How To Relax at Work
What can you do when you can’t take a break and you’re feeling stressed at work? You know you need to relax, but how can you when you’re dealing with deadlines that are quickly approaching? Relaxation is simply the practice of letting go of tension, relaxing your body and quieting your mind. If you get yourself physically relaxed, your mind will quickly become calm and tranquil.
One way to relax at work (assuming you can leave the office for a few minutes) is to take a brisk walk. Even a five minute walk can be very helpful for reducing stress. However, it is not always possible to take a walk, due to time schedules and bad weather. In such cases, the Jacobson Progressive Relaxation procedure can be very helpful.
This relaxation technique involves tensing each of the major muscle groups of your body (foot and lower leg on each side, upper leg and hip, abdomen, etc.). All you have to do is tense the muscle group for about five seconds, and then let go and let them relax. Clenching your fists or tightening your stomach might seem like it would make stress feel worse. However, in a study conducted by Laura Pawlow, Ph.D., women who practiced this technique felt less anxiety and tension. When they did this exercise on a regular basis, they even fell asleep faster.
This relaxation technique is best done while sitting in a chair, with your feet flat on the floor. All you need to do is tense and hold each set of muscles for a count of five, and then relax the set of muscles for a count of five seconds. When you release the hold, be as relaxed as possible. Begin by tensing both of your feet for about five seconds. Then relax for a count of five seconds. Next tense your calf muscles, then progress to your thighs, abdominals, arms, etc. Don’t forget to relax each muscle group for five seconds.
If performed regularly, this exercise will help you recognize tension in your body. You will be able to relax muscles at any time rather than performing the entire exercise. Pinpoint your own areas of tension then tense and relax these areas in the same way.