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HF HEALTH + FITNESS

DURING THE DAY BEING UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF TIGHT DEADLINES, NEVER-ENDING MEETINGS AND PILES OF PAPERS AND FOLDERS ALLOWS STRESS TO SEEP INTO OUR WORKDAY AT SOMETIMES EXTREME LEVELS. WHILE YOU CAN’T CONTROL ALL THE VARIABLES AT WORK, WE’VE FOUND WAYS TO COMBAT STRESS. BY LINDSAY MORRIS Stress creeps into all of our days, and work can be one of the main villains. The Office of Environment, Health, Safety and Security says that creating a healthy workplace is not just the right thing to do for employees; it’s also the smart thing to do for an organization’s financial well-being and productivity. It’s well worth it to do a few things to de-stress at work. And your employer will thank you in the long run. A report from the Journal of Occupational Health and Medicine shows that health care expenditures are nearly 50 percent greater for workers who report high levels of stress. 

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Here’s how the stress response works. It causes hormones like cortisol to flood our systems and causes our heart rate to go up, our breathing to be heavier and our blood vessels to constrict. Stress can contribute to chronic conditions like high blood pressure and headaches and even mental health conditions like depression and anxiety disorders. Stress can even worsen conditions like asthma, irritable bowel syndrome and insomnia. Fortunately, our bodies also have a relaxation response, and we just need to learn ways to trigger it. When you do, your breathing slows, blood pressure decreases and you use less oxygen.

HERE ARE 10 WAYS TO RELAX AT WORK: TAKE A 10-MINUTE WALK Especially if you have a desk job, your legs need to stretch, and you need a change of pace occasionally. A walk will help clear your head and boost endorphins, which reduce stress hormones. Consider walking in a park or other green space, if there is one near your workplace. This can put your body in a state of meditation called involuntary attention, when something holds our attention while allowing for reflection.

TRY MEDITATION Meditation is a relaxation tool being used by millions of individuals, and even some employers are now implementing meditation classes. It doesn’t have to be a huge commitment — even 10 to 15 minutes a day can make a big difference in your level of calm. If you need some guidance, check out apps such as Calm.

KEEP YOUR DESK CLEAN Sometimes, just knowing there are 50 stacks of papers on your desk can stress you out. Every Friday before leaving work, clean and de-clutter

June 2018 (Vol. 32, No. 6)  

Where to Dine. What to Do. Where to Find It. When It's Happening. Preview 918 A regional magazine of national stature, Preview 918 has rema...

June 2018 (Vol. 32, No. 6)  

Where to Dine. What to Do. Where to Find It. When It's Happening. Preview 918 A regional magazine of national stature, Preview 918 has rema...