Easy ways to reduce stress and anxiety in the workplace

January 30th, 2020

1 in 7 people experience anxiety and stress in the workplace, and that figure is on the rise.

With so many aspects of the daily grind responsible for causing stress and anxiety, it’s no wonder. Between deadlines, office politics, staff relations and of course, the eternal dilemma of the work/life balance, it’s not a surprise that so many feel permanently on edge.

If anxiety and stress are affecting you, both personally and professionally, it’s worth considering what changes you can make to help you feel better and calmer about your outlook on life. There are so many ways to manage workplace stress, and many of them are simple and easy to do.

Recent studies have shown that spending time in more natural spaces can bring you distinct psychological advances, to help you feel calmer, more relaxed and confident about your time spent at work.

Read on for three simple ways to change your mindset at work and beyond…

1. Take a regular break

No, not on your phone – and reading or watching something on your laptop doesn’t count either. Electronic stimuli won’t help to ease your anxiety – instead it can send your mind into overdrive. So, learn how to take a proper break instead. Take a walk, read a book, eat your lunch outdoors – all of these things can help your mind retreat and relax.

Outdoor exercise in particular can help to ease a fraught mind. Eskmills’ leafy location in Musselburgh means that it’s easy to leave your office and be on a relaxing woodland walk in less than two minutes – how many offices can offer you that? If you have a longer break, or want to exercise after work perhaps, you can even take a long stroll along the beach and into Portobello, breathing in the fresh sea air as you go. Try to get into the habit of leaving the office for at least twenty minutes every day, to talk a walk, clear your mind and breathe in some fresh air – it’s amazing how quickly you can disconnect from work stresses, and come back to the office feeling refreshed.

2. Bring some greenery into your workspace

Many studies found that having plants and greenery in your work surroundings have multiple health and wellbeing benefits, including reducing stress, promoting relaxation and increasing attention.

Consider buying some greenery and plants, for your desk and for your office too. Even a small desk plant can help – and it helps the office look much brighter and cheerier too.

3. Learn how to breathe properly

You might not know that improper breathing can actually contribute to poor health and spiralling stress levels. It can upset your oxygen/carbon dioxide exchange, and bring on anxiety or even panic attacks – so it pays to be conscious of how you’re breathing, and learn how to do it properly.

Here’s a simple technique to help you breathe properly:

  1. Inhale slowly and deeply through your nose. Keep your shoulders relaxed. Your abdomen should expand, and your chest should rise very little.
  2. Exhale slowly through your mouth. As you blow air out, purse your lips slightly, but keep your jaw relaxed. You may hear a soft “whooshing” sound as you exhale.
  3. Repeat this breathing exercise for several minutes.3

You can perform this exercise as often as needed – there are also lots of animations online that help you learn how long you should breathe for, and how to do it properly, so it’s worth loading one of these on your desktop and breathing along with it whenever you need to – it’s an easy fix for a stressful situation that will help you to feel much calmer, quickly.

It’s really important to take the time required to manage your stress and anxiety levels properly. Work is important, of course, but it’s not worth risking harm to your mental health.

These natural, easy-to-follow tips can decrease the daily anxiety that you might experience in the workplace, meaning that every day at Eskmills can be a laidback, happy and productive place to work. Try out our top tips, and let us know how your symptoms improve.