Wondering how to de-stress at work?
Stress from tight deadlines and high stakes can cause us to lose focus.
If we let stress get the best of us, it can reduce our unicorn ideas to donkey fodder.
You can calm your mind and reduce anxiety in a matter of minutes with a handful of proven techniques to reduce stress.
Here, 15 ways to de-stress at work instantly.
1. Take a Walk
If you sit behind a desk all day, one of the best solutions for stress is going for a short walk.
By doing this, your brain will release endorphins that subdue anxiety, increase energy levels and improve mood -- all in just 15 minutes.
So the next time you get up to use the restroom, take a detour outside or around the office to boost your endorphins.
2. Take a Deep Breath
This is one of the easiest and most beneficial ways to de-stress at work.
Deep breathing helps increase oxygen flow throughout the body and can be done in two simple steps: First, breathe in slowly through your nose, filling up your lungs completely, and then slowly breathe out through your mouth.
Repeat this process 5-10 times and you'll find your stress melting away.
Similar to walking, stretching will loosen up the body and increase blood flow.
This is a great option to de-stress if you're on a time crunch, as you can easily find office stretching techniques for the neck, back and wrists online.
4. Meditate with an App
Meditation dates back as far as 5,000 BCE, but the development of modern technology has opened doors to a larger audience.
Now, you can follow personalized meditations on popular apps like Headspace and Inscape in your own time to practice mindfulness.
5. Make a Checklist and Action Plan
When you feel overwhelmed by endless assignments, be sure to grab a pen and notepad, take a breath and make a checklist.
Checklists are ideal for rekindling motivation and practicing prioritization -- top traits found in every unicorn!
6. Talk It Out with a Friend
When under pressure, friends can shed new light on how to de-stress at work or give an outside perspective on a problem.
Along with this, researchers have also found that having such interactions can release oxytocin, a hormone that decreases stress and helps form bonds between individuals.
7. Get Inspired with a TED Talk
Just like talking to a friend or co-worker, sometimes all you need is a healthy dose of motivation.
TED Talks are a great way to reignite your fire and perseverance, whether you want to learn how to work happier or get further in your career.
(Here are a few of my favorite TED Talks if you need somewhere to start.)
8. Use Essential Oils
Essential oils have been used in natural wellness regimens for over 5,000 years.
While there are oils for almost every ailment, one of the most popular for coping with stress is lavender.
Seventy times more potent than the plant itself, lavender oil is often used to alleviate headaches, anxiety, depression or muscle pain.
For best results, rub a few drops of oil in your hands, cup them over your nose and take a few deep breaths.
9. Interact with an Animal
Furry friends are known stress reducers.
There is a large body of scientific literature proving that interaction with animals stimulates the release of oxytocin in the brain, which, in turn, reduces anxiety and improves mood.
Even if it's a quick pet of a dog that's on a walk outside the building, that just might be enough to brighten your day!
10. Work Outside
With activities like forest bathing on the rise, it's clear that humans benefit from being outdoors.
Being surrounded by nature and in sunlight can improve vitamin D levels, help with concentration and prevent illnesses, both long and short term.
Your boss will also benefit from you working outside -- one study found that employees who work outdoors take 15% less sick days every year.
11. Listen to Music
Music is engrained so deeply into our daily lives, so why not bring it into the workplace?
Listening to songs while working decreases stress hormones that harm our immune system, weight and memory if not kept in check.
It has also been noted that individuals who listen to music on the job work more efficiently and have a creativity boost!
12. Take a Reading Break
While reading books seems to be dying out during the age of social media, its benefits are still alive and well.
Research has found that reading for only six minutes can decrease muscle tension and heart rate.
13. Take a Power Nap
When in doubt, sleep it out.
Our minds suffer severely when we're tired and stressed, so the best way to combat this at work is to take a ten minute nap.
Taking a power nap is known to help stabilize emotions, increase energy and restore brain functionality.
If your workplace hasn't already installed a nap room, head to your car or the break room.
14. Reach for Tea Instead of Coffee
It's time to start skipping the coffee and make a cup of tea instead.
Coffee has a greater amount of caffeine than tea and, if consumed, may lead to more anxiety if you're already stressed.
Tea, on the other hand, can provide a more manageable dose of energy as well as reduce inflammation.
15. Put Your Mental Health First and Listen to What You Need
This is the most important point on the entire list.
By listening to what you need during stressful times, you may realize that some of the strategies above will work for you -- other times, they may not.
That's why it's essential to put yourself first and do whatever's necessary in order to improve your mental health.
Feeling relaxed and ready to go back to work? Be sure to spread some of the best tips on how to de-stress at work with your coworkers in need!