Work is one of the most stressful things a person faces on a day-to-day basis. Whether it’s because you don’t like your job, or because you like it so much you’re afraid to lose it, or because it’s simply one of those jobs that has a lot riding on you doing it just right, most people can attribute a huge chunk of their stress to their work life.

On top of the natural stresses of work, it can be more stressful still trying to find ways to calm yourself down. Everyone seems to have some kind of advice and it only makes things worse trying to decide what to take on board and what is nonsense. Just because something worked for one person doesn’t mean it will work for everyone, and just because something has worked for everyone so far, it doesn’t mean it will work for you specifically too.

In order to properly choose the anti-stress techniques that will work best for you, it can help to know why they work. Here are some of the most popular workplace relaxation methods and the reality of their benefits.


Every corporate bigwig in everything that has ever come of out of Hollywood has a photo on his desk of his loved ones, and for a good reason. Having a reminder of why you’re putting up with the frustrations and annoyances of the working world will always help. The problem with just one photo, though, is that it can blur into the background, become just another part of your desk that you’re sick of staring at day after day. Whether you’ve got a photo of a family that loves and supports you, or a photo of the beautiful part of the world you’re going to visit with your savings, take some time out to remind yourself why that’s what you want to be looking at. Take a moment every so often to stop and smile and to appreciate everything the image represents to you. Being conscious of that information brings its positivity for the forefront of your mind and keeps it with you for as long as you hold onto it.


This doesn’t necessarily mean you need to have a tidy desk to have peace of mind in the office. If organised mess is more your thing, then go ahead and keep it that way. But the benefits of knowing what you’re doing, in what order and why are insane. Keep your mind clear of things you’re not supposed to be focussing on, try to keep your work area free of distractions, and you’ll be a lot more focused, efficient and calm at work.


This is something that smokers the world over have understood forever. Taking five minutes off work just to do nothing will make you feel infinitely better about everything. If you don’t smoke, you might not have experienced this before – but, when everyone else is taking a cigarette break, make an effort to stop too. Don’t think about work for a bit. Breathe in some fresh air. Let your mind wander to wherever you want it to go. Every couple of hours, just allow yourself a moment to sit and exist, a five-minute meditation to relax your mind.


You can do this while you’re taking your moment to be – get up and move around. Even if you’re just heading to the coffee machine or the water cooler, find time to and stretch your legs. It doesn’t matter what you do, just don’t let yourself sit in one boring position for eight hours a day. It’s not healthy and it won’t do anything for your emotional well-being. If your body is left to stagnate, your mind and your soul will fester with it.

Kirstie Summers,

Daily Zen.

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