Whether it’s a frustrating coworker, a needy client, or a paper-jammed printer, work-related stress affects us in many ways. Experiencing stress in the workplace can often carry into your personal life, potentially damaging relationships.

The physical and emotional effects of stress are well documented. If you’ve ever experienced a migraine and wondered what caused it, more than likely stress was connected in some way.  In fact, 60 to 70 percent of migraines are triggered by stress. In addition, long term stress-related conditions such as anxiety attacks, heart disease, and obesity can occur. Some stress is inevitable, but persistent stress can be avoided!

In honor of Stress Awareness Month which occurs every April, consider the following solutions to incorporate stress-relief methods at the office will ease away your anxiety:

1. Saved by the Stress-Ball

The pressure of meeting a deadline on time can impact your physical and emotional health. If you have a stress-ball, you can use it to boost your blood circulation by activating the muscles in your wrist.  It can be easily stored in your desk drawer, so you’ll have quick access to alleviate tension.

2. Mother Nature Mode

If something went wrong or an important deal fell through, get some fresh air outside the office to refresh yourself. Sometimes being surrounded by four walls all day can influence well-being. Taking a break, and walk outside to let the sun and wind calm you. Many times this will allow you to cope with the situation in a more relaxed and non-impulsive way.

3. A Stretch A Day Goes A Long Way

Being in your chair several hours can cause your body to be tense, therefore causing you to be easily exposed to stressful situations. Touching your toes, stretching your back and arms, and taking a deep breath are all ways to alleviate the stress.

4. Colleagues

If you’re feeling aggravated with whomever is behind the computer screen, go to the lounge or common area and socialize with your coworkers.  Not only will it take your mind off of what’s causing your stress, but you’ll get to laugh and have a positive experience for a bit. After-all, laughter decreases stress hormones!

According to Forbes, the average business professional has 30 to 100 projects on their plate. Don’t let the stress that comes along with your workload determine your overall health and productivity. Implement these antidotes in the workplace to help combat stress and be that positive, optimistic colleague others admire.

Sharon Schweitzer and Paola Guevara co-wrote this post. Sharon Schweitzer, J.D., is a cross-cultural trainer, modern manners expert, and the founder of Protocol & Etiquette Worldwide. In addition to her accreditation in intercultural management from the HOFSTEDE centre, she serves as a Chinese Ceremonial Dining Etiquette Specialist in the documentary series Confucius was a Foodie, on Nat Geo People. She is the resident etiquette expert on two popular lifestyle shows: ABC Tampa Bay’s Morning Blend and CBS Austin’s We Are Austin. She is regularly quoted by BBC Capital, Investor’s Business Daily, Fortune, and the National Business Journals. Her Amazon #1 Best Selling book in International Business,  Access to Asia: Your Multicultural Business Guide, now in its third printing, was named to Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books of 2015. She’s a winner of the British Airways International Trade Award at the 2016 Greater Austin Business Awards.

Paola Guevara is a Spring 2017 Cross-Cultural Communication intern with Protocol & Etiquette Worldwide. She’s lived in Mexico, France, and different states throughout the United States, including California, Florida, and Texas. She currently attends St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas studying International Business with a focus in French. Connect with her via Linkedi

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