Most people understand that stress is unpleasant and know to avoid it when they can. But what many fail to realize is that stress that is left untended to can have a major impact on one’s overall health. Healthline links chronic stress to disease, cancer, and accidents. But along with reports of a growing stress trend come insights into how our brain behaves. And what we can do to fight stress symptoms on a day to day basis.
Looking for innovative stress relief practices?
Here are some intriguing ways businesses and educational institutions are beating stress back:
- Meditation as the answer to classroom misbehavior.
When kids act out, what is the typical classroom response? More often than not the answer to misbehavior is detention. However, one school in Baltimore, Robert W. Coleman Elementary, has decided to try a new intervention instead. They call it the Mindful Moment Room, and since its opening, it has made news across the US. Instead of punishing bad behavior, teachers have children practice breathing and meditation exercises.
The scientific benefits to meditation have only recently been explored. But the findings are encouraging for those who suffer from workplace stress. Mayo Clinic says that benefits include a sense of calm that continues even after a meditation session has finished.
So far, Robert W. Coleman Elementary parents like what they have seen. Some even saying that their children come home and teach stress-relieving tactics when they see their parents stress out.
- Coloring books, not just for kids, also beneficial to stressed-out employees.
It used to be that coloring books were just for kids, with no special purpose attached to the coloring. But these days, businesses are using it to encourage creativity and help employees handle workplace stress.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, as many as 1 in 7 businesses allow employees to color to boost workplace performance.
Why and how do coloring books work to calm our nerves when we are feeling anxious? Apparently, coloring is similar to meditation in that it allows us to focus on the moment, and clear our thoughts of clutter. Its effectiveness can be seen in the number of bestselling spots it has taken on Amazon’s bestseller list.
But if coloring has never been your thing. Take comfort. The same calming effect can come from other activities that are repetitive in nature. For example, knitting or gardening.
- Tapping your way to calm.
Tapping is a method of relieving stress by triggering acupressure points. It is also know as EFT, or emotional freedom technique. What began in the 1990s was made popular by the book, The Tapping Solution: A revolutionary System for Stress-Free Living. While tapping has had its share of skeptics, there have been studies that have shown its benefits. For example, a study published in the Journal of Nervous & Mental Disease. Findings showed that groups that used forms of tapping displayed a decrease in the stress hormone cortisol compared to the control group.
Its popularity may have to do with how one can perform tapping anywhere and at any time, even in the midst of a meeting. Acupressure points that one should “tap” include any of the following areas:
- top of the head
- the chin
- the collarbone
- under the armpit
- the side of the eye
- the bone under your eye
- the space under your nose
Although, you may want to keep tapping to just your lunch hour to prevent coworkers from getting confused. On the other hand, they might be thankful to learn of the tapping technique, too.
Recent surveys have shown a whopping 40 percent of US workers reporting that their job is very or extremely stressful. Thankfully, businesses and institutions are finding creative ways to not only combat stress. But also help employees and individuals handle daily anxiety with grace and calm.