Importance of Stress Relief Exercises for a Healthy Professional Life
Whether you are an entrepreneur or an employee in a company, irrespective of your job profile, one thing common to all professions is the inevitable stress that comes along with the responsibilities at work. During the COVID-19 pandemic, while essential service providers continued operating from their workplaces, most others had to switch to a ‘work from home’ routine which may sound ideal for a good work-life balance but comes with its cons.
In either case, work-related stress coupled with the uncertainty and fear surrounding the pandemic, has undoubtedly resulted in the deterioration of your physical health and mental wellbeing. Therefore, it becomes all the more essential to learn and incorporate some stress relief techniques in your life, to help you combat and manage stress levels; ergo, enjoy a healthier personal and professional life. Here we have compiled seven simple exercises you can perform at work to manage stress and become more resilient.
Seven Highly Effective Stress Relief Exercises to Try at Work
1. Breathing Exercise
It may come as a surprise to you how an activity as simple as a few minutes of mindful breathing can help alleviate stress and bring instant tranquillity. When under stress, you often tend to take uneven breaths, which makes you more anxious. Breathing exercises focus on making your breathing regular, thereby supplying more oxygen to your brain and helping you to relax. Additionally, what makes it the best stress relief technique is that you can practice it anytime, at any place, even while at work.
All you have to do is to settle comfortably in a chair with your eyes closed and as you breathe in and out, try to focus on each breath. One of the most effective variants of this exercise, the 4-7-8 deep breathing, involves inhaling for 4 seconds, followed by holding the breath for 7 seconds, and then finally, exhaling all the air for 8 seconds through your mouth.
2. 54321 Grounding Exercise
In addition to deep breathing exercises, another technique for stress relief through mindfulness is the 54321 exercise that focuses on getting you in touch with your five senses – sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch. Being aware of your body and surroundings helps you to concentrate in the moment and eliminate racing and stressful thoughts. In this technique, you are required to settle in a comfortable chair and list 5 things you can touch around you, 4 things you can see, 3 things you can hear, 2 things you can smell, and finally, 1 thing you can taste. The exercise takes no time and can calm you down instantly, making it a go-to stress buster for most of you while at work.
The nine-to-five lifestyle can get overwhelming at times, with its project deadlines, monthly targets and long hours glued to the screen. It can not only be tiresome mentally, but physically too, and can bring excessive exhaustion to your body over time. So, the next time you find yourself under stress and want to get your blood flowing, try out 5 minutes of simple stretching exercises for your neck, shoulders, and back, and see the change yourself. It will not only improve your blood circulation and get your mind relaxed but will also relieve your muscles from stress, leaving you feeling energised.
4. Talk It Out!
While breathing and stretching can help provide you with instant relief when struggling, sometimes, you may still find your worries and emotions piling up over time, which can often be detrimental to your health. The best way to avoid this is to connect with family and friends, or any loved one with whom you might comfortably share your thoughts, problems and emotions. This can not only ease distress in the moment but can also help you gain a new perspective and deal with vexing issues effectively.
Next in the list of best stress busters is the scientifically proven technique that can help you not only to de-stress yourself at times of distress but also to help you organise your thoughts, identify your triggers and become more self-aware and resilient. Sometimes, you may not find anyone to confide your problems to, in which case, you can choose to talk to yourself, or rather to a notebook through journaling. As there is no fixed method of journaling, you can choose to pick up a notebook and jot down anything and everything that might help manage your emotions and calm you down.
6. Walk It Off!
You are always advised to exercise regularly to keep your body fit. Being physically active helps you to build body strength and physical endurance, but many of you often forget to realise how it can also help improve your mental strength and endurance. A quick 15 minute walk around the block has proven to be one of the best stress relief exercises that can quickly get your blood flowing and help you regain your equilibrium, which gets disturbed when you are under mental pressure. Even if your work may not allow you to leave the building to take a stroll outside, you can just walk around your office, even while taking a work call or simply listening to music, and notice the difference in your mood yourself.
7. Stress Relief Toys
The last effective technique in this list of stress busters includes a range of stress relief toys and items you can keep at your desk in the office to resort to whenever feeling stressed or anxious. There are various fun products available online, from stress balls to fidget spinners and cubes, which you can squeeze and fiddle around, to manage stress or simply distract yourself from disturbing thoughts.
It is normal to get stressed; after all, stress is part of your life. But, what is not normal is succumbing to that stress and having your mental and physical health impacted. While the above techniques might help you combat stress momentarily, what may work in the long run is to prepare your body, both physically and mentally, to take on any challenge life may throw at you. The key to a healthier and stress-free life, as every expert will suggest, is a happy stomach and a healthy body, which is achievable by following a healthy diet and an exercise regimen. Regular exercise, coupled with a balanced, nutritious diet and inculcating habits such as meditation and journaling in your everyday routine, is all you need to build a stronger body and mind to overcome stress in your professional and personal life.
Don't Take Work Related Stress Lightly
A contemporary professional environment is notorious for extreme stress in most work functions. You need to accept this fact and work assiduously to address and eliminate stress from your life. Never take your work-related stress lightly as it is bound to have a serious impact on your mental and physical wellbeing. We hope this BP Guide would have helped you decide which stress relief exercises you would like to try out in your office or workspace. Stay connected with us for more such engaging content.