Serenity Now! 20 Ways Small Business Owners Can Quickly Relieve Stress Sitting Behind a Desk


Running a business is stressful. But while there isn’t a way to avoid stress altogether, there are some methods you can use to relieve some of that stress throughout the workday. And you don’t even have to leave your desk! Here are some stress relief methods you can use while staying in your very own office.

How to Relieve Stress at Work

Take Deep Breaths

When people get stressed, they tend to take shorter breaths and not actually focus on the act of breathing. But taking a short break to simply count out each breath for a couple of seconds while you inhale and exhale can have a calming effect.

Have a Cup of Tea

Certain types of tea, like those with chamomile or lavender, can also have a calming effect. Brew yourself a cup of a calming blend of tea and sit at your desk while you enjoy it before jumping back into work.

Download a Meditation App

Meditation can be a great stress relieving activity. But some people just don’t know how to get started with it. If you could use some assistance or guidance, you can download a meditation app like Headspace onto your phone or mobile device and use that to guide your meditation practice whenever you get stressed at work.

Raise Your Legs

Certain stretches and exercises can also help you relieve stress and get moving, even if you don’t have time to really leave your desk. Try staying seated but raising your legs out in front of you, then putting them back down. Repeat that motion a few times before getting back to work. You can even do that same exercise several times throughout the day.

Do Some Office Yoga

You could also keep a yoga mat behind your desk and do some quick yoga movements when you get stressed throughout the day. A quick sun salutation or warrior pose can help you clear your head in a stressful situation.

Get a Stress Ball

The act of squeezing something a few times can activate your muscles and help you relieve some stress. You can use an actual stress ball or just hold and squeeze any soft item in your hand a few times before moving onto your next stressful task.

Shrug Your Shoulders

When you get stressed, your back and shoulders can be some of the first muscles to tighten up on you. But if you shrug or roll your shoulders up and down a few times, you can loosen some of those muscles and release some of that tension in your body.

Stand Up and Sit Down

Simply standing up and sitting down a few times can also have a calming effect, especially if you’ve been sitting in the exact same position for hours. This simply forces you to activate some of the muscles that have been out of use and can make you feel sort of renewed before you get back to the task at hand.

Twist Your Torso

Or you could remain seated at your desk with your legs and feet facing forward and just twist the top half of your body around to your right. Then you could twist the top half of your body to your left so that you get a really good stretch throughout in the middle of your body. This can also relieve tension and activate some of the muscles you probably haven’t used in hours.

Massage Your Palms

Massaging certain pressure points on your body can also have a calming effect. Try massaging the middle of one of your palms with your other hand, and then repeat on the opposite side.

Practice Visualization

Sometimes, relieving stress can be done entirely in your mind. Sit at your desk and close your eyes while you picture a happy place or something you’re looking forward to. Don’t think about work for a minute or two, and you should feel calmer and refreshed by the time you open your eyes.

Watch Funny Videos

Laughter is the best medicine. So if you’re in need of a good laugh to relieve some stress in the office, pull up some of your favorite funny videos and just laugh for a couple of minutes while you take a break from the task at hand.

Put Your Head Down

Or you might just need a simple rest. If your mind and body both feel tired, just set a timer on your phone for a few minutes and rest your head on your desk.

Play a Game

Online games like Candy Crush or computer games like solitaire can also actually help you relieve some stress if you just need a fun distraction for a minute or two. Just make sure you set a timer or do this on your lunch break so you don’t waste the whole day and create even more stress for yourself.

Doodle Notes on Paper

Staring at that computer screen all day doesn’t necessarily help the stress situation at work. So whenever you can do some tasks without looking at your computer, you should take the opportunity. For example, if you’re brainstorming for a new project, doodle notes on paper instead of going right to your computer.

Eat a Snack

Healthy snacks like bananas and oranges can also help you take a break and stock up on necessary nutrients that can help you fight stress throughout the day. Keep a few at your desk for when you need a short break from the daily grind.

Sit Up Straight

As you get stressed, you might tend to slouch or hunch over more and more in your chair. This can put unnecessary extra stress on your body. So if you start to feel that stress coming on, pay attention to how you’re sitting and straighten up if necessary.

Walk Around Your Office

You might also just need to get up from your chair for a few minutes. Even just pacing a few steps behind your desk can help you activate some muscles and clear your mind a bit.

Cross Off Unnecessary Tasks

When you’re stressed, any extra tasks can just add to the feeling and make everything seem just a bit too overwhelming. So if you start to get that feeling during the workday, don’t be afraid to cross out some of the things on your to-do list that don’t have to be done that day.

Delegate Tasks to Your Team

Or if things are urgent but you just don’t have the time, assign them to other members of your team so that you can focus on only the most important things that you actually have time for throughout the day.

Cup of Tea Photo via Shutterstock


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