferred intensity. Many prefer the popular Hatha Yoga for anxiety relief. It is not difficult but produces results.
Yoga has bucketloads of other benefits in the realm of creativity and concentration. So, go for it!
Do you still have doubts whether yoga can help you cope with stress at work? Look at this scientific paper.
37. Practice Yoga After Work
Doing yoga after work will reduce your accumulated stress and calm you down. Yoga clears the mind and helps alleviate physical discomfort, one of the common workplace stressors.
Many studies reveal clear evidence of yoga’s efficacy. One done in 2018 states that there is nothing like it for the promotion of health and well-being on a physical and psychological level. Stress begone! The simple poses are proof that Yoga promotes relaxation.
Akin to yoga, try 5-minute meditation sessions at work to ease stress levels. The ripple effect of meditation could be particularly gainful for executives who often work in pressure-cooker work environments.
Meditation is an opportunity to better digest the unwelcome events at work and redirect your thoughts in addition to increasing your self-awareness, all of which combat stress.
We have compiled this Step-by-Step Guide to Help You Begin Meditation at Your Office.
38. Practice Meditation regularly (Beyond 5 Minutes).
Once you get used to it, lengthen your meditation sessions to more than 5 minutes to gain maximal benefit.
Done regularly and for longer, meditation goes beyond soothing your mind and will foster your cognitive skills and creativity.
39. Practice Mindfulness
If you want a more wholesome exercise, consider mindfulness.
A study concludes that meditation, even short term, can dramatically boost mental wellness. The fruits of your labor are many. You can count on more effective decision making, a better memory, all kinds of creative revelations, not to mention more acute concentration and less stress.
For starters, this practice is an amazing mode of being that permits us to be 100% present in every moment of our lives.
Since it helps us separate what matters from the “noise” around us, mindfulness has the capacity to free us from negative reasoning and, subsequently, stress.
Find out more about this acclaimed practice in our Simple Mindfulness Guide for Busy Executives.
40. Try Breathing Exercises at Home/Work
At first glance, it looks rather simple, but diaphragm breathing (belly breathing) is another fantastic way to lighten the burden in your mind.
It is all about a full oxygen intake and breath release. In short, air comes in and carbon dioxide goes out.
In diaphragmatic breathing, we push out our abdomens, rather than the usual chest when breathing. This act sets off a series of events that appease the brain.
Know that Diaphragmatic breathing is said to slow down the heartbeat while it simultaneously lowers blood pressure. It also impacts cortisol, the hormone that causes stress.
Within this study, you will find the effects of diaphragmatic breathing and all its health implications.
41. Learn How to Control Your Brain With Your Body
Our brains are largely computer-like and closely coordinated with the rest of our bodies in actions like gestures and movements. Consequently, the body has the power to control what’s going on in the mind.
For example, you could be fidgeting with your fingers, rocking your chair, or moving your legs subconsciously when depressed, reflecting the turbulence in your mind.
Importantly, you can lower your mental distress by consciously stopping these involuntary body movements. Your mind will henceforth be more aware of what’s going on, and you may feel relieved psychologically.
42. Accept and Move on From the Things You Will Never Change at Work
Come what may, there are certain aspects of your work environment that you can never influence. Take the bad attitude of some of your team members, for example. Regardless of your level in the organizational hierarchy, there is very little you can do to have everyone see things from your perspective.
Accept the things you will never be able to change at work. According to Science, acceptance helps overcome your disturbing thoughts and avoid stress more easily.
43. Get Rid of Worries That Have No Basis
This study has found that most of our worries should never happen. Actually, 85% of our worries will never happen.
We are sometimes guilty of worrying about things that should not be of concern. For instance, sometimes we forget we have already achieved important company goals, and yet we start stressing that we are not giving enough and may be fired.
Here is the thing: you are rightfully there and your boss has no reasons to throw you out.
Can you, therefore, sit down, identify and clear these unfounded stressors from your mind?
44. Ooze Positivity When at Work
It’s true that you cannot entirely avoid some levels of stress — that’s the nature of work. But you can survive by developing a tradition of being continuously optimistic.
Research undertaken by Concordia University has already confirmed that the stress hormone, cortisol, is actually more stable in people with more positive qualities. So how can you become an optimist at will?
Think of optimism as a muscle that grows stronger with use. Just let your “emotional intelligence” do the work with positive thoughts. You should be able to come up with a memory or true that has good connotations.
Think of when you last prevailed over adversity. Use it to deal with the present moment in any situation.
45. Never, Ever Dwell
Businesswomen often linger over traumatic events at work and let stress hamper their clarity of thought.
Ideally, to avoid bad, intrusive thoughts you must set worries aside with the order never to return again. Dwelling is a known habit that plagues many anxious people. You may have to schedule worry time then move on to effectively beat stress.
When you designate a specific day/time of a week to agonize over the happenings in your life, you’ll likely not recall them for the remainder of the week.
This aids your stress levels and boosts productivity.
46. Avoid Toxic People at Work
Being surrounded by toxic people and fierce competition may, among other factors, make your workplace increasingly stressful.
Some people aren’t remotely aware of the damage they cause, but others gleefully watch as you crumble under their well-hatched ill schemes. Either way, they complicate your life in the office and worsen your condition.
To better understand these cruel characters, let me take you through their behaviors:
– Talking Narcissists: They are incredibly arrogant and see their personal opinions as facts. They act as if they’re the smartest beings in the whole organization.
– Drama queens/kings: They consistently have something sad, negative or pessimistic to say. Theirs is to create one crisis after another as it makes them feel like superstars.
– Master liar: He/she will always disappoint you by perpetually lying. Their chronic lie-telling will leave you mentally restless as you can never trust them, even when they’re part of your team.
– Jealous executives: They are incredibly toxic. Their jealousy comes out as judgment, dishonest criticism or gossip.
– Control freaks: These are team members or supervisors who want to control everything and everyone in your workplace. Trouble starts the moment you raise a conflicting point…they will pursue you until you mentally tire.
Identify these toxic behaviors and avoid them as much as possible at work.
47. It Takes Fun to Ward off Stressful Days at Work
People who laugh heartily live the best. A good guffaw does wonders for everyone in the vicinity. As a stress reliever, “laughter is the best medicine” or so they say in the Reader’s Digest.
Just look at the research on adding fun to the work environment. There is a definite benefit in terms of stress and boredom relief. It is part of the social experience.
Laughter is said to improve memory and mood while protecting workers from stress like a shield.
Eating and Drinking to Build Resilience to Stress
Eating healthy may reduce the damaging results of stress on ourselves. Research has actually found that a proper diet can powerfully counterbalance the impact of stress by strengthening the immune system, balancing mood, and restoring overall well-being.
There are certain foods on everyone’s list of healthy comestibles. They say to start your day with a steaming bowl of oatmeal to boost serotonin levels. We all need this chemical to calm ourselves.
Adrenalin, like cortisol, is a stress hormone that takes its toll on busy executives. Certain foods, like strawberries, are among the best for stress control.
Here is how to re-engineer your eating to reduce stress at work.
48. Avoid Unhealthy Eating Habits
According to scientific studies, our parasympathetic nervous system reacts to increased intake of gluten and sugar just as Wall Street reacts to Fed raising their interest rates. And that is bad news as far as stress management is concerned.
Here is the thing. Learn to do the following.
– Ignore your sweet tooth and shun the usual pastries and muffins that dominate at conferences and during travel.
– Go for simple and healthy foods that are nourishing for your soul and that care about your well-being. In short, make salads, vegetables, fruits and fish your new buddies at work.
Check out these simple dieting ideas that help executives achieve mind and body balance at work.
49. Add Renowned Stress-Battling Foods to Your Routine
You have to make prominent stress-busting foods part of each meal. I am referring to nutritive foodstuffs such as asparagus, strawberries, walnuts, wheatgrass, Schisandra berries and dark chocolate in moderated amounts!).
It may not be your favorite veggie, but Asparagus is a great choice for the stressed. This is the viewpoint of an article published in the NCBI. Why? Asparagus spears contain folate that relaxes the spirit and soothes the nerves.
50. Include Magnesium-Rich Eatables in Your Meals
When you use magnesium, your body is less inclined to produce cortisol (the stress hormone). This mineral confronts the fog that occasionally crowds your brain, destroying your creative juices.
Foods that are packed full of magnesium include kelp, avocados, soybeans, leafy greens, parsley, cashews and almonds.
Find out the bonus benefits of magnesium and how it wages war against stress in this guide!
51. Cut Coffee at Work
Caffeine needs no introduction: it enhances the negative responses that amplify stress and too much simply unacceptable.
Science suggests that even the once in a while cup of coffee can double your stress levels. Our advice: cut down on your coffee trips to the Starbucks little by little.
52. Calm Your Mind With Herbal Tea
The question is: what should I take in place of the dreaded caffeine? From our experience, green tea is king.
Studies show that regular consumption is ideal for the brain’s chemical balance. When things are out of whack, anxiety follows.
It is all there in a report found in the Biomolecules and Therapeutics. It says that green tea is the way to increase your proportion of “feel-good” hormones like serotonin and dopamine that bring about a positive attitude.
You can also choose among a variety of herbal teas whenever feeling nervous and to calm you down ahead of presentations.
53. Drink in Moderation
Many people think that alcohol relaxes them. Nothing can be further from the truth. Your body expedites massive amounts of energy to metabolize excessive doses of alcohol causing you more stress.
Drinking also affects your sleeping patterns, further compounding your mental disturbance. The NIAAA (National Institute Of Alcohol Abuse And Alcoholism) warns that alcohol dependence may cause long-standing damage to a host of body’s systems, severely hampering your psychological and physiological health.
Play safe and drink in moderation, that is, if you must.
54. Quit Smoking
That smoking help relieve stress is a BIG lie. On the contrary, stress levels in adult smokers are notably higher than in nonsmokers, as proved by this study.
So, shunning nicotine could be your greatest decision to date. We know it’s not easy, but you can do it. Even if it takes professional help, the fruits make it very worthy.
Interaction With Friends and Family to Cure Your Mental Health
Because of being hyper busy, we often forget our personal lives. Yet, social interaction with friends and family has immediate positive results when it comes to fighting stress.
In fact, myriad studies have found that people who perceive their social networks to be loving and supportive tend to fare better under stress.
You should hence look afresh at your schedule and find ways of investing more time in your personal life to reduce stress at work and in life.
And there’s a lot you can do out of the office starting with the following tips:
55. Help Others and Develop Stress “Shock Absorbers”
There’s some joy and fulfillment that comes from helping others through volunteering, community work, or even via your company’s charity programs.
Assisting enables you realize that you are way better off than you’ve always thought and it may help you become less stressed. In short, it puts your problems into perspective.
56. Do Someone a Favor at Work Whenever Possible for Mental Wellbeing
It’s widely believed that a person you help will like you more. But, in fact, according to the Ben Franklin effect, you will wind up appreciating the recipient more.
The logic is here that we justify our actions to ourselves by assuming that we did the person a favor because we like them. In like manner, you can use this strategy to win over your workplace detractors by seeking their assistance even if you scarcely need it.
If possible, even volunteer and do a coworker a favor. Their gratification will do you good.
57. Focus on Being Thankful to Reduce Stress
According to researchers at Harvard, giving thanks makes people happier. So, instead of spending all your time remonstrating about what you don’t have, take stock of your successes and congratulate yourself.
Make it a habit to look for something you feel grateful for at the close of each workday and you’ll be less worried and stressed.
58. Challenge Yourself
Set SMART goals and challenges for yourself. For instance, aim to learn a new language. Or commit to a new hobby like drawing, painting or part-time gardening. Such activities might calm your nerves and will help keep you inspired.
59. Develop Positive Self-Talk to Beat Stress
We all have our inner critic, and he/she can, on occasion, help us achieve dizzying heights of performance.
But that little inner voice is sometimes hurting because over criticism gives us negative emotions that causes us to see ourselves as weak and incapable.
We start uttering statements such as, “I’m sure I won’t get the deal”. This grim talk is unhealthy psychologically. You should reorient your talk to something more encouraging. For example, swap self-limiting statements like This is impossible! With questions such as, How do I make this possible.
The former magnifies stress while the latter sounds more hopeful and full of exciting new possibilities.
60. Learn to Believe in Yourself to Overcome Stressful Situations
If you listen to others a lot, chances are their perception of you might bring you down and stress you out.
In any case, your career may largely depend on periodic performance reviews, so you have to learn to live with the adverse opinions of others.
Believe in yourself, brush aside the disheartening comments and reach for the apex of the work triangle.
61. Create Some “Me Time”
We recommend that you regularly set aside some nights to enjoy quality “family time” or “me time”.
Of course, you won’t carry work home on these days. The fun and distraction can lessen your stress levels.
62. Lean on Your Support Network Consisting of Workmates
Connecting with people can unlock the doors to your happiness. In any case, support from colleagues is the most readily available when you need a shoulder to lean on because of undue stress.
Laugh, play, and have fun — it’s never that serious.
63. Do Funny Activities With Your Family or Friends to Unplug From Work
All work and zero play makes Jack a very dull boy. Sorry for the cliché, but it has to be said. Play games with mates, your kids, partner…..basically anyone who cares.
Games are insanely beneficial: they take your mind momentarily off your stressors, strengthen your social support, and are awesome for your physical well-being.
Can you get game time from somewhere? Please do!
64. Take Mini-Vacations or Quiet Days
We are not machines and periodically need time to rewind. Everything becomes much clearer during our time off, and we’re likely to return with renewed vigor, impressive moods and less stressed.
65. Turn to Spirituality
Connecting with the Supreme Being through prayer is potentially physically relaxing, emotionally comforting and soul uplifting.
Read more about how to use prayers to reduce stress.
66. Read an Inspirational Book
A good read can be the perfect antidote to your unyielding stress. We would pick one of these excellent reads to start off with.
67. Use Sex as a Stress Management Technique
Research shows that your brain stimulates the release of an array of feel-good hormones and neurochemicals after having sex.
These lower your stress levels and help keep your moods in check. For their part, experts contend that sex and success are inseparable twins.
For these reasons, it pays to make good sex part of your game plan to reduce stress and be successful at work.
68. Use Music Therapy After Stressful Situations at Work
When battling stress, listen to some serene, relaxing recordings like classical music. Nature sounds have also been shown to lower stress and originate more restful sleep.
Get more information about how music may boost your productivity at work
69. Dance to Your Dream Music or Sing at Home
Like sex, music is another tried-and-true stress reliever. In reality, dancing is holistic: it transforms the way you hold yourself, lifts your confidence and improves your physical wellness.
Even in the midst of your insane schedule, try getting up and dancing. At the worst, hum your favorite tunes at home, while in the car or the work place.
70. Connect with Nature, at Least Once a Week
Exposure to nature may help heal your emotional wounds, reduce heart rate and tension and discourage the release of stress hormones.
Take a refreshing stroll in the nearby woods or participate in nature walks. Go for hikes, run or ski. Just do something to disconnect.
71. Prepare a Mouth-Watering Meal at Home to Relax
Mainly because it gets your creativity flowing again, cooking is therapeutic! You may even prepare a healthy dinner and invite your friends to rate your newly-found cooking talent.
Aren’t you a good cook?
Check out these cookbooks to find kitchen ideas designed exclusively for executives.
72. Soak in a Warm Bath After Work
Soaking in a warm bath typically raises your body temperature and instigates the production of more melatonin — the sleep triggering hormone – when you are cooling down.
Warm water bathing additionally increases your level of serotonin, another happiness hormone.
Applying a natural moisturizer to your skin can take your restoration feeling a notch higher.
73. Create a Useful Tradition
Have something that gets you going at work every morning. For example, listen to a motivational podcast on the way to the office, recite a beneficial mantra or stretch.
Whatever energizes and helps calm you, spare some minutes for it daily. Approaching your days in a happy mood will help you temporarily forget your anxiety and stress.
Sleep Well to Reduce Stress
According to this study, every major stressful event adversely affects sleep in humans. You also have a higher probability of getting more agitated due to insignificant happenings when you’ve not slept well.
We recommend that you tweak your evening routine and adopt proper sleeping habits if you’re to get rid of workplace stress.
To combat stress, try these tips:
74. Get Enough Sleep Always and Never Sacrifice a Good Night’s Sleep for Work
In an article in the Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment journal, it says that sleep deprivation is detrimental to memory, focus, concentration, and the way we approach decision-making in our various roles. Sleep deficiency also increases anxiety and stress and can affect your ability to perform at work as well.
Now, this has no shortcut: so go to bed! In case you’re extremely tired, use melatonin to make it easier for you to fall asleep.
If you’re not yet convinced, see how sleep deprivation threatens your work.
75. “Steal” Minutes and Take Naps at Work to Reduce Stress
Look for a few minutes and take short naps. For example, you can squeeze 10 to 15 minutes from your lunch break and take a nap.
NASA astronauts and military pilots, to get better performance, and maximize alertness and clarity of thought, have previously been noted to be “caught napping.”
And as a bonus, you’ll probably not doze off during those sometimes unavoidable long afternoon managerial meetings.
76. Suffering From Insomnia? Use Natural Sleeping Aids to Restore Sleep
If you have Insomnia, your sleep might become even more chaotic when you are stressed. Instead of tossing and turning in bed the whole night, look for aids that make you sleep better naturally.
Nothing beats waking up feeling refreshed and raring to go.
Tools to Reduce Stress
Innovative scholars and psychologists have tapped into helpful practices and have advanced technologies in the wellness and medical fields to promote several impactful aids to reduce stress at work.
Some tools work alone, although you’ve probably used most with the other discussed ways to relieve stress. Here are aids and ideas you can try even as you implement the above 76 tips to reduce stress:
77. Use a Device to Control Your Breathing Patterns
Since it’s something we do every day, breathing is one of the most friendly ways to reduce stress.
Typically, your breathing patterns are much faster and irregular when pressurized. This promotes the production of cortisol, a terrible, negative hormone that aggravates stress. To reduce stress at work, accordingly, try to normalize your breathing.
First, use a suitable device to monitor your respiration at work. When the pace is abnormal, go slower until you’re at the recommended breathing rate. You will surely feel more at peace.
78. Use Aromatherapy to Beat Stress
A study by Hainan Medical University found that aromatherapy can alter your brain waves and general behavior. In fact, it reduces your perception of stress, boosts contentment and lower levels of cortisol. This makes it a mighty weapon against tenacious depression.
You can have a look at our review of an aromatherapy diffuser to better understand the praised powers of aromatherapy.
79. Set Up a Cool Home Spa
When firm pressure is applied to your skin during a professional massage, your body issues a signal to the controlling parasympathetic nervous system, telling it to limit the release of the stress hormone, cortisol.
This makes a full body massage especially helpful in relieving work-related tension among hyper-busy executives as their “workstyle” makes them prime candidates for stress.
Devices such as this full body massager can help you enjoy a professional massage even when traveling.
80. Use a Stress Tracker to Achieve Relief
This is one of the best ways to relieve stress. Tracking your breathing throughout the day can provide detailed insight into your stress resilience.
Trackers like Spire that use bio-signals to capture stress data produce better results and should give you a head start in managing your mental well-being.
81. Learn Your Enemy: Stress
Like every other battle in life, understanding your enemy puts you in a prime position to craft a strategy that delivers a crushing defeat. This is where stress books like these come in.
82. Use Biofeedback for Stress Relief
Another one of the best ways to relieve stress for busy executives is to use biofeedback. It trains you how to obtain voluntary control of your body functioning through electronic monitoring and can help relax your mind.
The technique involves specific devices that help us learn better how our stress levels can impact the physiological changes that trigger stress.
83. Use Acupressure to Reduce Anxiety
The University of York discovered that acupuncture, normally an immersive treatment, can decrease the effects of depression symptoms and chronic pain.
In a similar study, Georgetown University’s Medical Center found that acupressure impedes the continued production of stress hormones and improves one’s state of mind.
Acupressure mats are ergonomically engineered to help maximize this curative practice and attain quicker body healing. These mats pressure on “acupoints”, where tension may still be nagging.
Here is one of the best acupressure mats dedicated to executives in the market today.
84. Have Stress-Relieving Toys in Your Office
Stress relief toys are another simple but super effective stress reliever for adults. You can select a unique and mentally-relaxing variety and let it keep you company at your desk.
Use your toy to distract yourself instead of twirling your hair or biting your nails when stress strikes.
Here is a summary of the best stress relief toys for executives.
85. Mist for Instant Relief
86. Indulge in Reflexology to Help Relieve Stress
According to The Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine, reflexology helps improve chronic conditions such as stress through pressure. At the same time, The University of Hertfordshire, UK, discovered that foot massages produce a significant decrease in heart rate and blood pressure, leading to relaxation.
Try indulging in reflexology and see how it pans out. This foot massager can help relieve stress from your toes on up after prolonged standing or extended walking.
87. Use Massage Therapy Right From Your Desk, Create a Mini-Spa in Your Office
The Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Illinois has reaffirmed that massage therapy calms overall anxiety, heart rate and depression. In a related study, Duke’s University Medical Center also reported that massage helps ease stress while improving one’s emotional health.
You can even add a massaging cushion to your office chair or car seat, effectively turning them into a terrific stress-relieving spa.
Consider bringing this Shiatsu neck and back massaging cushion to your forthcoming business trip for the ultimate stress and travel pain relief.
Nothing Works? S.O.S
88. Reach Out to the People Close to You
If you have reached a point where all is overwhelming, don’t sink into silence. Open up and share your tribulation with co-workers, friend and family.
You can always find people who are ready and willing to help. You don’t want to alienate co-workers with too much. Let them offer. Those interested will make themselves known to you when they hear of your issues.
You only want to confide in those who have your best interests at heart. Of course, get far away from gossips and naysayers. Sadly, some people might use your situation to advance their own positions.
89. Professional Help
A therapist can also take you through professional coping mechanisms to further assuage your stress symptoms.
90. Consider a Change of Job If You’re Unable to Reduce Your Stress (With These Tips to Reduce Stress!)
Your health comes first, so if you’ve tried everything with little success, changing jobs could be a solution too.