Six Effective Ways to Destress

Joe Weinlick
Posted by

Everyone gets a little stressed out from time to time, but too much stress is a significant problem. In fact, work-related stress may contribute to as many as 120,000 deaths each year, according to Forbes contributor Kathy Caprino. If people aren't worrying about heavy workloads or unreasonable bosses, they're worrying about changing jobs or finding work in a slow economy. If stress is affecting your health, try these techniques for some much-needed stress relief.

1. Take Regular Breaks

Work-related stress tends to build up if you never take time to decompress. Many people hesitate to take breaks when they are busy, but taking a few minutes to relax can actually make you more productive. If you can't leave your work area, at least take a few minutes to walk around your desk, sip a cup of coffee or talk with your colleagues. The act of taking a break allows you to release work-related stress and develop a more positive outlook about your job.

2. Perform Stretches at Your Desk

Muscle tension is one of the biggest problems associated with high levels of stress. When your muscles are tense, you are likely to develop headaches or have difficulty sleeping, making work-related stress even worse. Work out the tension by performing stretches at your desk. Move your head around to give your neck muscles a break, or take time to stretch your stiff legs after sitting at your desk for a long time. Just be sure to check with a doctor before adding new stretches to your routine.

3. Take Deep Breaths

If work-related stress is hurting your job performance, incorporate deep breathing into your daily routine. Set aside five minutes to sit in a quiet room and focus on your breathing. When you breathe in, feel the air work its way through your body. Deep breathing reduces blood pressure and slows your heart rate, reducing the effects of work-related stress on your body.

4. Ask for Help

Don't be afraid to ask your colleagues for help if you are overwhelmed by a heavy workload. Even the best employees can't always finish every task assigned to them. If work-related stress is causing a decline in the quality of your work, asking for help is a good way to keep a project on track and avoid quality issues prompted by burnout.

5. Listen to Music

Whether you prefer quiet melodies or upbeat tunes, listening to music helps control blood pressure and heart rate. If you aren't allowed to use headphones at work, blow off steam by listening to music as soon as you get home.

6. Exercise at Work

When you exercise, your brain releases endorphins that make you feel happier, making exercise a great way to combat work-related stress. You don't need to lift 200 pounds of dead weight or run a marathon, either. Just taking a walk during your lunch break is enough to reduce stress and make you feel better about your job.

High levels of stress reduce productivity and put your health at risk. If work-related stress is a big concern, follow these tips to get some stress relief when you need it most.

Photo courtesy of stockimages at



Become a member to take advantage of more features, like commenting and voting.

Jobs to Watch