5 Outside-the-Box Ways to Combat Work Stress That Really Work


YBack in the day, unwinding once the clock hit 5 P.M. meant a pow-wow with coworkers at a local watering hole.

But as work pressures have exponentially increased—admit it, you check office email in bed—lowering your cortisol levels requires more than just a happy hour.

In fact, a study released by the Harvard and Stanford business schools found a direct link between work-related stress and serious health issues ranging from hypertension to depression.

“It’s the relentless demand and constant change. There is no coming home and unwinding anymore—only the ever-present struggle to set boundaries for when you’re ‘on’ and ‘off,’ ” says Sharon Melnick, a business psychologist and author of “Success Under Stress: Powerful Tools for Staying Calm, Confident, and Productive When the Pressure’s On.”

If this all sounds frighteningly familiar, take a deep breath—literally.

Because if you’re finding it exceedingly more difficult to deal with stress at work, then it will be difficult to thrive in your career—and keep building your financial security, which is also critical to your emotional health.

“You can’t manage the things outside of you, but you can manage yourself—your physiology, your psychology,” Melnick says.

To help you do just that, we’ve rounded up five wellness trends hitting the mainstream that are simple enough to execute from a quiet spot in your office.

Although they may seem a bit out there to some—ever heard of tapping?—they could be just the thing to help you reclaim the Zen that work zaps out of you.

RELATED: Sunday Habits That Jump-Start Job Success All Week Long

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  • thepixinator

    I can vouch for tapping. Several years ago I needed a technique to help me get over my sever flying phobia so I could go to Europe, I can’t take anxiety meds and they are not a long-term solution to overcoming a phobia anyway. After about 3 or 4 sessions of EFT plus practicing on my own, I was able to fly calmly right up until the second go-around and diversion due to high winds that forced us to land in another country. By the time we got to our destination I was not relaxed, but for the rest of the flight I was very much in peace.

    I highly recommend finding a good practitioner who can guide your thoughts and statements while tapping for best results. I have a practitioner who does sessions over the phone so I don’t have to drive the 1&1/2 hour to her office. She is helping me now with some other issues. This technique can be used on more than just work stress. I was skeptical when I first tried it and worried that the money spent on therapy wouldn’t be worth it but the results have been very much worth it. You can also practice on your own, but my practitioner has a way of asking questions and getting to the root of the problem really quickly that is so helpful in seeing results.

    I’m not one to go in for “woo-woo” therapies like crystals. EFT (or MTT [Meridian Tapping Technique, as it's called]) is far from being one of those new-agey things; it’s kind of like a cross between releasing bad experiences, hypnosis and creating new energies.

  • Kayla Cooper

    Such great tips. Anxiety rears it’s ugly head far too often in my life and I’m thankful I have learned to control it. You should check out this blog on the Essential Guide to Happiness if this interested you: http://www.executiveplacementsofva.com/?p=105

  • Daniel Wong Jian Ping

    I’d like to vouch for adult coloring books. It has calmed my mind in many ways while I fill in the colours with marker pens. I even build a website to share all the resources I’ve bookmarked and use in frequent basis. Shameless plug: http://www.buildcolor.com/

    I share this link because I honestly think the resources benefits lots of people who shares this common interest).

    Best regards,