By Afiq Jauhari
Bob Marley once sang out “some people feel the rain, others just get wet”. Well, some people handle pain, others just get mad. Which group are you in? Regardless, de-stressing can be an effective solution to dealing with pressure and may help avoid those “don’t make me mad, you won’t like me when I’m mad” moments. Activities like sleep and deep meditation work wonders but not everyone can afford the lengthy time away from work. So, here are a few office-friendly de-stressing activities. Don’t worry, they’ll only take 10-15 minutes and mostly cost nothing!
Tune in to Your Favorites!
Adults can be comforted with music like how babies are with their mother’s lullaby. It’s human nature, and the key is in finding the right “playlist”. Don’t depend on the radio; make your own mix of songs. Some prefer classical music as well as instrumental tracks while others opt for sounds of nature. If you’re feeling experimental, though, try Raaga meditation music or binaural beats. The former is a traditional Indian method of relaxing, while the latter is a new-age way of applying two different frequencies in each ear to create a sense of calm. Whatever your method, remember to get a decent pair of earphones. Blasting your speakers may be stress-relieving, but not so for the person sitting next to you.
Pick Up a Book
Recent researches has shown that six minutes of reading can reduce more than two-thirds of one’s stress level. Losing yourself in a book or an article distracts the mind completely while simultaneously slowing down the heart rate and easing tension in the muscles. Reading the newspaper most likely won’t help; go for a fantasy-based novel that can transport you to another world (not literally) or a humorous blog that discusses general issues in a light manner instead. Be it dungeons and dragons or slapstick and tongue-in-cheek, things you read will get rid of stress, quick!
Get a Little Play-time
Contrary to popular belief, playing games in between work is not only stress-reducing, but is actually conducive to overall productivity. A few minutes spent on Solitaire or Sudoku gives the brain a chance to slow down without completely shutting down. Not all games are suitable, though. You’re sure to draw discerning glares if you play a zombie-shooting game for an hour straight at the office! If your main goal is to reduce pressure, opt for simple games that can be finished within 5-10 minutes per round. Card games, numerical puzzles and some basic Flash games should serve the purpose well. Don’t go overboard, and you’ll be fine as long as you remember the saying, “all play and no work, soon out of work”.
Food for Thought
Even the hardest of men calms down after having his mother’s chicken soup. Flavorful, easily eaten and evoking a sentimental appeal - comfort food is highly effective in lowering anxiety. Simply stocking up on junk food in your table drawer may not be the solution, though. Choose snacks or light meals that are easy to prepare and consume but do not keep too much of it by your side. Other than that, having a drink might also work. A mug of coffee or tea is also a viable alternative as long as you take your time with it.
Do the Cat-Stretch
Modern sports scientists still can’t agree on the exact effects of stretching on an athlete’s physical performance, but one thing’s for sure – it feels good! There’s no magic behind it, though. It’s actually a simple matter of how the redistribution of built-up lactate acid during stretching leads to the muscles feeling like a thousand little wizards are massaging them with wands. The next time you feel stressed out, just do a good ten minute routine (try Youtube-ing “quick office stretching”) and test out which sets are most suitable. Static stretching while on a chair would probably be the most office-friendly, and easy-to-do too!
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