Decreasing Work Stress By 40% is This Simple

How much better would you feel at work and at the end of the day, if you could decrease your work stress by at least 40 percent? According to a new study published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, some mindfulness-based techniques really can decrease your work stress that much.

The Study

It can be tempting to want to escape a suffocating office for open land and fresh air. However, you do not need that to find the relaxation you crave. A small study followed 16 members of a surgical intensive care unit (SICU) for eight weeks. Each week, the participants attended an hour-long class during work hours that included yoga, relaxation music, and seated meditation. Each class also had a theme to help teach the participants useful information, such as improving their sleep or practicing mindful eating.

The change in the participants was quite noticeable. At the end of the study, the participants had fewer biological markers of stress in their saliva. Their bodies basically said they were feeling less stressed, even though the stressful nature of their job did not improve. Not only did they feel less stressed, but they were able to handle tense work situations better, such as dealing with a patient’s family members.

You don’t have to work in a fast-paced, life and death intensive care unit to find the same benefits as the participants. It really does not take that much to feel better. All it takes is dedication and practice on your part.

Here’s How to Reduce Your Stress By 40%

Even though you may not be able to sneak away from your desk for an hour yoga session, you can practice deep breathing anywhere and anytime (though your co-workers may not appreciate it during a meeting). Just breathe in slowly through your nose and hold for a few seconds. Then exhale twice as long as you inhaled. This will help you feel instantly calm in tense situations.

It is also important to move more. When you work at a desk, it can be easy to get focused on your work and not move for many hours at a time. Just doing a few sun salutations throughout the day will help get your blood flowing again.

Finally, it is important to be mindful of the things that are stressing you out. Be aware of which activities or individuals stress you out and figure out how to deal with them. Reducing your work stress by 40 percent is going to make you feel better and improve your overall health.

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Used under Creative Commons Licensing courtesy of Aurimas