The workplace can be a stress-inducing environment.

Your first reaction to that statement is probably: “Tell me something I don’t already know!” Well, you might not realize there are a few simple exercises that can provide immediate relief on those days when your stress level is completely off the charts and you can barely focus on the job at hand.

If you want to reduce stress for the long-term, practicing yoga and meditation are two of your best strategies. And putting yourself on a regular exercise program has benefits that go beyond holding stress at bay. But if you encounter a trying situation — having to call a difficult client or making a sales presentation, for example, you might feel a tightening in your shoulders that requires immediate relief. Here are five suggestions that could help you combat those sudden bouts of stress.

  1. Breathe Deeply

Deep breathing increases the supply of oxygen to your brain and helps promote a state of calmness. Additionally, breathing techniques assist you in focusing on your body, which can quiet your mind. Although there are a variety of breathing techniques – some combine breathing with visualization – taking a few slow, deep belly breaths can provide immediate stress relief.

  1. Relax Your Muscles

Without even being aware of it, you could be tensing muscles that will become painful over time. Especially with those muscles in the shoulder and neck area, this tightness can come from constant stress.

Progressive muscle relaxation can help you let go of the tension. Start by slowly tensing and relaxing your muscles from your feet on up to your neck, one group at a time. As you practice this method, you will become more aware of those times when you are tense, and you can take action to relieve it.

  1. Involve Your Senses

You can refocus your attention by using other senses. For example, listening to music relieves stress for some people, while squeezing a rubber ball works for others. It could be the smell of an essential oil or looking at photos of your children that helps you let go. You will need to experiment to discover what works best for you.

  1. Laugh

Sometimes all it takes to relieve stress is talking to a co-worker with a contagious sense of humor. As they say, laughter is the best medicine, and when it comes to loosening the bands of tensed-up muscles, laughter works quickly. It increases the endorphins released by the brain and leaves you feeling relaxed.

  1. Visualize

Close your eyes and visualize that tropical vacation you took last summer. The more senses you can engage, the more you’ll relax. See the palm trees, hear the ocean, and feel the warmth of the sun. You’ll soon feel your tense muscles unwind.

Are you looking for a less stressful workplace?

We can’t guarantee you a stress-free workplace, but we can help you find a job that’s a better fit for you. Contact Pro Resources for the light industrial or technical/professional position you’re hoping to find. We’ve been in business for over 30 years, so let us use our expertise to help you find your next job.