With rapidly changing job demands, work place stress and anxiety, is increasingly contributing to lower employee productivity, absenteeism in turn affecting the overall growth of the company. A recent analysis of comparative data from the International Social Survey Programme revealed that job strain is fairly prevalent affecting about 30–40 % of the workforce in 13 countries of advanced economy.
Various companies have introduced facilities for the employees to de-stress such as working out space, weekly fun day, lunch day, monthly outing, exercise based activities such as running in marathons, counting steps every day, and others. Recently alternative forms of exercise such as yoga and meditation are gaining popularity in the corporate world.
These forms of exercise have been empirically proven that they decrease stress and anxiety thereby increasing the ability to withstand stress and workplace pressure. Also they sharpen the attention, memory and help attain emotional balance which in turn positively affects performance and reduces absenteeism.
While the companies have introduced yoga and meditation sessions to their employees to beat the stress, here are a few quick techniques of breathing that can be practiced from the comfort of your cubicle for a few minutes to feel instant release of stress on a daily basis.
Deep Equal Breaths
Sit straight on your chair, place your hands on your thighs and close your eyes. Slowly inhale counting one to four, hold your breath for three counts (one to three) and exhale for the count of four. Repeat the exercise for 10 to 20 times to feel the release of tension accumulated in your mind and body.
Close your eyes and think of a pleasant abode you have been to. Or imagine a cool place covered with snow around and sunrays sprinkling on it. Sit up straight in the chair and place your hands on the thighs. Slowly inhale till your abdomen and exhale while imagining that you are present in that happy place. This completes once cycle of breathing. Repeat the breathing cycle for 10 to 20 times till you feel the release of tension and aligning of the focus of your mind.
Alternate nostril breathing
Sit up straight on your chair and close your eyes. Place one hand on the thigh. The other hand will guide your breathing from alternate nostril. Close the right nostril lightly using the thumb and. Inhale from left nostril deeply and slowly. Close your left nostril by your ring finger. Now open the right nostril and exhale slowly. Inhale from the same right nostril. Close the right nostril using the thumb. Now open the left nostril and exhale slowly. Again inhale from the same left nostril. This completes one cycle of breathing. Repeat the cycle for five minutes. You will feel the release of tension from your mind and body and feel focused.
Pichler, N. S. (2015). Trends in Work Stress and Exhaustion in Advanced Economies. Social Indicators Research, 215-239.