Nearly 70% of American adults are affected by stress. You may not have realized that stress is often linked to illness and the lack of sleep. Stress can cause heart disease, depression, weight gain, and insomnia. The New York Post recently reported that most Americans will have 60 bad days a year that are caused by work-related stress. When you’re stressed at work, it disrupts your sleep at night. When you go to work tired you can easily become irritable, less focused, and over-tired which in turn affects your performance and can cause you more stress. This is a vicious cycle! Learn how to reduce your stress so you can sleep better at night.
If you’re feeling stressed at work, exercise during your lunch break or work out at the end of your workday. Exercise can be something fun. Try dancing, yoga, or doing something as simple as walking around the block. To maximize the effects, exercise regularly or as often as you can. This is so beneficial because as you work out, your body releases endorphins that are chemicals used to improve your state of mind and they also act as painkillers.
Essential oils or lighting scented candles at your desk also helps reduce stress. Aromatherapy has been practiced for decades. It is the practice of using scents to improve your mood. There are many soothing scents to choose from, such as lavender, rose, chamomile, sandalwood, geranium, and orange blossom. Use a scent that you find to be the most relaxing. If candles are not allowed in your workplace, try essential oils there and use candles when you’re at home.
Listen to music. Music has a way to reach your soul and improve your mood. It can be very relaxing to listen to some good tunes at work. Find music that is peaceful and relaxing such as classical, smooth jazz, or nature sounds. If those aren’t your jam, listen to your favorite artists or preferred genre of music.
There’s no denying that stress at work is bound to happen. If you do find yourself in a stressful situation, practice deep breathing. The practice of deep breathing creates a relaxation response throughout your nervous system. Focus on your breathing instead of what is causing you stress. When you do this, your heart rate will slow down and the stressful feelings will slowly but surely go away.
Are you a pet parent? If you are, then you probably already know that spending time with your pets reduces stress. Studies have reported that dog owners have lower levels of stress than people who do not have dogs. If you have a fur baby, be sure to give them lots of cuddles before and after work. If your workplace has a pet policy, bring your dog or cat with you!