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Stress is a normal part of life, but when it becomes chronic, it can hurt your physical and mental health. Whether you're working from home or in the office, stress is proven to play a huge role in employee burnout, absenteeism, and other related workplace issues.
There are several simple, specific, and evidence-based relaxation techniques that you can use to help manage stress and improve your overall well-being.
Find out some of these effective tips below
Deep breathing is a simple but effective way to relax your body and mind. Also known as diaphragmatic breathing, belly breathing, abdominal breathing, and paced respiration, deep breathing allows you to fill your lungs with air, which is not the case with regular breathing.
According to Dr. Yufang Lin, MD of the Center for Integrative Medicine at Cleveland Clinic Health System in Ohio, normal shallow breathing does not allow sufficient air in the lungs, so you might be unintentionally imposing stress on your body.
To practice deep breathing, sit or lie in a comfortable position and close your eyes. Take a deep breath through your nose, slowly and fully expanding your lungs. Hold your breath for a few seconds, then slowly exhale through your mouth. Repeat this process for 5-10 minutes.
Meditation is another simple but effective way to relax and de-stress. There are many different types of meditation, so find one that works for you and practice it regularly. Some popular types of meditation include mindfulness meditation, transcendental meditation, and guided meditation.
In this blog, we’re going to focus on mindfulness meditation;
According to the Mayo Clinic, mindful meditation is a type of meditation in which you focus on being intensely aware of what you're sensing and feeling in the moment without interpretation or judgment.
In other words, mindfulness meditation is an intentional training of your attention to achieve a certain level of mental calm and concentration and focus on encouraging positive emotions.
According to psychologists, mindfulness influences stress pathways in the brain, altering the structure of the brain and influencing the major parts at which emotions and attention are regulated.
Mindfulness meditation is not an uphill task, although it might take you a long time before you successfully incorporate it into your daily routine.
Such classes are currently widely available in places such as athletic clubs, yoga centers, hospitals, and clinics. You can also find several interventions online or via smartphone applications.
Yoga is a mind and body practice that combines physical postures, breathing exercises, and meditation. Yoga can help to improve your flexibility, strength, and balance. It can also help reduce stress, anxiety, and depression.
As work-related stress continues to rise in America, more people are discovering and appreciating the benefits of this long-time practice on their mental and physical health.
If you want to experience the difference yoga can bring to your life, establishing a consistent routine is the best way to go. You can join a yoga studio or local group to kick-start your yoga routine.
Aromatherapy involves the use of essential oils to promote relaxation and well-being.
Generally, this therapy is used to treat a wide variety of mental and physical conditions, such as stress and anxiety, digestive issues, headaches, and much more.
The essential oils used in aromatherapy trigger the brain's limbic system, which is responsible for controlling emotions, how you learn as well as your memory.
Many different essential oils can be used for aromatherapy, so find one that you like and use it in a diffuser or a bath.
Progressive Muscle Relaxation
Progressive muscle relaxation is a technique that involves tensing and relaxing different muscle groups in your body.
This can help to release tension and promote relaxation.
A study conducted in 2019 by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) determined that PMR suppressed the symptoms of anxiety, stress, and depression. The same practice can also promote positive feelings and improve the quality of life generally.
To practice progressive muscle relaxation, sit or lie in a comfortable position and close your eyes. Tense one muscle group at a time for 5-10 seconds, then relax the muscle group. Continue this process for all of the major muscle groups in your body.
Visualization is a technique that involves creating a mental image of a relaxing scene or wish fulfilled. This can help reduce stress and promote relaxation.
To practice visualization, sit or lie in a comfortable position and close your eyes. Imagine yourself in a relaxing scene, such as a beach or a forest. Focus on the sights, sounds, and smells of the scene. Continue to visualize the scene for 5-10 minutes.
Stress is a normal part of life, but it doesn't have to control you. By practicing simple, specific, evidence-based relaxation techniques, you can learn to manage stress and improve your overall health and well-being.
The practices we discussed above are some of the best techniques you can use to combat workplace stress and burnout. You can combine all the practices and use them to cope with difficult situations.
Also, there are many other ways to help you live your best life regardless of the stress and pressure from your job or any other aspect of your life. Finding what works best for you is a matter of trial and error. Keep trying until you find the perfect practice that suits your lifestyle and routine.