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Mindful Work

Reduce Office Stress in Under Five Minutes

September 5, 2017

If you’re feeling stressed at the office there is a way for you to reduce the pressure without falling behind on your work. If you can spare five-minutes you can reenergize and lower work stress.

According to the American Psychological Association, 75 percent of Americans list work as a significant source of stress in their lives. And over 50 percent have “indicated that their work productivity suffered due to stress.” This type of stress can lead to medical and sleeping problems. In fact, according to another survey, more than 40 percent of adults lie awake at night “plagued by the stressful events of the day.” Fortunately, taking a five-minute break during your workday can help lower stress may as well as reduce medical and sleeping problems as well.

Listed below are a few ideas for short work breaks. Try using a few this month.

6 Ideas for Work Breaks

  1. Chitchat. Try reducing office stress by talking with a coworker. Consider sharing your work challenges with a trusted coworker. Try discussing books, new films, favorite restaurants, or topical issues of the day. Share a laugh together. After five minutes of chatting you’ll find that you feel more relaxed and happier overall.
  2. Creative break. Taking a creativity break can help with mental exhaustion. You can try doodling or drawing pictures at your desk, which can help relieve stress and foster creativity. Consider working on puzzles or taking a photography break outside. You may even want to take your five minutes to update your journal.
  3. Eat a healthy snack. Eating the right foods at work can help reduce stress. So consider having mini food breaks during the day. Stress-busting foods you should consider include: citrus fruits, healthy nuts, and granola.
  4. Listen to music. A music break can do wonders for reducing stress. Listening to classical music has been shown in studies to reduce stress, but it isn’t the only genre that does so. Listening to your favorite songs can help you recall fond memories, relax, and reduce stress.
  5. Meditation. If you stare at a computer screen all day, consider giving your eyes a break. Try setting the timer on your smartphone for five minutes and practice some breathing exercises. Take a deep cleansing breath, close your eyes, clear your mind, and continue taking slow, deep breaths for a few minutes.
  6. Stretch and exercise. Consider doing small exercises and stretches at your desk to relax, reduce tension, and lower your stress in less than five minutes. Relieve carpal tunnel syndrome and stiff necks with office stretches. Also, consider exercises like the “tricep desk dips,” “desk push ups,” and “invisible chair sit.” 
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