Three easy ways to de-stress at work

4240000_thumbnailI recently gave a presentation about taking care of your body when you’re under stress.  For most of us, that would be every day.  Wanting to give something to people that they could remember when they’re caught in the middle of stress, I came up with three easy steps to de-stress.  For the biggest effect, do these steps throughout the day and you’ll probably notice stress doesn’t get out of control nearly as often.  Comment on your favorite de-stress technique and be entered for a prize.

1. Take 5 deep, long breaths and feel the sensations of your body from head to toe (Remember to breathe out for twice as long as you breathe in because that way you will have room for a big inhale—very important!)

2. Take a short walk (down the hall, around the building, up and down the stairs)

3. Put a smile on your face and visualize something that makes you feel good.

I do these three steps a lot and find in a very short time I feel much better.  You can even do all three steps at once.   Breathe deep, smile, and think about something you feel good about while taking a walk and in a minute or two you can’t help but feel better.

Bringing yourself back into the present moment by focusing on the breath and body has been shown to help you engage your mind in a way that promotes problem solving and creativity (just what you need when you’re stressed).

Add the pleasant memory of something you feel good about and you’ll be even more ready to go back to whatever you were doing with greater calm and ease. The brain needs to be trained to be aware of the pleasant and wonderful things in our lives.  Otherwise, it tends to be focused on the negative.

What are you doing today to de-stress at work?  Share your comments about your favorite de-stressing technique and, if you’re a University of Missouri employee, you’ll be entered into drawing for a new yoga mat!

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7 Responses to Three easy ways to de-stress at work

  1. Nancy Johnson

    Mindful walking helps with relieving my stress. Feeling the wind and sun on my skin and focusing on the movement of my body as I walk has a calming effect by quieting the mind.

  2. Sandy Stover

    If something at work is stressing me out, I find that it helps to talk to a colleague to brainstorm ideas to solve the problem or realize it’s not that big of a problem in the first place.

  3. Destressing 101: deep breath, relax shoulders, close eyes and relax eyelids briefly, then move away from the stressor, actual or imagined, into nature if possible, deep breathing all the way. Also just looking at the picture of the Slow Food Trio of Jan, Lynn, and Lynn is worth a happy smile, bringing in a good feeling!

  4. Georgia Schell

    I work at a desk all day when I get stress I get sand up and move. I set a alarm to remind me to move.

  5. Georgia Schell

    stand up and move evey hour.

  6. Joanne Rotert

    I have sitting yoga stretches I do at my desk with my arms to take a quick break and relax my shoulders when I’m stressed with deadlines. If I have time to get up, I do some yoga poses, simple balance ones.

  7. Joanne Rotert

    I have sitting yoga stretches I do at my desk with my arms to take a quick break and relax my shoulders when I’m stressed with deadlines. If I have time to get up, I do some yoga poses, simple balance ones.

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