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Relaxation techniques will help ease tension, relax your body, boost energy, change your mood allowing you to return to being productive. “When you exercise, your body releases endorphins, which are hormones that fight stress,” says Frank Lupin, MS, ATC, PES, a certified athletic trainer and a personal trainer for Coordinated Health in Bethlehem, Pa.

DEEP BREATHING: Deep breathing from the abdomen is a relaxation technique that forces oxygen into your lungs. Stress, anxiety, and frustration, leads to shortness of breath, and often times, other symptoms such as, sweating, fatigue, discombobulated thoughts. Take a moment to and either sit comfortably with your back to your chair, or stand if that’s more comfortable. Place your hand on your stomach and slowly inhale from your nose, exhale from your mouth. By slowing down your breathing, it relaxes the mind, muscles and you’ll feel a change throughout your body.

MOVEMENT: Rhythmic exercise or physical activity such as running, walking, swimming creates a rhythm that allows your body to focus on movement. As you continue to move your body, your concentration will shift from anxiety, anger or frustration, to relaxation mode, which will eventually calm you down. Keep moving until you’re at a complete ease.

STRETCH: Sitting in the same position for long periods of time may cause tension in your body. Stand up and stretch, releasing the tension in your body.

MUSIC: Listening to soothing music is a great way to reduce your stress. The University of Reno conducted a virtual relaxation research project, which surveyed the power of music directly related to relaxation and stress. “Music can have a profound effect on both the emotions and the body. Faster music can make you feel more alert and concentrate better. Upbeat music can make you feel more optimistic and positive about life. A slower tempo can quiet your mind and relax your muscles, making you feel soothed while releasing the stress of the day. Music is effective for relaxation and stress management.” The next time you find yourself in a stressful situation, plug in your headphones and use the sound of music to relax you.

TAKE A BREAK: Sometimes we’re so focused on getting something done, we don’t realize that “pushing through” is actually “pushing” us towards the brink of a meltdown. Taking a break allows you to take your mind off of what’s causing you stress. It gives you much needed time to get clarity so that you can focus on your tasks and continue to be productive. Instead of waiting until you’ve researched the point of frustration, take breaks frequently.

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