5 Ways To Relax More At Work

5 Ways To Relax More At Work

When work gets stressful, you need all the time you can get to unwind and get back in the swing of it. Studies have shown that self-guided relaxation and imagery is useful for improving people’s sense of well-being even during periods of extreme stress. A 15-minute break or a half-hour lunch can seem like too little time to unwind. These five tips will help you make the most of your short break times and get your game face on feeling as relaxed as possible.

 Take A Walk Around The Building

If your office has a garden or park area, spending your break time sitting or walking through it can greatly increase your relaxation and your satisfaction with your work environment. Employees with access to a garden have reported higher employer retention rates and were even able to higher better quality personnel. If your office has the space or is thinking about relocating, share this article with your boss to encourage them to consider the benefits having a garden or park can provide.

Change Your Desktop Background

If an outdoor space is not available to you at your office, you can still receive some of the positive benefits of nature simply by changing your background image to a nature scene. Scientists have demonstrated that clearing your brain by focusing on nature can help you relax and re-focus in less than five minutes. Find a great nature picture that you love, and when you need help relaxing and focusing, simply clear your screen and focus on the nature image for a few minutes.  Here’s one to get you started.



    See, you feel better already!

    Try using nature images as your screensaver so that you automatically experience the boost every time you unlock your computer.


    Tense Your Muscles

    This sounds counter-intuitive. “Tense my muscles? I thought I was supposed to be relaxing?” It’s true however. Tensing and releasing individual muscle groups is a technique called Progressive Muscle Relaxation Training and it has been demonstrated to provide aid in relaxation. In a nutshell, all you need to do is close your eyes, focus on individual muscle groups, and take turns tensing, then relaxing the muscle groups.

    Use of a guided audio or video can increase the effectiveness of this technique according to the study.

    Want to take this a little further? If you’re not worried about co-workers asking you what you are doing, incorporating pushing against during the tightening phase changes this from Progressive Muscle Relaxation to Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PMF). You can read more on how to incorporate PMF into neck and shoulder relaxation at Yoga International.



    Meditation has been shown by scientists to aid in relaxation and stress relief as well as a slew of other benefits. You can start to gain the benefit of meditation with as little as five to ten minutes – perfect for those short breaks and lunches with time left over. A simple meditation method taught by Bhante Sujatha, a monk from Sri Lanka, is to close your eyes, and repeat this phrase to yourself: “I am well, I am happy, I am peaceful.”

    Depending on how much time you have to meditate, he further advises to spend more time, meditating each section of the phrase and what it means to you. You can substitute this phrase for any quote, word, thought, or verse that is meaningful and uplifting to you.

    Sell Your Boss On The Benefits Of A Relaxing Work Environment

    Studies have shown improvements in employee work behavior and even a decrease in absenteeism when employers provide training and means for employees to be able to relax. Share this article, bring in a book about the benefits of relaxation such as “The Happiness Track” and recommend simple things like adding a comfortable chair conducive for relaxing or meditating in the break room. Bigger office? Think big! Some airports have dedicated relaxation or meditation rooms. Have some outdoor space? A sand pit for drawing in the sand can be both stylish and relaxing.


    Remember, our bodies are designed for periods of rest between periods of stress. These five tips will help you take a moment from the stress of work to help your mind unwind, enabling you to power through your day with even greater productivity.

    Need more? Check out these 20 Stunning Nature Photos That Will Leave You Speechless and are all great candidates for your new desktop background or screensaver.

    Featured photo credit: Public Domain Pictures / 18043 Images via

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    Science Says Screaming Is Good For You

    Science Says Screaming Is Good For You

    There are many reasons why people might scream – they’re angry, scared, or in pain (or maybe they’re in a metal band!). Some might say that screaming is bad, but here’s why science says it’s good for you.

    “For the first time in the history of psychology there is a way to access feelings, hidden away, in a safe way and thus to reduce human suffering. It is, in essence, the first science of psychotherapy.” — Dr. Arthur Janov

    Primal Therapy

    Dr. Arthur Janov invented Primal Therapy in the late 1960’s. It is a practice that allows the patient to face their repressed emotions from past trauma head on and let those emotions go. This treatment is intended to cure any mental illness the patient may have that surfaced from this past trauma. In most cases, Primal Therapy has lead Dr. Janov’s patients to scream towards the end of their session, though it was not part of the original procedure. During a group therapy session that was at a standstill, Dr. Janov says that one of his patients, a student he called Danny, told a story that inspired him to implement a technique that he never would have thought of on his own.


    How it Started

    “During a lull in our group therapy session, he told us a story about a man named Ortiz who was currently doing an act on the London stage in which he paraded around in diapers drinking bottles of milk. Throughout his number, Ortiz is shouting, ‘Mommy! Daddy! Mommy! Daddy!’ at the top of his lungs. At the end of his act he vomits. Plastic bags are passed out, and the audience is requested to follow suit.”

    It doesn’t end there, though. Dr. Janov said that his patient was quite fascinated with that story, and that alone moved him to suggest something even he believed to be a little elementary.

    “I asked him to call out, ‘Mommy! Daddy!’ Danny refused, saying that he couldn’t see the sense in such a childish act, and frankly, neither could I. But I persisted, and finally, he gave in. As he began, he became noticeably upset. Suddenly he was writhing on the floor in agony. His breathing was rapid, spasmodic. ‘Mommy! Daddy!’ came out of his mouth almost involuntarily in loud screeches. He appeared to be in a coma or hypnotic state. The writhing gave way to small convulsions, and finally, he released a piercing, deathlike scream that rattled the walls of my office. The entire episode lasted only a few minutes, and neither Danny nor I had any idea what had happened. All he could say afterward was: ‘I made it! I don’t know what, but I can feel.’”

    Delving deeper

    Dr. Janov says he was baffled for months, but then he decided to experiment with another patient with the same method, which lead to a similar result as before. The patient started out calling “Mommy! Daddy!” then experienced convulsions, heavy breathing, and then eventually screamed. After the session, Dr. Janov says his patient was transformed and became “virtually another human being. He became alert… he seemed to understand himself.”

    Although the initial intention of this particular practice wasn’t to get the patient to scream, more than once did his Primal Therapy sessions end with the patient screaming and feeling lighter, revived, and relieved of stresses that were holding them down in life.

    Some Methods To Practice Screaming

    If you want to try it out for yourself, keep reading!


    • Step 1: Be Alone — Be alone. If you live in a place that you can’t be alone, it might be a good idea to talk to your family or roommates and explain to them what you’re about to do and make sure they’re okay with it. If you’re good to go, move on to step 2.
    • Step 2: Lie Down — Lie down on a yoga mat on your back and place a pillow underneath your head. If you don’t own a yoga mat, you can use a rug or even a soft blanket.
    • Step 3: Think — Think of things that have hurt you or made you angry. It can be anything from your childhood or even something that happened recently to make yourself cry, if you’re not already crying or upset. You could even scream “Mommy! Daddy!” just like Dr. Janov’s patients did to get yourself started.
    • Step 4: Scream — Don’t hold anything back; cry and scream as loud as you can. You can also pound your fists on the ground, or just lie there and scream at the top of your lungs.

    After this, you should return your breathing to a normal and steady pace. You should feel lighter, like a weight has been lifted off of you. If not, you can also try these other methods.

    Scream Sing

    Scream singing” is referring to what a lot of lead singers in metal or screamo bands will do. I’ve tried it and although I wasn’t very good at it, it was fun and definitely relieved me of any stress I was feeling from before. It usually ends up sounding like a really loud grunt, but nonetheless, it’s considered screaming.


    • Step 1 — Bear down and make a grunting sound.
    • Step 2 — Hiss like a snake and make sure to do this from your diaphragm (your stomach) for as long as you can.
    • Step 3 — Breathe and push your stomach out for more air when you are belting notes, kind of like you would if you were singing.
    • Step 4 — Try different ways to let out air to control how long the note will last, just make sure not to let out too much air.
    • Step 5 — Distort your voice by pushing air out from your throat, just be careful not to strain yourself.
    • Step 6 — Play around with the pitch of your screams and how wide your mouth is open – the wider your mouth is open, the higher the screams will sound. The narrower or rounder your mouth is (and most likely shaped like an “o”), the lower the screams will sound.
    • Step 7 — Start screaming to metal music. If you’re not a huge metal fan, it’s okay. You don’t have to use this method if you don’t want to.

    If you want a more thorough walkthrough of how to scream sing, here’s a good video tutorial. If this method is too strenuous on your vocal chords, stop. Also, make sure to stay hydrated when scream singing and drink lots of water.

    Scream into a pillow

    Grab a pillow and scream into it. This method is probably the fastest and easiest way to practice screaming. Just make sure to come up for air.


    Always remember to make sure that you’re not going to disturb anyone while practicing any of these methods of screaming. And with that, happy screaming!

    Featured photo credit: Sharon Mollerus via

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