It is easier said than done to just relax. Oftentimes, life can be too much to bear, putting the weight of the world on your shoulders. In fact, it is easier to get stressed out than it is to calm down. That’s odd, isn’t it? But like anything else in life, with a little bit of work, you can find ways to cope and improve your mental health in the workplace.
Here are nine coping mechanisms for stress relief at work:
1. Go for a Walk
When you are parked in your cubicle and in your office chair for hours at a time and you are bombarded with assignments and tasks, it is easy enough to become stressed. Being swamped with work is never fun, especially when you have a million other things to grapple with.
What’s the solution to this problem? Go for a walk.
Yes, you need to get 1,001 things done before you finish for the day, but a stroll outside – in any weather conditions – can help out a lot. A change of scenery, a change of pace, and a change of breathing patterns; a walk can alleviate the stress. No matter what, you should always aim for a few minutes of sauntering just to get some fresh air.
2. Eat a Healthy Snack
In stressful times, the one remedy is munching on something decadent. This will make you feel better – at first. What you really need is a healthy snack, which are great coping mechanisms for stress. There is nothing more refreshing to your body than a plate of cold and fresh carrots, celery sticks, royal gala apples, or grapes.
Since these types of foods are far healthier for you than an Oh Henry! chocolate bar, you can see why fruits and vegetables would do more to calm you down.
3. Do Breathing Exercises
Seriously, have you paid attention to your breathing habits while you work? Chances are, you’re taking shallow and quick breaths. This is not the way to breathe.
Indeed, it can be difficult to concentrate on your breathing when you are focusing on your work. But if you wish to melt the stress away, then you will need to do a better job of breathing. The one way to boost your breathing is to perform some breathing exercises.
The most popular breathing exercise is the deep breathing exercise:
- Lie back.
- Breathe in through your nose.
- Let your belly fill with air.
- Breathe out through your nose.
- Place a hand on your belly.
- Feel your belly rise.
- Take three full deep breaths.
And that is how you do a breathing exercise. These are good coping mechanisms for stress, and you will feel marvelous afterward.
4. Five-Minute Meditation
Meditation might seem like something hippies and monks do, but this ancient practice is gaining momentum in the Western world. This is a method to increase your attention and awareness and induce a clear mind and a calm and stable emotional state.
It takes a lot of practice because your mind is running a mile a minute.
You can start by meditating for a few minutes each day, whether on your break or at home. Just remember to adhere to the following:
- Be comfortable
- Breathe (see above)
- Have privacy
The rest will fall into place.
5. Use Visualization Strategy
For years, visualization was used for psychotherapy to improve cognitive behavior and boost memory regression. But studies have found that visualization is key for stress management and the treatment of anxiety and depression.
So, what is visualization anyway? It is a method of using mental imagery to create what you want in your life. Just close your eyes and imagine. Many say this allows you to achieve your goals, but it is a great way to diminish your stress by placing yourself in a situation that will yield contentment and bring happiness, whether it is hitting a game-winning home run in the World Series or being on a yacht under the hot sun with lovely people around you.
Awkward? Yes. Effective? Also, yes.
They say that the best way to die is to laugh. Well, the same applies to shedding your body of stress. You only need to laugh it away. A hilarious joke, a funny screwball gag in a 1930s motion picture, or a moment from “The Simpsons” – anything to get a rise out of you will boost your mood.
7. Listen to Classical Music
Classical music will not only stimulate your little gray cells and enthrall you, but it will also cut down on your stress levels. A J.S. Bach harpsichord concerto or a Ludwig van Beethoven sonata; any classical piece will immediately allow you to calm down and see another beautiful aspect of life.
Even if you don’t know much about classical music, you should incorporate it into your method of unwinding. YouTube is comprised of so many classical tunes.
8. Ensure You Get Sleep
For millions of people, sleep is an alien concept. Our schedule, our workload, and our busy personal lives prevent us from getting a good night’s sleep. But that may be contributing to your stress. You need sleep for survival as it will ensure you have strong health – physically, mentally, and emotionally.
An eight-hour slumber and a 15-minute nap somewhere in your day will generate tremendous results.
9. Just Talk
Finally, find a shoulder to cry on. While it seems unfair to shower someone with all your negativity, sometimes we just need a friend to talk to and unleash all our stress. The recipient might need to be a strong individual to endure this, but you will find that you will feel much better by just talking. So, do that. Just talk!
Is your work getting you down? Are you always tired? Will the day ever end? These are all contributing factors to your stress overload. You’re like a shaken soda pop bottle on the cusp of exploding. But you need to calm down, relax, and take it easy before the stress destroys you. By taking advantage of any of these tips, you will see an improvement almost immediately.