Quickly Reset A Stressful Day With These Tips
Stress is inevitable, but it’s crucial to learn how to manage it. According to research, not knowing how to handle stress can lead to “meta-stress” or worrying about stress even before it happens. This leads to an accumulation of anxious thoughts that can negatively impact productivity and overall well-being.
But the good news is that we can equip ourselves with science-backed tools to handle stress better and quickly reset during an overwhelming day.
Incorporate micro exercise
Micro exercise is any physical activity or short workout that takes between three and 10 minutes. Micro exercises, like jumping jacks, jogging in place, squats, or a combination of any move, can help reduce stress levels. This works even if you don’t have time for a traditional workout.
Micro exercises work because after the stress hormone cortisol spikes during a workout, it’s brought down during recovery time and can go even lower before the activity. So, make it a point to get up from your desk throughout the day and take a few minutes to move.
Try “box breathing”
In times of stress, Navy SEALs are taught to calm the nervous system by doing box breathing. This breathing exercise allows you to take a few minutes to focus on the rhythm of your breath, which reduces your cortisol levels.
How to do box breathing:
Expel all the air. Then, hold your breath, keeping your lungs empty for four counts.
Breathe in through your nose for four counts; hold the air in your lungs for four counts.
Then, breathe out through your nose for four counts.
Repeat this cycle at least four times.
Get some fresh air
If you can take a minute to step outside during a busy or stressful day, do it. Researchers found that taking breaks to enjoy a view of nature helps us become less stressed and more productive when we get back to work. It’s a quick and easy stress reliever that can help you recharge and reset.
If your workspace is nowhere near nature, try putting a plant on your desk to add some greenery to your space.
Tell a trusted friend or teammate
No matter the source of your stress, simply telling someone else about it and getting the support you need can help you feel better. Approach a trusted colleague or call a good friend and ask to chat for a few minutes about what’s troubling you. Opening up can help you get your thoughts out of your head and reset your day.
Technology has blurred many boundaries, allowing work stress to creep in during your personal time. Setting boundaries with any messaging tool, like your work email or chat apps, is essential. Researchers have found that anticipating receiving stressful work emails or messages even after work hours can negatively impact how you spend your personal time.
So, decide a hard stop to your workday and turn off notifications during your off hours. Taking the time to rest, relax, and focus on personal pursuits can help you improve your focus and productivity during work hours.
What do you think of these tips, and which ones have you tried?