It’s only 11:00 A.M., and you’re ready to go home, get a drink, and put your feet up in front of some nameless sitcom on TV. Here’s what you’ve dealt with since arriving at the office this morning: Your computer gave you the blue screen of death, and you lost three days’ work on a report that is due tomorrow; a coworker called in sick, and you have to finish a spreadsheet they were working on that is due to the boss by end-of-business today; the department printer jammed again, and you are the only one capable of fixing it.
Sadly, however, you can’t go home just yet. What you need is a solution that can help you de-stress at work, if only for a few minutes, before you move on to the next crisis.
Fortunately, there’s an app for that – several apps, actually.
Here are five of the best mobile apps that may bring you the renewal you need.
Researchers tell us that slow, deep breathing – especially with eyes closed – is a proven method of de-stressing. The technique, which was first developed by Dr. Herbert Benson at Harvard Medical School in the 1970s, is now available to you on demand through the Breathe2Relax app.
The app gives you several deep breathing exercises. Even taking just a few minutes to complete these exercises will relieve your stress, giving you the ability to return to your tasks and responsibilities refreshed and with far less anxiety.
Meditation is one of the best methods for relieving stress, but it can be difficult to get into that meditative state of mind in the heat of crises and work demands. Doing so requires shutting out all of the noise of the workplace and getting to a place of quiet and calm – no easy task.
Headspace will teach you how to meditate through careful guidance. The goal is for you to be able to do this yourself, on demand, as you need to. The app gives you 10 days for free, and you can then opt to purchase more time or more specific targets for your meditation.
3. Gratitude Journal/Attitudes of Gratitude
When you’re stressed or anxious, all of your focus is on the immediate crises, issues, and problems you are facing. They take over your whole mind, and that can turn you into a pretty disagreeable person. We’ve all been there before.
The Gratitude Journal and Attitudes of Gratitude apps allow you to recover some much-needed perspective. When using one of these apps, you start by uploading all of the things for which you are grateful. The apps prompt you to list at least one thing every day. This makes it easier to remember the positive aspects of your days. Sure, your computer died on you, but your boss also took some time to personally tell you how much she appreciates you. That’s worth something, isn’t it?
4. 7 Minute Workout
Working out is a great way to relieve stress, but it’s not like you can just drop everything and hit the gym in the middle of the workday.
What you can do, however, is fire up this app and get a quick seven-minute workout in. The workout is pretty intense, so you’ll probably want to keep a t-shirt and shorts on hand. You’ll also want to close your office door while you’re going at it. If working out at the office isn’t your thing, you can save it for the end of the day
Not only does physical exercise release all of the muscle tension that stress can cause, but it also causes your brain to release endorphins – those feel-good hormones that will perk your attitude right up.
5. Pay It Forward
Everyone’s heard of “paying it forward,” but for all of the hype – and even a movie of the same name – we don’t always remember the value of random acts of kindness. Kind acts actually cause our bodies to release endorphins, which means that paying it forward can have a real, positive physical effect on us.
The Pay It Forward app is a great way to remind yourself of the importance of kindness. It provides a list of suggestions for small acts of kindness and connects users with a larger community of people who are also using the app.
You owe it to yourself to be emotionally healthy, and these apps will help you regain your emotional steadiness when you feel yourself losing it. Others around you will benefit too. Try one or two, and you’ll stop procastinating and see a real difference in the way you handle stress at work.