If you’re sitting while reading this (and chances are strong that you are), you will instantly benefit from these tips for reducing stress and busting up a sedentary day—and your in box will feel lighter instantly. Namaste.
1. Get off your butt more! Go for a walk during lunch in the bright sun. Take your calls standing up and use a wireless headset for greater mobility. Our bodies are designed to move. To perform your best and achieve optimal health, be as active as possible—especially when it’s tempting to be sedentary. The profound link between more time spent sitting and a greater risk of death from anything is real.
2. Procrastinate once in a while. By that I mean take little timeouts throughout the day during which you visit your favorite website, play a favorite tune, or simply use a few minutes to do a little deep breathing. These simple acts can reduce stress, which in turn will allow you to accomplish much more in less time.
3. Trade alcohol for sweat. Skip happy hour and go to the gym to burn off steam instead. Physical exercise that increases your heart rate and triggers sweating will also increase your overall performance on the job and trigger multiple health benefits. There’s no end to the number of studies that prove the power of exercise in maintaining health.
4. Check your e-mail less frequently. The average working professional spends roughly 23 percent of the work day on e-mail and glances at the inbox about 36 times an hour. That’s not only time-consuming but brainpower-sucking. It takes most of us more than a minute to return to a task once we’ve stopped to read a new e-mail.
5. Eat like your dog—at the same time every day, no matter what. As with all animals, the body loves to be fed on a regular basis. If you were to step into a body that’s been deprived of its expectation of eating lunch at high noon, for example, you’d witness biological activities going on that would likely alarm you.
It won’t just show signs of hunger; it will also experience a surge in cortisol, the stress hormone that tells your body to hold tightly to fat and to conserve energy. In other words, if you don’t eat when your body anticipates food, it will sabotage your efforts to lose or maintain an ideal weight. And if you’re not used to snacking every day, then don’t! If you surprise the body with a snack it’s not expecting, you can do more harm than good. Your company may think it’s helping you by providing readily available snacks, but the data speaks otherwise.