High levels of stress are known to wreak havoc on your health. Stress can increase your risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, and diabetes. It can even lead to depression, overeating, anxiety and more. No fun, let’s minimize stress.
The good news? While you can’t avoid every stressful situation in the workplace, there are lots of simple things you can do to minimize its effect. Here are five actions proven to do just that.
Laugh. Laughter releases hormones like cortisol, dopac, and epinephrine, which minimize stress. It activates and relieves your body’s stress response, improves mood, boosts your immune system, and more. Which totally justifies watching cat videos on YouTube or whatever gets you laughing. Bring this kind of comedy to the office or your workspace every once awhile. A little laughing never hurt anybody.
Eat Nutritious Foods. Next up, foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acids (like salmon, broccoli, and nuts) can boost mood and energy. Skip the vending machine, which is usually packed with sugar and high sodium options that can lead to sluggish behavior. And take one for the team and set the tone that, yes, fish and steamed vegetables in a shared kitchen at work is totally acceptable.
Cuddle. Physical affection such as touching, kissing, and hugging stimulate the brain’s release of the hormone oxytocin, which eases stress. Even playing with your dog can cause an oxytocin surge. If you can’t get these in during the work day, try looking up an animal shelter close by and volunteer to walk a dog on your lunch break with some coworkers.
Get Moving. Physical activity gets your blood flowing, which increases energy, sharpens focus, and lifts your mood. Exercise is any form can minimize stress. Being active and fitting in 30 minutes of activity each day, can boost your feel-good endorphins and distract you from daily worries. This can be as simple as a quick walk outside for a 10-minute break or training for a race to keep your eyes on a different kind of prize. And don’t be afraid to let people know about your activity goals. Accountability is the best form of motivation and in turn, keep you on the right track to minimize stress.