There isn’t a person alive who does not suffer from stress. Some people don’t even know they are suffering from stress because they don’t take the time to notice how they are feeling. Such people often feel overwhelmed, burned out, or stressed out much of the time, no matter whether they are at work or at home. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Only you can control how you feel, but you can’t do that unless you are aware of how you feel. Once you become aware, you can choose how to react to whatever is happening around you. But the key is that you have to be aware of what is going on in your body. This guide will help you learn to take a few moments out of your day and check-in with yourself so you can go through your workday as smoothly and stress-free as possible.

1. Take a few moments in the morning to be silent, gaze out the window, take a slow walk, or meditate. Orient yourself to being awake and notice how that feels. It will help if you can start out your day with a feeling of inner peace.

2. Take a few minutes to do nothing but breathe while your car is warming up. Check in and see how you are feeling right now, knowing you are on your way to work.

3. Become aware of any tension within your body as you are driving to work. Consciously work at releasing that tension. Notice the difference in what it feels like to drive while tense and while relaxed.

4. Decide not to play the radio and just be with yourself instead.

5. Stay in the right lane and do not go above the speed limit. Do not succumb to societal pressure to rush everywhere. Its ok to get where you are going in your own time.

6. Pay attention to your breathing when stopped at a red light. Dont wait impatiently for the light to change to greenjust sit.

7. Take a moment to orient yourself to your workday after you park your car. Allow yourself to transition from home mode to work mode.

8. When you are sitting at your desk, periodically monitor your body tensions. Consciously attempt to relax and let go of any excess tension you may have.

9. Use your breaks to truly relax, rather than grab a quick snack or smoke. Take a short walk or meditate.

10. Change your environment at lunch. Perhaps eat outside in nice weather. Or find somewhere quiet where you can talk to co-workers or eat alone.

11. Try closing your door if you have one for a few minutes for a time-out. You have to take care of yourself before you can take care of anyone or anything else.

12. Stop working for a few minutes every hour or so in order to become aware of your breathing and bodily sensations. Take time to get back in touch with your feelings.

13. Use everyday cues from your work environment, such as the phone ringing or the time on your computer terminal, as reminders to stop and take a moment to breathe.

14. Take time during your lunch break to talk with your coworkers about non-work-related topics.

15. Choose to one or two lunches in silence each week. Eat slowly and mindfully.

16. At the end of the day, make up a Got Done list and congratulate yourself on all you accomplished.

17. Pay attention to the walk to your car how does the air feel? Is it cold or hot out? If it isn’t to your liking, try to accept it rather than resisting it.

18. While the care is warming up, consciously transition yourself from work to home. Just sit and enjoy the moment.

19. While driving home, notice if you are rushing. How does that feel? What can you do to change it? Remember, only you can control how you feel.

20. When you park your car at home, take a minute to come back to the present. Orient yourself to being at home again.

21. Change out of your work clothes as soon as you can. It helps you make a smooth transition from work mode to home mode. Then, if possible, take 5-10 minutes to be alone and check-in with yourself.

Stress can kill, but you don’t have to be a victim if you make a conscious choice to focus on your feelings and choose what to do with those feelings. You don’t have to react to stress; you can choose how to respond to it.

Stress can kill

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