5 ways to reduce stress at work

5 ways to reduce stress at work

When you're stressed at the office, eight hours can seem like an eternity, however, there are little adjustments you can make to put your mind at ease. Here are five easy steps you can take to relax at work:

1. Open the shades
A study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine showed that workers who had more natural light in their offices were healthier than peers. Participants who worked in offices with windows reported sleeping better, exercising more and having lower stress levels.

"There's increasing evidence that exposure to light, during the day, particularly in the morning, is beneficial to your health via its effects on mood, alertness and metabolism," said Phyllis Zee, M.D., senior author of the study at Northwestern University.

2. Have a cup of tea
It's been shown that drinking tea can put you in a better mood. Scientists at the City University London found that the process of making a cup of tea was relaxing for participants and that the drink often relieved anxiety. The activity is a short but effective break from a stressful work task.

3. Take a walk
If you have time on your lunch break, step out for a brisk walk around the block. Research published in the Journal of Psychosomatic Research indicated that walking at 4 miles per hour helps to reduce blood pressure and heart rate. If you don't have the time during the day, taking a stroll after work may be a good way to let go of the day's stresses.

4. Sit up straight
When dealing with stressful tasks, people tend to hunch over and tense the muscles in their shoulders and back. An article in Psychology Today explained that sitting in a "power position" – stretching back in your chair with your legs crossed – can help to make you feel more secure and reduce your stress. If you make this a regular habit, you also won't have muscle cramps after work.

5. Take an omega-3 supplement
Research published in the journal Brain, Behavior and Immunity showed that a fish oil supplement can reduce anxiety in healthy young adults. The participants were medical students in the midst of exams, and the ones who had an increased intake of fatty acids reported much lower stress levels than peers. Taking a daily omega-3 supplement like Omax3 can also reduce your risk of heart disease.

Essential takeaways

  • Making small adjustments to your daily routine can help to improve your mental status. 
  • Increase your exposure to natural light, drink tea, take a walk, adjust your posture or take an omega-3 supplement to improve your mood at work. 
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