Workplace Stress Management: The Secret Power Behind Rapid Solutions
You can rapidly and effectively reduce your workplace stress! Here’s how to power up your stress management solutions by making them mindful, intentional, and rapid! (Blog #2 in the Rapid Stress Solutions series.)
Caregivers, I’m sure stress management is not new to you. Are you already using rapid stress solutions to release stress during your day? Great! Me, too! Although I might seem calm, I am often stressed out.
Here’s what is new in blog #2 in the Rapid Stress Solutions series: how to power up your stress solutions. The secrets to increasing the effectiveness of your chosen stress management practices are to be mindful and intentional about stress reduction. I’ll offer opportunities to try rapid stress solutions, but my true goals are to show you how you can be mindful and intentional thus increasing the results of whatever you do to reduce stress.
How does being mindful and intentional power workplace stress management?
The short story is your mind affects your body, and your body affects your mind. As said in “The Power of the Mind” written by the Veterans Administration, “Highly trained athletes or warriors use the power of the mind to imagine success. Like them, you can learn to harness your brain’s power.” The psychology behind using your thoughts to improve your performance or your health is cognitive behavioral therapy. It “focuses on how your thoughts affect your life.” If you’d like a deeper dive into how your mind can improve your health and/or your performance, I highly recommend this website Power of the Mind – Whole Health (va.gov). If you’d rather experience what I’m talking about, then read on!
How to be mindful and intentional about stress reduction
Rather than talking about this topic, let’s compare a rapid stress solution while multitasking, then while being mindful, then adding your intention. This is one of my quick and easy centering exercises. It is called “Shrug off Stress.” You are your own guardian so consider if this is going to be safe and comfortable for you, especially if you have any injuries to your neck, arms, shoulder or back. This is simply an example; you can make all stress solutions mindful and intentional!
Simple shoulder shrug while multitasking
This solution is great when you are feeling tension from stress in your neck and shoulders. Even while multitasking, it can really help!
- Raise your shoulders towards your ears.
- Lower your shoulders into your usual posture.
- Repeat a few times – breathe in, shoulders up; breathe out, shoulders down.
Some people like to gently lower their shoulders, and others like to let them drop. I recommend being gentle with yourself. Try this while checking text messages, during hand hygiene, and after sitting too long.
Option 2: The mindful shoulder shrug (more powerful)
- Start by breathing in slowly.
- While breathing in, notice your shoulders gently rising, as if they could touch your ears.
- As you breathe out, notice your shoulders return to your usual posture.
- Repeat steps one through three a couple of times.
Self-evaluate: was that more powerful than a shoulder shrug while multitasking? Theoretically the difference is between attending only to your physical body, and mindfully tending to your body and mind. Try this when you have finished an activity, before moving on to the next. For example, you might do a mindful shoulder shrug before moving on to your next patient or client.
What does it mean to do something mindfully? Being mindful is focusing your awareness on what you are doing in the present moment. If you are texting while shoulder shrugging, likely you are more focused on your texts. If you are focused on doing a shoulder shrug, likely you are more focused on yourself, your shoulders, and how you are moving. This puts more energy into the act of releasing the tension in your shoulders. I’m using mindful as an adjective, a way of describing how you are doing something simple. Mindfulness meditation is another thing entirely. While mindfulness meditation is an effective tool for stress reduction, it’s not a rapid stress solution, as it takes a bit of time to learn and to do it.
Option 3: Intentional, mindful shoulder shrug (most powerful)
This option begins exactly like the mindful shoulder shrug described above. Here’s where it differs. Make this shoulder shrug intentional by repeating affirmations to yourself or out loud, or visualizing stress going away. Some popular intentions for this rapid stress solution are: ‘I am letting go of stress,’ or ‘Stress rolls right off my shoulders.’ If you prefer images to words, imagine that you are shedding stress as you drop your shoulders.
Give it a try.
- Start by breathing in slowly.
- While breathing in, GENTLY raise your shoulders as if they could touch your ears.
- As you breathe out, lower your shoulders while saying your affirmation to yourself.
- Repeat steps one through three a couple of times – breathe in, shoulders up; breathe out, repeat your affirmation, shoulders down.
Again, evaluate your experience. How do you feel? Did this activity change your experience of stress? The theory is that you are affecting your body, mind, and spirit. You are activating your mind/body connection. Many believe that you are also engaging your connection to something greater by being intentional, whatever your personal belief is in God or a higher power.
What does setting your intention mean? An intention puts your energy and the power of positive thinking into what you are doing, even something as simple as a shoulder shrug. Your intention is a guiding principle for how you do something, or how you want to be. Setting your intention generally means thinking or saying an affirmation, or visually imagining what you want.
Reduce workplace stress with mindful, intentional, and rapid stress solutions
In this blog, I used the example of a simple shoulder shrug to illustrate the different effects of being mindful and intentional with your rapid stress solutions. But of course, there are hundreds of rapid stress solutions you can choose from! Try being mindful and intentional with your personal favorite. Everything takes practice, of course, so first try your stress solution when you aren’t really stressed. If you have any questions about how to be mindful or intentional with a specific stress buster, email me at [email protected]. I love to hear from you!
In peace, Gale
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