Stress is part and parcel of your time at work. And while some days can be absolutely peaceful, there might be days that will make you want to pull out your hair because you’re stressed beyond belief. During times like this, it’s important to ditch your work for a bit and de-stress. But in this day and age of stringent deadlines and unreasonable work pressure, it’s hard to get away from work for too long. Wondering if you can de-stress without spending too much time? Here are 5 simple tips to de-stress at your desk that won’t take more than a few minutes.
5 Tips To De-Stress At Your Desk
1. Engage In Deep Breathing
This popular breathing technique is one of the easiest and best ways to de-stress.1 All you need to do is pay close attention to your breath, which you’ll be surprised to know hardly ever happens. Doing deep breathing exercises for a few minutes increases the supply of oxygen to your brain and makes you calm. It also helps you focus on your body and quiet your mind. You are also relieved from any distracting thoughts.
- Take a normal breath first.
- Then, slowly breathe in through your nose, allowing your chest and stomach to rise and fill your lungs with air.
- Allow your stomach to expand fully and breathe out slowly.
- Repeat this a few times to calm your mind.
- You could also visualize something scenic while you breathe deeply. This will aid the relaxation.
2. Relax Your Muscles Progressively
Stress is likely to take a toll on your muscles. And constant stress is bound to result in perpetual muscle tension, especially in your neck and shoulders. Over time, there’s a chance that you’ll become so accustomed to that tension that you’ll stop noticing your tight muscles. Try relaxing them progressively to prevent this from happening.
- Start by tensing your muscles slowly and then relaxing them, one group at a time.
- Begin with your toes and work your way up to your neck.
- Do this every day to eventually increase awareness of your tensing muscles, allowing you to release them when it happens.
3. Visualize Your Happy Place
If it’s been a busy, stressful week at work, you’re likely to want to take a few days off and go on a nice vacation. While this may not always be possible, taking a vacation in your mind is always feasible. Drift off to your favorite hill top or beach or even a quaint little cafe in the city and enjoy some peace in the midst of chaos.
- Shut your eyes and spend a few minutes imagining yourself in your happy place.
- Try and engage all your senses by thinking about what you would probably see, hear, smell, taste, and touch if you were physically present there.
- You’re sure to feel a calming sensation taking over your mind and body.
4. Laugh A Little
Who knew this could actually calm you down on a stressful day, right? Hearty laughter every now and then improves blood circulation and relieves tension, easing your stress.
- Keep a funny book at your desk to read once in a while.
- Cracking a couple of jokes with a few friends could also really make your day.
- If someone cracks a joke or two about you, laugh at yourself and remember that it’s okay to take a few moments to not take life as seriously as you might usually do.
5. Engage Your Senses
This simple method helps you focus your senses on something pleasant for a while and distracts you from the stress you’re experiencing. The best way to get the most out of it is by figuring out which sense is most helpful in alleviating your stress.
- Try different activities that will allow you to engage one of your senses every day.
- You could look at pleasing images or photos, listen to soothing music, keep essential oils at your desk, eat a candy you really like, or squeeze a stress ball to identify which activity is relieving the stress you’re experiencing.
- Once you’ve identified the most suitable activity, practice it every day for a while to calm yourself.
- Massage your ears: Drop your head a little and massage the lobes of both your ears lightly.
- Doodle for a while: Place your pen on a paper and keep scribbling till 60 seconds are up. The idea behind this is that when you’re overwhelmed, doing something mindless will relax your mind.
- Stare at a wall: Find a wall that’s closest to you and simply stare at it. Just like doodling, staring at a wall is a mindless activity that will calm your mind and ease the stress you’re experiencing.
While these tips may not show effects instantly, continue practicing them for a while to be relieved of that unnecessary stress that is taking a toll on your overall health.
|↑1||Relaxation techniques: Breath control helps quell errant stress response. Harvard Medical School.|