Does it feel like you’re becoming more overwhelmed by work by the day? You’re not alone. According to the third annual Work Stress Survey by Harris International, eight out of 10 Americans are stressed about their jobs. Feeling stressed and anxious at work often turns into a vicious cycle, as feelings of stress and anxiety negatively affect job performance, making existing problems even worse.
Increasingly, workers are turning to yoga to manage feelings of stress and anxiety in the workplace. While engaging in yoga, you must focus on breathing and staying calm while assuming difficult or stressful poses. In so doing, you essentially retrain your brain to deal more effectively with such feelings. With regular practice, yoga can strengthen your ability to cope with stress and anxiety on the job.
That’s not the extent of its benefits, however.
5 Ways in Which Yoga at Workplace Can Benefit Your Career
Countless studies have been performed regarding the benefits that yoga brings to the table. When such benefits are discussed, it’s usually in the context of everyday life. However, business professionals can derive special benefits from engaging in yoga on a regular basis–and reducing stress and anxiety is just one example.
1. Increases Focus
While engaging in yoga, the instructor will gently remind you to focus on your breathing and to clear your mind. On paper, this probably sounds simple enough to do. In reality, however, it takes a lot of practice to achieve any level of proficiency in this area. You are expected to hold complicated and sometimes difficult poses for extended periods of time while maintaining a calm breathing pattern and a clear mind. At first, this will be very difficult. With practice, though, it will get easier and easier.
In real life, an improved ability to focus will come very much in handy in the workplace, where distractions are constantly coming at you from every direction. As you gain more experience and skill, your ability to focus on what matters at work will improve. In turn, your productivity will go up, as you won’t be constantly interrupted to attend to distractions.
2. Reduces Stress
As mentioned earlier, stress and anxiety tend to have a snowballing effect. When you become overwhelmed by stress and anxiety, your ability to cope with even simple matters becomes compromised. In turn, your performance may falter, and you’ll run into more and more problems. These problems will increase your stress and anxiety levels even more.
While engaging in yoga, the meditation and breathing help you learn how to free your mind even in the face of very stressful situations. The more experienced that you become, the easier it will be for you to hold difficult poses while remaining calm and at peace. This skill translates well in the workplace, where it will come in handy while giving presentations and in other situations where stress and anxiety are sure to strike.
3. Alleviates Physical Ailments
Have you ever tried to focus on work with a stiff neck, a sore back or other physical issues? It isn’t easy, is it? Yoga can make a huge difference. You may be thinking that those very ailments will prevent you from engaging in yoga at all, but that’s not the case. The reality is that yoga is a very low-impact activity. Rather than exacerbate existing physical ailments, it improves them. Over time, you will notice that those pesky aches and pains that used to plague you have all but disappeared. When you’re not preoccupied by pain, you’re better able to focus.
At work, this means that your productivity will improve. Your overall mood and outlook will too. Suddenly, work doesn’t seem nearly as difficult as it used to.
4. Unleashes Unparalleled Creativity
The daily grind often saps even the most talented professionals of creativity. If you’ve become stuck in a rut, yoga might just be the answer. One of the key tenets of yoga is freeing the mind of your worries and staying in the moment at hand. This is also referred to as “freeing your mind,” and it isn’t just advantageous while engaging in yoga. Its benefits spill over into work in many ways too. When your mind is freed of the usual worries and cares, it is free to move into unexplored territory.
This is how the best, most innovative ideas are born. With regular practice, yoga can give you the creativity that you need to achieve new levels of success in your career.
5. Increases Energy
Are you often dragging by the middle of the workday even after getting a full night’s sleep? Chances are that it’s because you are working too hard over excessive periods of time without any breaks. Research has shown that when workers step away from their desks here and there throughout the day, they tend to be less fatigued and have more energy. If you engage in yoga while stepping away–even if only for 10 minutes here and 10 minutes there–the benefits are even better. Numerous studies, including one that was published in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health, have shown that yoga improved workers’ performance. Much of that likely has to do with the increased energy that goes along with practicing yoga.
One of the best things about yoga is that it’s easy to get started. You don’t even have to sign up for a class-free tutorial are readily available on YouTube and around the internet. Yoga may be the key to unleashing your full potential at work, and the sooner you get started, the sooner you can find out.
Are you looking for easy poses to do at work or at home? Check out our yoga books exclusively selected for executives. Read how yoga helps you calm your mind and body and integrate yoga into your busy schedule.
Have you already introduced yoga to your life? Is yoga helping manage your thoughts, reduce stress or increase focus at the workplace?
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