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9 Stress Relief Exercises You Can Do From Your Desk

By March 20, 2019 No Comments
Elderly man working on computer while listening to music
Elderly man working on computer while listening to music

With any job comes a certain amount of stress, no matter the industry. Forty percent of workers describe their job as very or extremely stressful according to the CDC. Failing to manage and alleviate stress takes a toll on your health, mind and happiness. It can be challenging to find ways to relax during the workday especially if you sit for the majority of the day which also has a negative impact on health.

The good news is you can do something about it. Here are 8 stress relief exercises you can do from your desk to improve your overall health and well-being.

1. Meditation
Meditation in the workplace is powerful and requires a period of calm and quiet where you can reflect on your thoughts to better understand them. Some individuals can meditate on their own while others prefer guided meditations that walk you through the steps and keep you focused. If you have an Amazon Echo or Dot, download the guided meditation skill for a new guided meditation every day.

2. Stretching
There is an endless number of stretches you can do at a desk that relieve tension, increase circulation, and awaken your senses. A few you might want to try are the seated twist, head rolls, or leg hugs according to WebMD.

3. Healthy Power Snacks
There is a lot of truth in the saying “you are what you eat.” Make sure you are eating healthy snacks full of protein and healthy fats instead of junk food that can make you feel sluggish and increase your stress level. Pack vegetables, hummus, mozzarella, almonds, and whole fruits to keep you satisfied throughout the day.

4. Deep Breathing
There is a lot of truth in the saying “you are what you eat.” Make sure you are eating healthy snacks full of protein and healthy fats instead of junk food that can make you feel sluggish and increase your stress level. Pack vegetables, hummus, mozzarella, almonds, and whole fruits to keep you satisfied throughout the day.

5. Listen to Calming Music
Music is a powerful way to overcome stress. When you listen to music you enjoy, it makes you happy which helps reduce stress and anxiety. Create a playlist on your favorite streaming app and set it to play as soon as you get into the office to create the sense of happiness you need to conquer the day.

6. Visualization Exercises
Visualization is often used by leaders and is the idea of picturing yourself where you want to be. When you are stressed, you can close your eyes and picture yourself in a place that calms you, such as the beach or by the pool. It’s more than just thinking about the location. Visualization works because you actually feel the same thoughts you would if you were physically in your happy place.

7. Practice Affirmations
Write down a few goals you have for yourself. What would make you feel successful or happy? For example, “It is Friday at 5 p.m., and I feel accomplished” or “It is Saturday, and I have zero regrets about my work week.” Read these out loud during your breaks. The more you read them, the more you’ll believe them. Once you believe, you will make better decisions that improve your happiness and relieve stress.

8. Smile or Laugh
Sometimes, a smile is all it takes to break the tensions and minimize stress. If you find yourself stressed mid-afternoon pull our family or pet photos that make you smile or watch a funny video for a good laugh and mental break.

9. Schedule Something to Look Forward to
All work and no play is one of the biggest causes of stress. Make sure you schedule activities that you can look forward to every week including time for yourself, with friends, or your significant other. Having something fun on the horizon is a great way to stay motivated and keep stress at a minimum.