Sunday, April 10, 2011

Stress Management

Stress In The Workplace

Let’s face it, if you have a job, you have stress and little time to relax or repair the mind and body. This translates to a host of signs and symptoms like irritability, anxiousness, depression, aggressiveness, digestive problems, headaches, muscle aches, neck and back pain, mood swings and sleep disturbances to name but a few. So how do you cope? Try these tips!

Get wet--Drink more water, at least half your body weight in ounces. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, drink 75 ounces of water a day. Avoid sugars, artificial sweeteners, refined “break” foods and sugary drinks like sodas. These not only cause excess weight but give false energy followed by a crash. They can create agitation and even aggressiveness. Instead, bring a thermos of chamomile or Melaluca tea for healing and relaxation.

Play ball--Standing for long periods puts excessive stress on the feet, knees, hips, back and neck. To handle, put a golf ball on the floor and apply pressure rolling the ball under the foot and concentrating on the sensitive areas. Next, place a tennis ball behind your back and lean against a wall or a door. Roll the ball applying pressure to any sore or tender muscles.

Move it--It is crucial to take breaks. Create a habit of a two minute stretch break every hour. Elongate those cramped overworked muscles, move fresh blood and oxygen into stressed, overworked tissue and reduce fluid build up. Do ten to fifteen jumping jacks--remember those? Don’t like them? Okay, simply stretch your arms, lift them to the sides and up over your head stretching towards the ceiling or sky. Stretch forward, touch your toes. Put your hands on your low back for support and stretch backwards--don’t fall! Stretch left and right, turn your torso left and right, always holding a position for a few seconds never bouncing through these motions.

Now for the neck. Flex your head forward, extend it back, flex right and left towards each shoulder, turn your head left and right. Do each position five or ten times.

Next, shoulder shrugs. Perform slowly and deliberately forcing a strong sustained contraction in the muscles. Bring your shoulders to your ears, roll them backwards (imagine trying to crush a can between your shoulder blades), roll your shoulders and arms down towards the floor. Roll forward towards your sternum and then back up to your ears. Do this all with your head back, looking at the ceiling. Repeat five to ten times.

Suck it up-- Breathe. Stress makes us breathe shallow or even hold our breathe. Break this cycle! Take slow, deep breathes from the diaphragm. Breathe through the nose for four seconds, exhale slowly through the mouth for six seconds. Repeat five or ten times.Lavender can also alleviate stress-related symptoms. Dab it on the wrists or fill a spray bottle with six to eight tablespoons of water. Add two to four drops of essential lavender oil and shake. Spray it periodically throughout the day.

Let it be--Holding on to workplace drama, only serves to cause more stress and becomes toxic to us. Identify the problem, take responsibility, change your external and internal dialogue. Saying to yourself, “I am so angry. I am hurt, etc.” only continues to promote and foster that negativity. It seems trite but you will get more of what you say. “I am” is very powerful. Instead why not say, “I am happy”, “I am having an exceptionally great day.” Or at the moment of anger, say a prayer or mantra that is appropriate for you.

Give--Do something nice for a fellow employee or stranger. This will elevate your mood, kick up your endorphins and create a nice environment externally and internally.  For more ideas on giving and to receive a free e-book go to .

Pray/Meditate--Pray or meditate throughout the day, it doesn’t have to be long, just focused. Perhaps before you leave the car to start your job, at lunchtime or before you end your work day. This can lower your blood pressure, regulate heart rate, change your mood, balance blood glucose, regulate your nervous system and “center’ you. Read my free special report on how to get closer to God which includes prayers and an affirmation that I created and personally use. Go to

Music--If allowed, and assuming it doesn’t interfere with your job or endanger you, music is an obvious stress reducer. Studies show it helps regulate physiological functions that impact our health. It enhances the nervous system, elevates mood, stimulates good memories, creates a calming effect, slows respiration, heart rate and blood pressure. Identify your responses to different types of music and then listen to that before, during and after work. Match the music to the desired effect you want. I’ve created some unique and special prayer music to help me. You may find them beneficial also. Samples can be heard at

Dr. Richard F. Barrett is a renowned chiropractor, author, nutritional healer and public speaker. He is the author of many books including Improve Your Health Pro-Actively. He has been voted one of America’s Top Chiropractors in 2004, 2006 and 2007. For more information and additional stress reduction techniques please visit,send an e-mail to Or visit Barrett Chiropractic Clinic 2853 Dulles Avenue, Missouri City, TX.

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