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1 Aug
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10 Quick Tips To De-Stress At The Office

Life is stressful. Sometimes work can be even more stressful. You can not only encounter difficult colleagues, but also have to work with supervisors or managers who shouldn’t be left in charge of a tea trolley. Your problems nag, and interfere with productivity, which then causes more problems. So here are 10 tips for things that you can do at your desk to ease the strain and free you up a little from all those troubling thoughts.

They won’t make your problems go away, but they will give your mind a break from thinking about them. If you practice them regularly you will find that life gets better and the problems will be dealt with, without you needing to do quite so much worrying. The trick is to spend just a minute or two, maybe once or twice an hour in order to gain the maximum benefit from these tips.

Close your eyes, and if that isn’t possible because the boss will think you’re sleeping on the job then just de-focus. Place your attention on the inside of your nostrils just below the bridge of your nose. Now take a slow breath with all of your attention on the sensation of the air moving inside your nose. When you breathe in breathe in fully and ensure that the air fills both your abdomen and your chest. Then breathe out a little more slowly than you breathed in. Do this three times.

  1. Focus all of your attention on your left big toe for as long as you can keep it there.
  2. Say to yourself “What am I most aware of now?” and answer that question. Give preference to physical sensations and sensory input rather than the worrying thoughts that are plaguing you. So you might respond:  the noise in the office; the pressure of the chair on my thighs; the noise of the fan; the ache in my back… As soon as you have responded, then ask yourself the same question again, and answer it. It does not matter whether you are most aware of the same thing or something different. Keep asking and answering until you feel some small relief from the stress build up.
  3. If possible, get up and just walk to the end of the room, if you need an excuse use the photocopier, get some water, find a paperclip.
  4. If you have a height adjustable chair, move it to the top of its range or the bottom. This will give you a slight change in perspective that is frequently all you need to see the world differently. You only need to leave it there for a few minutes before returning to normal.
  5. Eat an orange. The smell is pleasurable and the vitamin C will help to de-stress you. It also gives you a good excuse to stretch your legs because you’ll need to wash your hands afterwards. The peel in your waste bin will make your desk smell nice.
  6. Grab a pencil and piece of paper. Write down the numbers 1 to 10 in a column and next to each number write down one word to represent whatever it is that is stressing you right now. You don’t have to do 10, but don’t do more. Then go down the list, one item at a time, and cross out the word you have written and replace it with a word that represents your most desired outcome to the problem. When you have finished, tear it up and drop it in the waste bin.
  7. Spend just a minute or two drifting back in time to a happy or pleasurable memory. Allow yourself to feel all the good feelings you felt back then as you relive that moment in time. Then come back to the present but do your best to keep hold of the good feelings.
  8. Imagine yourself floating out of your body and up to the ceiling looking down at yourself. Then imagine floating up ever higher, always with an awareness of you at work, up through the building (you’ll have to pretend you can see through walls for this) and into the sky, ever higher. Drift up out of the atmosphere and be aware of how tiny you are as the curve of the planet becomes apparent to you. Drift up into space and see the Earth getting smaller and smaller, while still retaining that awareness of you at work. Drift up until you finally arrive at the moon. Sit on the moon for a moment or two, looking towards Earth and you at work, then reverse the process and drift slowly back.
  9. Pretend that you have just won £100,000 or maybe $100,000 or whatever your local currency is. Then think about what you would treat yourself to. Not the whole amount, just something very special that you wouldn’t normally be able to justify. Spend a few moments imagining going out to buy it, or ordering it on-line and getting home with the package awaiting you. Think about opening it up and enjoying that pleasure of having something new and special just for you. Again this should take only a few minutes.

Have fun with them, but don’t forget to remember to come back to work after a couple of minutes.


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