According to U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics, employees experiencing high stress levels have nearly 50 percent higher healthcare costs than employees able to manage stress better. A recent World Labor Report by the United Nation’s International Organization even refers to workplace stress as “an epidemic.” The American Psychological Association estimates that workplace stress costs businesses approximately $300 billion a year in lost productivity due to stressed out employees. These are just some of the reasons why reducing stress in the workplace should be a human resourcing priority.

Seven Ways to Reduce Workplace Stress

1. Get Active

While you may not be able to jog in place at your workspace, you should be able to get in some type of activity either on your lunch break or after work. Some companies even had a fitness center on site or offer gym memberships to employees. If you don’t get those work perks, consider taking a brisk walk instead.

2. Personalize Your Workspace

Not every workplace allows employees to customize their workplace. If you have an employer that does allow some personalization, however, consider a few potted plants along side photos of your family. Studies show plants actually do help reduce stress. The same isn’t always true for your family, so gauge that one accordingly.

3. Yoga at Your Desk

You may not be able to bend yourself into a pretzel shape and still get that report done by noon, but there are some simple yoga moves you can do right at your desk. You’ll easily find a handful of yoga moves you can do with minimal disruption to anybody around you.

4. Meditate

After you get done responding to those emails, take a few minutes to close your eyes and go to a happy place. You can do this as a quick escape during an especially stressful period and easily snap back to reality and get your work done. If you’re not well versed in meditation, you can find some basic info online or even sign up for a course in your community.

5. Keep a Journal

Writing down your frustrations can be a good way to safely vent your frustrations. Plus, there is something to be said for getting all your feelings out. It’s probably a Freud thing. Regardless, it is an easy way get those pent up frustrations out. You can take a few minutes on your break or before you go to bed to jot down your thoughts. Just avoid the temptation to post your journal online as a blog or on your Facebook page.

6. Have a Laugh

Take a moment to share a joke with your co-workers – just make sure its workplace appropriate if you’re not at the bar – or watch a few funny YouTube clips. Laughing is a great way to lighten the mood and instantly take away some of your stress.

7. Plan Something with Co-workers

Sometimes, just the fact that the weekend is coming isn’t enough. Consider planning something with co-workers for after work. Even just a gathering of a few friends to get something to eat or hang out at the local bar can take away the stress of a hectic day or week. This also gives you a chance to vent away from the prying eyes and ears of the office.

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