Stress is not all bad. Having a little stress in our lives can help keep us motivated, excited, and/or hard-working. Some people are the most productive or creative under the stress of a deadline or a big case. On the other hand, having too much stress can have a negative impact on our health. The key to dealing with stress is to learn how to manage it so it works for you, not against you.

One of the biggest factors in managing stress is to recognize the symptoms in your mind and/or body. The symptoms in your mind that arise during a stress flare-up can include:

  • Negative thoughts
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Cranky and irritable
  • Sweating the small stuff

Physical indicators of stress include diarrhea, nausea, sweaty palms, headaches, muscle tension, change in breathing, teeth grinding and jaw clenching.

Once you recognize the signs of stress in your body, it’s paramount that you take action. There are many ways to relieve stress, including some that are free and can be done anywhere.

Here are tips on how to relieve stress when you are in the office.

  • Change your scenery. Get up out of your office and take a walk anywhere. Changing your scenery can really help mind purging.
  • Talk to yourself. Repeat affirmations or positive self-talk to counteract the negative thoughts.
  • Strike a pose. Hold a yoga pose for 60 seconds or put together 3 poses for a 3-minute sequence.
  • Close your eyes and practice deep breathing for 3 minutes. Stand up, stretch, and follow with a big glass of water.
  • Take a break. Grab a magazine or book and let your mind disconnect from your task at hand for 5 or 10 minutes (or longer if you have the time).

Here are tips on how to relieve stress when you are out of the office.

  • Exercise. Nothing gets your endorphins more fired up than a little movement.
  • Treat yourself. Do something special for yourself that you enjoy. A spa day, a leisurely walk with your partner, a detox bath soak, or perhaps a shopping trip for something that you’ve had your eye on.
  • Enjoy a movie at home. Throw on some loungewear and turn on Netflix.
  • Keep a gratitude journal. Each morning write down five things you are grateful for. Repeat this again before bedtime. This helps to create a positive mindset and is uplifting to re-read when you are feeling stressed at a later date.
  • Volunteer. Helping others in need takes the focus off yourself and will always make you feel better.
  • Practice mindfulness. Take a few moments daily to do a short meditation. Use an app to guide you or simply take two minutes to close your eyes and concentrate on breathing.