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Some people thrive under pressure, but for most of us, stress wears us down. If you’re in the middle of a stretch that includes long hours, a heavier than normal workload, job insecurity or conflict between co-workers or administrators, you might feel like you’re nearing the end of your rope. Take charge of your mood and calm spiking adrenaline with these five minute stress busters you can do at work.

Mental Vacation

Maybe it feels like forever before your next planned vacation, but you can take a brain getaway any time you want. Spend a few minutes visualizing yourself in your happy place.

For example, if you feel the most relaxed and happy at the beach, close your eyes and picture the waves rolling in, the bright umbrella overhead, the pristine white sand. Then engage your other senses.

Use your imagination to fill in the smell of sunscreen and sea breeze, the crumble of warm sand underfoot, the taste of your favorite tropical drink and so on. Press pause on reality and imagine you’re actually experiencing the relaxing scene.

Breathe and Body Scan

Take your mind off your to-do list and focus on your body. Get in a comfortable position, close your eyes, and allow yourself to breathe normally in and out. Think of inhaling energy and exhaling stress.

Mentally “scan” your body one section at a time. Envision the tension seeping out of each region and as you do, allow your muscles to relax. Start with the soles of your feet as they rest on the floor, then your ankles, then your calves and so on.

Phone a Friend

Talking to a friend can boost your happiness and improve confidence and self-worth. It can also help you process what you’re feeling about a tight deadline or a grumpy boss.

Friends provide an outside perspective and a sense of belonging. Sometimes they also make you laugh, stimulating circulation and encouraging muscle relaxation to relieve the physical symptoms of stress.

Stretch

Stretching just feels good. It tells your body to let go of tension. It also increases blood flow to joints and muscles, which can help you feel energized. Here are a few stretches you can do at the office.

  • Calf raises – Stand flat footed and hold on to your desk or chair back. Roll up onto the balls of your feet, shifting your weight toward your toes. Then slowly return to your original position. Repeat 10-20 times.
  • Spine twist – While sitting in your chair, cross one leg over the other. Turn your upper body in the direction of the top leg as if you were looking at someone standing behind you on that side. Hold for 30 seconds, then switch sides.
  • Forearm stretch – If you’ve spent the morning at the keyboard, this one will feel especially good. Press your palms together like you’re praying and tilt your elbows up. Then, flip your hands over so the backs touch and press your elbows gently down.
  • Shoulder shrugs – Raise both shoulders like you’re trying to touch your ears. Then press them in the opposite direction. Repeat 10 times.

Savor a Treat

Stress eating is bad when you scarf down junk without really tasting it. But there’s a big difference between inhaling a bag of Doritos and indulging your senses with flavors that wake up your taste buds and supply your brain cells with fresh nutrients. Depending on your palate that might mean a piece of high quality dark chocolate, fresh fruit, a handful of salted nuts, a healthy dip and veggies or some other tasty treat.

Reduce stress by slowing down and being mindful of your enjoyment. When you eat, focus all your attention on the taste, texture, aroma and sensation of the food.

Apply For a Better Job

Brelsford Personnel has job opportunities with top East Texas employers. If your job regularly stresses you out, maybe it’s time to find one that’s a better fit. You can browse job openings and upload your resume in minutes when you click here