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How to De-stress at Your Desk ...

One of the biggest causes of stress is work so it makes sense that if you can de-stress at work, your life will be less stressful overall – n’est-ce pas? Dealing with stress at your desk can mean you go home without a knot in your neck, without a tension headache and being able to look forward to a pleasant evening. All you need is a few minutes for these things.

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1. Improve Your Posture

One of the easiest and quickest ways to de-stress at your desk is to sit up straight. This improves your posture and will give you an energy boost. Squaring our shoulders and standing or sitting up straight also imbues us with feelings of self-esteem and confidence. According to research by Erik Peper, PH.D., slouching could potentially lead to depression and decreased energy levels. The great thing is that you can practice this anywhere, anytime, at home, in the office, or on the move to a business meeting.

2. Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR) Boosts Inner Calm

Tensed muscles are an early warning sign of stress. You can de-stress by adopting the Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR) technique to remedy this. PMR means consciously tensing isolated muscle groups. Here's an example: Tense your neck and back muscles by scrunching your shoulders up and letting your neck sink into your shoulders. Hold this position for 5 to 10 seconds, concentrating only on keeping the muscles tensed. Now slowly release the tension, repeating to yourself a "mantra" of short words like "quiet" and "relax". Or you could hum. Visualize tension leaving your body. Now sink back in your chair and enjoy that fuzzy warm glow spreading all over your body.

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3. Inhale Deeply

Deep breathing can help to regulate blood pressure and control our heart rate, both measures to reduce anxiety and stress. Here is what will help you de-stress at your desk: inhale through your nostrils while concentrating on expanding your stomach while you're slowly counting to five. Now purse your lips and exhale through your mouth for a slow count of five. Feeling less stressed already?

4. Visualize Your Personal Idyll

Offices can be stressful places given the close proximity of others and their desks, the noise and fast-paced environment. Air conditioning and windowless offices don't help either. Imagine you are in a peaceful place, your own personal idyll. This technique is called "guided imagery". It can reduce blood pressure, improve the immune system and lead to better sleep. You can buy easy-to-follow videos and audio tutorials on the subject to get you started on guided imagery techniques.

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5. Chat to a Friend

Visit a favorite coworker in another office or chat to a friend over lunch - talking to our friends boosts our mood and helps us reduce stress levels.

6. Start Exercising

Just going for a brisk walk at lunchtime or after work will de-stress you - even wandering up and down the office corridor will have a positive impact on your mood. Go out into the sunshine if you can walk around outside during work hours. Just 5 minutes of moving around will help boost your energy levels, self-esteem and confidence.

7. Remain Hydrated

Research has shown that dehydration has a direct effect on our stress levels. Therefore, staying hydrated will assist your body to function correctly and not stress too much. Dehydration can lead to stress but also make you feel sluggish and tires. A glass of water taken at regular intervals throughout the day helps to "refuel" ad remain stress-free. You'll need 64 ounces of water a day to remain a properly hydrated, bright-eyed little bunny.

As you can see, none of these things take that much time and if you work at a computer all day, you should be taking regular comfort breaks anyway. Are you good at trying to be less stressed at work?

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