Did you know that a large percentage of American employees leave the office at the end of each day with a large assortment of headaches, migraines, eye strain and anxiety? It’s true! It seems that stress plays a major role in determining how you will feel at quitting time. Besides the typical deadlines, meetings, angry customers, computer crashes and other hassles occurring on the job, it seems there is another culprit contributing to how we feel at the end of the day.
Apparently, as work stress accumulates the body has a tendency to breathe less or at least our breathing becomes very shallow. When your body is deprived of oxygen it can cause all kinds of issues, not to mention escalating our stress and agitation levels.
So what’s the solution? It’s actually very simple! Hang a small sign on your desk reminding you to “take a deep breath.” Thereafter anytime you see that sign it will ring an internal bell and prompt you to take a nice, slow deep breath. People attending my trainings tell me that this simple idea has given them more energy, made them calmer, lowered blood pressure, and helped to relieve pain associated with sitting in front of a computer all day. Wow, what great benefits! Many people report large increases in their breathing stretching anywhere from ten to twelve deep breaths daily. What an amazing improvement simply because you hung a reminder sign on your desk. You’ll also be amazed at how many of your co-workers will follow in your footsteps after they realize the significant benefits.
After you hang the “take a deep breath” reminder on your desk, I want you to hang one more item that can be very beneficial. I want you to write a short list that contains the top 10 things you’re grateful for in your job and hang it where you can see it. The truth is that work, long hours, deadlines, stress and anxiety can cause us to quickly forget about how lucky we are that we have a job to begin with. Take a moment to think about how you would feel if you suddenly lost your job today. Even if you dislike the job, I’m sure this would be an unexpected, unwelcome blow.
Sometimes we need to be reminded about how good things truly are, or at least that things are not as bad as you think. To help guide you and offer you a point of reference, here is the Top 10 Gratitude List that hangs on my desk.
1. I’m grateful for an easy commute and to work close to home.
2. I’m grateful for the amazing people I work with.
3. I’m grateful for free, easy close to the door parking.
4. I’m grateful to work in a heated & air conditioned environment.
5. I’m grateful to have a refrigerator and microwave close to my desk.
6. I’m grateful for my paycheck and benefits.
7. I’m grateful to be doing what I love.
8. I’m grateful that I have a comfortable chair & desk.
9. I’m grateful that the bathroom is close to my desk and rarely occupied.
10. I’m grateful to be able to dress casually.
I read this gratitude list almost daily; it centers and realigns me. More importantly, when the daily stressors pile up, it helps me to relax. It reminds me that there are other more positive things to focus on.
I have found gratitude to be a very important force in my life. I’ve discovered that the more I focus on all the good things I have, the less I need or want, and that’s a great way to live.
To reiterate, hanging a reminder to deep breath throughout the day, and a gratitude list on your desk can bring you many benefits and add greater value to your work day. I have found that it never hurts to be constantly reminded that when things are at their darkest some light still exists.