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Often after a long day at work, you can feel the symptoms of stress: muscle tension, headaches and fatigue. While you may not be able to quickly reduce your workload, there are quick ways you can reduce your stress level before it becomes overwhelming. Even though exercise and more sleep are proven ways to reduce stress, many people do not have the time to incorporate those activities into their lives as soon as they would need to in order to achieve lower stress levels. Below is a list of five simple ways you can de-stress while in your office, in order to come home feeling more refreshed.
1. Treat your senses
Everyone can feel nervous before an important presentation or meeting. In order to put yourself in a calmer state of mind, apply a few drops of sandalwood or essential oils to your clothing, moisturizer or your wrists. Certain scents have instantly calming effects, such as lavender. Aromatherapy is a proven way to quickly reduce stress. You can apply it to yourself in moments of high-stress, or keep it around your office with an essential oil diffuser for a more permanent effect.
2. Eat lunch somewhere other than your desk
Only 1 in 5 people take a real lunch break. Not only is staying at your desk hindering your creative thinking, but separating yourself from your work briefly actually has a “restorative effect” on your brain, according to a Mental Floss article. Even if you don’t have a beautiful outdoor environment or communal lunch space, simply taking a walk around the building has the same effects.
3. Power pose
Amy Cuddy presented a powerful Ted Talk on how our body language shapes our opinion of ourselves. If you do a power pose before an important interview, you are more likely to go into it feeling powerful and qualified for the position. Not only does power posing (standing erect above your desk, leaning back with your arms crossed behind your head, etc.) make you a better interviewer, but also lowers cortisol (a stress hormone) in all situations. If you’re feeling overwhelmed at work, simply take a few minutes to power pose and you can quickly feel yourself de-stress.
4. Organize your space
Simply seeing a cluttered space can make you feel stressed. If you take five to ten minute breaks from work to organize when you feel overwhelmed, you can clean up the clutter and de-stress as you clean. It gives you something else to think about for a few minutes, so you can come back to your project with a clean emotional slate.
5. Upgrade your chair
Do you have a swivel chair? The light movement associated with it stimulates blood flow and keeps you from being sedentary for so long. If this chair still doesn’t satisfy you, look into other office chairs, or potentially opt for a standing desk.
While meetings and presentations may always add to your daily stress, you are in control of how you deal with stress and how you let it affect you.