Work can be stressful, causing your heart to race and your shoulders to tense up. Of course a certain level of stress at work can be positive and motivating to get a job done, but stress that goes unchecked for too long can be harmful to your body.
Stress is just one of many risk factors for heart disease, and learning stress management strategies is an important step towards better heart health. Next time you feel like pulling your hair out, try one of these tips to take a break and manage your stress from your desk.
Try deep breathing exercises
Breathing exercises can help settle your heart rate and allows you to shift your focus away from a work task. Breathe in deeply and focus your attention on your breathing. Meditation can help reduce your risk for heart disease and gives you tools to use throughout the workday.
Fit in a good Laugh
Laughing can boost the level of endorphins in your body and help you feel happier. Build up an armory of comedy that you know will make you laugh despite the stress. Bookmark a website with funny comics or watch clips of your favorite comedian to fit in a chuckle between tasks.
Keep a gratitude journal
Writing in a gratitude journal can improve your emotional wellbeing. Reflect on 2-3 things that you’re grateful for and track them in your journal. Gratitude journals are most beneficial if you do this consistently and set aside time each day.
Set aside the coffee
The side effects of drinking too much coffee can make stress worse. You can end up feeling more nervous and experience an increased heart rate. If you’re already feeling stressed, you’re better off cutting back on the caffeine.
Take a brisk walk
Technically you’d have to get away from your desk for this tip, but would that be so bad? Physical activity like taking a walk can increase your level of endorphins so you can relax and relieve some stress. Mix in your deep breathing and mediation exercises on your walk to really fight back against stress.
If you feel like stress is negatively impacting your health, talk to your doctor about other lifestyle changes you can make. Learn to identify when you’re feeling stressed at work or any time throughout your day, and put some distance between you and the stressor through tips like these.