How long was the workweek in the late 1800s?
It was 100 hours for fulltime employees!
Luckily, today 40 hours is the new standard for a full-time workweek. However, even with fewer hours, employees today can easily feel burnt out by the end of the week.
If you find yourself struggling to make it to Friday, stress could be the cause. By training your brain and body to relax, you can finally start enjoying your time off work. To help you out we’ve created this short guide with the best tips for reducing stress from work.
Read on to learn 4 powerful stress relief practices.
1. Create an Attitude of Gratitude
First on our list of tips for reducing stress is to create an attitude of gratitude. Instead of focusing on the things you don’t like about your career, start a gratitude journal that focuses on all of the things you love!
Every day after work spend 5-10 minutes writing down everything you’re grateful for that happened at work that day. Write down every positive thing that pops in your head, no matter how big or small it is.
One study shows that cultivating positive emotions can reduce stress hormone levels by 23% in only 1 month. By training your brain to notice positive things, you’ll start to realize things you love about the job that you may have been taking for granted.
For instance, maybe you have an extra kind receptionist in your office building who always knows how to make you smile. Or perhaps your job is only 5 minutes away from your favorite lunch spot, making lunchtime a wonderful escape.
The more you focus on what’s good about your career, the less stressed and anxious you’ll feel! Instead of dreading going back into work, you’ll start to look forward to it more and more.
2. Reduce Stress by Changing Your Focus
If you’re guilty of bringing work home with you, it’s time to change your mental focus. Say goodbye to mindlessly listening to the radio as you drive home and instead try listening to podcasts, audiobooks, or speeches.
Whatever it is you choose to listen to, make sure it’s not related to the news or politics. Instead stick to a fun subject, like a podcast about your favorite television show. Or stir up your curiosity with a thought-provoking Ted Talk.
You can also challenge yourself by listening to something educational. For instance, you can listen to lessons, like learning a new language. As your mind focuses on learning, you’ll be able to distract yourself from whatever workplace woes were troubling you.
3. Exercises for Stress Relief
Left unchecked, stress-related work can build up, leading to depression and anxiety. Luckily, regular exercise can help your brain ramp up the production of endorphins, the neurotransmitters that make you feel good.
Exercise is one of our favorite stress relief practices since you can customize your workout to be something you’ll enjoy! In addition to feeling great, exercise can also boost your metabolism, increase your body’s immunity, and help strengthen your cardiovascular system.
If the idea of working out after work makes you want to cry, don’t worry! You don’t have to engage in an exhausting hour-long workout to benefit from exercise. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, healthy adults should get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise a week.
By exercising every day after work, during a 5 day work week, you’ll be able to reach the 150-minute exercise goal. If you’re new to exercise, we suggest you start by learning simple stretches. The best part is you don’t have to know how to do yoga to get amazing results from daily stretch sessions.
Instead, simply take your time as you perfect each new stretch you’re learning. You can also incorporate a little bit of meditation into your exercise practice. By focusing on your breath, and paying attention to your form, you’ll be performing a type of moving meditation.
Moving on, a brisk walk is another type of moderate exercise that can help alleviate stress. You can also add CBD into your exercise regime to extend your endurance. Simply decide when to take it, and then time your workout accordingly.
4. Use Breathwork to Reduce Stress
What’s your breathing like right now? When you’re anxious, you’re more likely to have shallow rapid breaths. Whereas when you’re calm and serene, you’ll notice you’re breathing is peaceful and slow.
Studies show that there’s a strong connection between your breath and your mood. When your mood changes, so do your breathing, and vice versa. When you consciously change your breathing, you can change your mood.
However, it’s not as simple as changing your breath for a couple of seconds. Instead, you have to train your body how to switch up breathing patterns, by practicing different breathing exercises. For instance, paced breathing exercises are particularly helpful at alleviating stress.
Here are the steps to practice paced breathing:
- Exhale completely
- Inhale for 4 seconds
- Hold the breath for 7 seconds
- Exhale forcefully
- Repeat 4 times
When you exhale, make sure you empty all of the air n your lungs. As you begin inhaling, do it slowly and through your nose.
Finally, when it comes time to exhale, purse your lips like you’re blowing out a birthday candle. Stress relief practices work best when you use them consistently. For the best results, we suggest you set aside 10-15 minutes a day where you can practice paced breathwork.
Start Using Our Tips for Reducing Stress
Did you enjoy learning our tips for reducing stress? Before you go back to work, choose one of our methods to try out today. You can start keeping a gratitude journal or simply spend a few minutes consciously breathing with paced breathwork.
Whatever method you choose, remember that consistency is key. The more you practice stress reduction, the more peaceful and serene your workweek will be! For more articles like this one, check out the rest of this site.