Workplace stress can present in physical symptoms and manifest as fatigue, headaches, indigestion, insomnia and anxiety. Managing stress can be a key factor in feeling more productive and enjoying your work. A helpful technique that can easily be used is defusing thoughts that can lead to exasperating stress.

Research has shown that quietening the mind requires repetition and practice of various techniques to change thinking patterns. Negative or obsessive thoughts can increase stress and be unhelpful or destructive to an individual’s well-being. The exercises can use methods of visualisation and thought awareness to assist being present. This can help to recharge energy, taking time out or simply to feel refreshed. Taking a few big deep breaths can be useful to relax the mind. Here are some simple exercises that can be incorporated into everyday life for a number of minutes from 3 to 30 minutes depending on the time possible.

  • Thought patterns

Practice changing negative thinking into positive by saying to yourself “in this moment if everything was going to feel perfect exactly the way it is, how would that feel, how would I see things at the moment and what would I be telling myself?” “what would happen if I imagined that exactly what is happening at the moment is something that I planned” i.e. Instead of saying to yourself “I don’t want this to happen, why is this happening”, etc imagine you are in control and it is actually your choice the way things are happening.

Stress can be exaggerated when we think about things that will probably never happen. Ask yourself “how in this moment can I focus on what is happening in the here & now, because it is unlikely that any of the thoughts I am having will ever happen. Perhaps I can trust myself that I can deal with whatever it is when the time is needed”.

  • Taste exercise

Sit at a desk with a cup of tea, coffee or juice initially smelling the aroma or scent as you take big breaths and then look at the colour of the beverage. Take a sip as if it is the first time in your life that you are tasting the beverage. Allow your thoughts to concentrate on the experience making it as pleasurable as possible. This exercise can easily be used in the same capacity when you eat.

  • Visualisation exercise

Take three big deep breaths as you close your eyes and as you breathe in imagine a square as you count to five visualising the line at the top, hold your breath for a count of five visualising the side line and then continue imagining the lines of the square as you breath for counts of five.

For further advice & support contact EAP Assist