Last year, I wrote about a few techniques that can be used to take care of your mental health in the comfort of your workspace. Since then, I have come across a few more tactics I wanted to share. But first, I want to remind you why it is so important to manage stress and tend to your mental health.
According to the Mayo Clinic, practicing relaxation techniques may lead to numerous health benefits such as (1):
- Slowing heart rate
- Lowering blood pressure
- Slowing your breathing rate
- Improving digestion
- Maintaining normal blood sugar levels
- Reducing activity of stress hormones
- Increasing blood flow to major muscles
- Reducing muscle tension and chronic pain
- Improving concentration and mood
- Improving sleep quality
- Lowering fatigue
- Reducing anger and frustration
- Boosting confidence to handle problems
I think we can all agree that there is something on this list we are all working toward. How do we achieve these advantages? To get the most benefit, we need positive coping methods (such as thinking positively, finding humor, problem-solving, managing time, exercising, getting enough sleep, and reaching out to supportive family and friends) along with relaxation techniques (1). There are a number of different methods, but the goal is the same: to produce the body’s natural relaxation response, characterized by slower breathing, lower blood pressure, and a feeling of increased well-being (2).
Here are some tools I have come across that I plan on adding to my own arsenal of stress relieving techniques. My favorite part is that you do not need any equipment or items to aid you through the process except a computer and a set of head phones to follow along.
- Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR) – this method of relaxation helps you focus on slowly tensing and then relaxing each muscle group (2). Try this guided PMR here:
- Deep Breathing – These videos will guide you through breathing exercises known to reduce stress and anxiety:
- Five Finger Japanese Method of Self Relaxation – This five minute, five-finger method uses your hand as a guide where each finger represents a different kind of emotion: worry, fear, anger, sadness, and self-esteem. Learn more about how to apply this method:
Hopefully these techniques can work for you in times of stress or maybe they sparked some new methods for you to try. Either way, make sure you take some time to tend to your well-being today!
Janae Shillito, Community Relations Director, The Kim Foundation, http://www.thekimfoundation.org/
Janae Shillito has been with The Kim Foundation since February 2017. She holds two science degrees with her alma maters including the University of Nebraska at Omaha and the University of Nebraska Medical Center. Janae’s love of volunteering and helping those without a voice created a strong desire to become a part of the non-profit world. In her spare time, she enjoys anything crafty, reading a good book, and being outside with her husband, Cory, and Rottweiler, Hank.