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Physical Practices to Manage Employee Stress

Stress is a common denominator to every occupation. Regardless of salary, gender, field or experience, excessive stress can cripple productivity and take a tremendous toll on physical and emotional health.

– 71% American workers who consider their workplace a significant source of stress.
– 10% Americans who report job stress reduces their productivity.
– $68B Cost to U.S. companies from health care utilization induced by stress.
– 10% National profit-reduction caused by stress-related health care.

Effective stress management begins by recognizing its signs which may include:
– Trouble concentrating
– Apathy
– Headaches
– Anxiety
– Muscle tension
– Anger
– Skin irritations
– Stomach problems
– Decreased sex drive
– Fatigue

The next step is to take back control of both mind and body. Each of the following physical practices address the physiological and psychological effects of stress.

Acupuncture – 365 acupuncture points on the human body
Stress causes tension throughout the body which blocks the free flow of energy blockages. Practiced regularly, acupuncture eliminates stress and anxiety while decreasing blood pressure and relaxing muscles.

Exercise – 15 min of exercise a day can extend life by 3 years
Like acupuncture, exercise produces endorphins, brain chemicals linked to feelings of euphoria. Physical activity also distracts from current stress, enables individuals to better cope with future stress and balances the negative effects stress has on the immune system by improving overall health.

Massage – 80+ modalities or types of massage practiced
Massage induces chemical changes that reduce pain and stress in all areas of the body. When under stress, the body produces a hormone called cortisol, which kills cells important for immunity. Studies of patients’ control levels before and after massage sessions found massage decreased cortisol dramatically.

Yoga – 1 in 10 Americans practice Yoga
Yoga combines a series of slow-moving and stationary poses with deep breathing. Most yoga classes end with a relaxation pose, but certain forms of yoga which emphasize slow and steady movement, breathing exercises and gentle stretching are best for stress relief. Other benefits include improved flexibility, strength, balance and stamina.

Reiki – 80% of Reiki participants experienced less stress after a session
Reiki is a spiritual healing art that originated in Japan. A Reiki practitioner will typically use a gentle touch to facilitate the flow of energy throughout the body, but unlike maggage, Reiki may involve no physical contact at all. Reiki can help alleviate stress, calm anxiety and foster an environment for healing on all levels-physical, mental and emotional.

For Employees
Stress is a normal part of the workplace, but even small lifestyle changes like creating a balanced schedule, taking breaks and making personal investments like these will ensure that stress doesn’t get in the way of job performance or getting satisfaction out of life at work and at home.

For Employers
Less stress in the workplace means more saving as employee morale increases and health costs decrease. An effective stress management strategy can foster additional social and economic benefits such as greater productivity, employee attendance and a more positive work environment.

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