No matter how calmly you start the day, stress at the office can send you into a tailspin. Stress often compels people to skip meals, overeat, and/or eat lots of sugary, fatty foods. Also, researchers are finding that chronic stress affects the hormones that make you more likely to gain weight around your middle and that may make it harder for you to shed pounds. But beating daily stress can help you improve your eating habits and lose weight.
How can you bust stress at work? Here are a few techniques you can try:
- Stretch. This stretch is an easy stress-buster you can do at your desk: Sit in a chair and slowly hang forward, letting your arms dangle loose. Hold the position for five full, deep breaths. This "rag doll" stretch helps release tension from the spine, shoulders, and neck and increases blood flow to the brain.
- Breathe. Regaining control of your breathing can also do wonders for alleviating stress. If you are feeling stressed out, try this simple exercise, which takes only five minutes. Sit comfortably, with your back straight and your eyes closed. Focus your attention on your breathing. Just pay attention as your breath goes in and out, and note its qualities. Is your breathing fast or slow, deep or shallow? If other thoughts come into your head, gently brush them aside. Continue this focus for five minutes. Practice this exercise daily at your desk to regain and maintain a sense of calm and focus.
- Sip. Brewing a cup of herbal tea may help calm you down — varieties like chamomile and mint can be very soothing. One study showed that chamomile tea may help relax the muscles and boost the immune system.