21 Simple Ways to Reduce Your Stress at Work

Let’s face it.

No matter where you live or work, chances are you’ve experienced stress. In fact, according to the American Institute of Stress, 80% of workers feel stress on the job.

It’s interesting to note that our stress isn’t caused by what’s happening to us; rather, it’s triggered by our reaction to it. The key is to become aware of this sensation. Because once you notice this feeling, you can do something about it.

The good news is in order to reduce your stress it’s not complicated and it doesn’t take much time.

Here are 21 simple ways to reduce your stress at work whether you have one minute or 20.

If you have 1 minute or less…

  1. Close your eyes and take 3 deep breaths.
  2. Stand up and stretch.
  3. Drink a tall glass of water. 
  4. Take a walk around your office. Inhale and count 4 steps, exhale and count 4 steps. Repeat.
  5. Practice this meditation: 

    Sit up tall and place your hands in your lap. Roll your shoulders up, back and down. Feel your spine lengthen and your shoulders relax down. Feel your feet planted firmly on the ground and wiggle your toes. Soften the lines on your forehead and relax your jaw. Gently close your eyes and take 3 slow, deep breaths, in and out through your nose. Open your eyes as you feel a sense of calm wash over you.

    If you have 5 minutes or less…

  6. Watch this 4-Minute Meditation Video: Adrift and “zen out” to a time lapse video of San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge.
  7. Listen to this 3-Minute Guided Meditation which is ideal for when you’re sitting at your desk and want to feel a sense of relaxation and inner peace.
  8. Practice this 2-Step Meditation Technique  that I learned at an ashram in India that focuses on investigation and concentration.
  9. Eat a healthy snack such as organic fruits and nuts.
  10. Close your eyes, put in your headphones and listen to your favorite song.
  11. Eliminate unnecessary to-do items. Ask yourself: what’s one thing on my list I can let go of?

    If you have 10 minutes or less…

  12. Take a walk outside. Leave your phone at your desk.
  13. Listen to this 10-Minute Guided Meditation that helps you let go of stress and gently guides you to a sensation of calm and inner peace.
  14. If your brain is on overdrive, do this simple exercise to help you Clear Your Mind in five simple steps.
  15. Download a meditation app and practice a new meditation such as Headspace (great for beginners), HappifyInsight Timer or Calm.
  16. Watch this TED Talk on How Meditation can Reshape Our Brains.
  17. Read an inspiring article about mindfulness from Greater Good or Mindful.

    If you have 20 minutes or more…

  18. Listen to a meditation podcast, such as Tara Brach or Radio Headspace.
  19. Find other co-workers interested in mindfulness and practice together.
  20. Exercise.
  21. Take a nap.