Workplace Relaxation Techniques to Manage Stress

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At some point in your working life, it’s likely you’ll encounter situations which lead to you developing stress. Here are a few workplace relaxation techniques to help you manage when that time comes.

Much like during life outside the office walls, everybody will experience stress in the workplace in their lifetime.

To back this up, in a 2018 study conducted by the Mental Health Foundation and undertaken by YouGov, 74% of the 4,619 people that were asked said that they have felt so stressed that they have felt completely overwhelmed by it or have been unable to cope.

Whilst the reasons for stress all varied in nature, experts suggest that relaxation methods and relaxation techniques can help with better managing stressful situations and the emotional effects that stress can cause.

With today marking National Relaxation Day, we thought we’d look at some of these recommended coping mechanisms, and more specifically, some workplace relaxation techniques for managing stress.

Workplace Relaxation Techniques

Use Guided Imagery

This workplace relaxation technique is a suggestion by Julie Corliss, Executive Editor at Harvard Heart Letter.

She comments on how the use of guided imagery is a good way to help bring things back into focus and provide a sense of calm when stress first starts to occur.

Corliss explains:

“For this technique, you conjure up soothing scenes, places, or experiences in your mind to help you relax and focus.

You can find free apps and online recordings of calming scenes – just make sure to choose imagery you find soothing and that has personal significance.

Guided imagery may help you reinforce a positive vision of yourself, but it can be difficult for those who have intrusive thoughts or find it hard to conjure up mental images.”

Take Control of the Situation

If you feel your levels of stress might require a more hands-on approach, then the advice given by Professor Cary Cooper, an occupational health expert at the University of Lancaster, may be more suitable.

Whether it’s stress induced by a heavy workload, disruption in the workplace or stress brought on by personal issues, Cooper comments that there is a solution to any problem that may be causing you stress.

He adds:

“There’s a solution to any problem.

If you remain passive, thinking ‘I can’t do anything about my problem’, your stress will get worse.

That feeling of loss of control is one of the main causes of stress and lack of wellbeing.

The act of taking control is in itself empowering, and it’s a crucial part of finding a solution that satisfies you and not someone else.”

Relax Your Muscles

For a more physically effective workplace relaxation technique, Amy Morin, a psychotherapist and international bestselling mental strength author, lists progressive muscle relaxation as a quick way to relieve stress whilst sat at a desk.

Morin further expands on this, citing:

“Stress can cause you to tense certain muscles in your body.

Over time, you may become so accustomed to that tension that your stop noticing that your muscles are tight.

Sore muscles – especially in the neck and shoulders – can stem from chronic tension.

Progressive muscle relaxation lets go of that tension.”

Explaining the technique, she adds:

“Focus on slowly tensing and then relaxing your muscles, one group at a time.

Start with your toes and work your way up to your neck.

With practice, you’ll increase your awareness of when you’re tensing your muscles and you’ll learn to let go of that tension.”

Practice Meditation

If your stress is causing your to worry about the future or things that have happened in the past, the next of these suggested workplace relaxation techniques is to practice meditation.

A trend which has begun to grow in popularity in workplaces and amongst individuals who struggle with mental health issues such as burnout and anxiety, writer and vlogger V.M Simandan details the benefits of undertaking meditation.

“Something which everyone is able to benefit from is meditation, this is because it teaches us how to focus in the present moment and not to worry about the past or the future.

A meditation technique that is quite simple is to focus the mind on your breathing.

As your mind begins to wander, simply acknowledge it yet draw your thoughts back to your breathing again.

The higher your level of stress, the more your mind will wander, however do not worry about it – the simple act of focusing and refocusing over and over again will help you calm down as well as ease anxiety.”

Laugh About It

Whilst during times we experience stress, the last thing on our mind is to try and find humor in the situation, blog author Laszlo Borocz believes releasing laughter can sometimes become the best approach.

“Laughter is really the best medicine.

A little, hearty chuckle can calm your mind, releases stress and stimulates blood circulation in the body.

Laughter also helps to increase production of endorphins that are used to produce relaxing and stress-free emotions.”

As far as suggestions as to how to induce laughter or make yourself laugh when finding it tough at first, Borocz expands:

“Get yourself surrounded with people or items that make you feel happy and induce laughter.

Keep an interesting list of funny cartoons, jokes and photos.

Apart from focusing on relaxation techniques at work, you can also talk with colleagues on any topic.

Remember to maintain a good sense of humour and don’t forget to incorporate funny stories to spice up the conversation.

Even laughing at yourself is another worthy method to get over stress in the workplace, but just make sure no-one else is around!”

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Sam Rose

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