50 Workplace Anxiety Relief Ideas


Anxiety at work is not only common, but it is at times overwhelming. While there are a good number of ways to de-anxiety once you’ve left the office, finding relief from anxiety at work or in a work-related environment can be tough. Since anxiety can have a major impact on overall work quality and physical and mental health, finding good ways to relive it is important.

Dealing with Anxiety at Work

When the anxiety of the workplace is an everyday thing, it can be easy to try and ignore it and keep pushing through the work. Eventually, however, the effects of anxiety will make themselves known on the body. The most common effects are often high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. Even before those effects, an anxious individual will likely experience headaches, mood swings, and irritation.

In order to get through the tension and find relief, attempting any of the above anxiety relief ideas will help you to find what works for you. Everyone is different. Although one method works for someone, it may take a different method entirely to find the best option for you. By finding the best anxiety reliever for you in the workplace, you are more likely to do better work and be healthier in the long run.

If you’re feeling anxious out at work, here’s 50 ideas to get you some relief throughout the day. It is recommended to try one or two methods in a day’s time, as too many can take up the entirety of the workday and kill productivity altogether. These 50 workplace anxiety relief ideas are just a fraction of possibilities to help employees give their minds a break, but are thought to be effective nonetheless.

1. Coffee Break

Not only does coffee provide a delicious-tasting energy boost, but it gives workers the opportunity to take a breather from the workOpens in a new tab.. Staring at a screen for hours on end not only puts anxiety on the eyes but on the brain as well. A coffee break will give enough time to rest for a moment and remove the employee from the anxiety inducing task.

2. EFT Tapping

Although skeptical about this anxiety-relieving method, even Harvard Medical School is an advocate for it. The process is simple: use your fingertips to tap on various points of the body while concentrating on and internally dealing with the anxiety. This is an activity that can be done at your desk and only requires a few minutes of time.

3. Recite Uplifting Quotes

Anxiety sometimes comes from an employee feeling worn down and unable to complete a task. By posting uplifting messages in the office space and reciting them out loud as needed, a worker can develop the motivation to finish the work and remove the stressor from his or her life.

4. Calisthenics

Doing a variety of exercises is a great way to lessen anxiety at the office. Calisthenics can be done in a small area, so space shouldn’t be a concern. The exercises include things like push-ups, jumping jacks, and lunges. By completing a few reps, an employee is sure to feel less anxiety in 15 minutes or less.

5. On-Site Gym

Not all workplaces have an on-site gym, but if it is an option, be sure to take advantage of it. Taking a break to run on a treadmill, do 15 minutes on the elliptical, or ride a few miles on a stationary bike can work wonders when it comes to relieving anxiety. Employees can return to work following a brief workout feeling more refreshed, awake, and much less afflicted.

6. Climb Stairs

Like all other exercises, climbing a set of stairs releases endorphins that can act like morphine and simultaneously boost moods. Since the release of endorphins is related to the intensity of the workout, it might be a good idea to walk up and down a few flights to get the most effective release.

7. Desktop Punching Bag

By placing a desktop punching bagOpens in a new tab. on the desk, an employee has an effective and inexpensive way to release some built up tension in the office. These typically have a suction cup that can stick to the desk, so no damage is done to the desktop itself. For those that suffer from anger-inducing anxiety, a desktop punching bag is likely a great option for relief.

8. Slide

It may come as a surprise to many that offices have slides for their employees. Not only does going down a slide offer a fun environment, but it also makes for a great way to relieve some workplace anxiety. Companies that have an office slide include, but are not limited to, Google, Red Bull, Youtube, and The LEGO Group.

9. Snack Break

By walking away from your desk and going to grab a snack, you’re getting a short walking break and a few minutes of time for yourself as you eat. There are even foods that are known to reduce anxiety. Try snacking on blueberries, avocado, dark chocolate, yogurt, oranges, or nuts.

10. Power Nap

Studies show that even as little as a 5-minute nap during the day can reduce anxiety. If 15 or 20 minutes of sleep can be squeezed into your day, anxiety levels will reduce significantly. There are some desks available for purchase that have a cot underneath for those that require a power nap during the workday.

11. Open the Window

A slight breeze has the ability to reduce anxiety in the workday. Opening your office window will also allow some natural sunlight into the room, which has been proven to scale down on anxiety. Between the two, anxiety is sure to decrease with this helpful tip!

12. Wellness Room

In an office, a wellness room can be used for a variety of reasons, most of which are medical or for breastfeeding. Since anxiety can cause a number of medical concerns, a wellness room is a great way to give employees a way to escape for a few minutes with no questions asked. By providing a wellness roomOpens in a new tab., employers are showing their care for their employees and allow said employees to care for themselves as needed.

13. Daily Motivational Newsletter

There are a huge variety of blogs and similar businesses that publish an uplifting newsletter each day. Most of these can be delivered to your email. Find a newsletter that works for you – it might be humorous, positive, motivating, or simply on a topic that you enjoy. The 10 minutes that it takes to read it will take your mind from what stresses you.

14. Noise Machine

This idea came from something that works with calming infants. A noise machine can produce artificial sounds of rain, waterfalls, crickets, white noise, and similar soothing tones. Sounds such as these soothe babies but can also calm anxiety in adults.

15. Casual Dress Days

There’s a reason why relaxed people tend to go home from work and immediately put on more comfortable clothes. If dressed comfortably it is far easier to relax and leave any stressors behind. By providing employees with such a day on occasion, employers are offering a fun way to de-anxiety.

16. On-Staff Therapist

Although an on-staff therapist or medical professional is typically in industries in which anxiety and anxiety are overwhelming (Police, Firefighters, EMS), it is incredibly helpful to those that become overwhelmed with anxiety in the workplace. If multiple employees are feeling the effects of a workplace burden regularly, it may be a good idea to bring in an on-staff professional to be available when things get to be too much.

17. On-Site Daycare

Having an on-site daycare not only relieves parents of the mental strain they might feel from finding adequate care, being away from their children, or the excessive cost of some facilities, but it can be a major anxiety reliever to be able to go and see their kids for a few minutes throughout the day. Sometimes all it takes to be relieved of work-related anxiety is a good hug from my child or seeing him smile.

18. Bring Your Dog to Work

Therapy dogs are great at relieving anxiety. Even if your own dog is not qualified as a therapy dog, our pets have the ability to relax us and make us feel at home. Petting your dog is a tension reliever for you and enjoyable for him. If your workplace allows you to bring your dog to your office, it comes highly recommended. The additional 10 minutes you might need outside to take him for a walk doesn’t hurt anxiety levels, either.

19. TV Break

Many places of employment have a television in the break room. If yours does, spend 15-20 minutes watching something that you enjoy. A break like this is sure to take your mind off whatever is stressing you and allowing you to get back to work after feeling much more relaxed. It can also help you to bond with coworkers that enjoy the same television shows that you do. Bonding over the newest TV craze is a great way to get to know your fellow employees and anxiety less throughout the day.

20. Pot-Luck

An office-wide pot-luck is a classic and wonderful way to destress the entire office. When tensions are high, have a pot-luck so that the entire team has the ability to sit down together and eat for a while. Not only will this reduce anxiety, but it will also encourage coworker interaction and relationship building. It also develops a better communication skill. This idea is good for the office and employees on all levels.

21. Online Shopping

Browsing some online shopping sites have a great ability to de-anxiety. Whether you actually buy anything or not, most people love the mental escape that shopping can provide. Since you’re at work, doing some online shopping is the next best thing. If you, too, find anxiety relief in shopping, this one is for you.

22. Texting

Not only does texting give us the opportunity to connect with friends and family, but it also gives us the ability to discreetly vent about what is going on and bothering us in the workplace. That can work wonders for someone that simply needs to get things off of their chest in stressful times.

23. Social Media

Taking a break for social media browsing is another anxiety relief tool. Seeing what is going on in the lives of others can help to distract us from what is bothering us currently. It can also be a way to reconnect with old friends, which can also be a sense of relief, as the joy in that connection allows anxiety to disintegrate. That technological communication is something that provides us another avenue of both distraction or venting.

24. Pinterest

Despite what many believe, Pinterest is not social media as much as it is a visual search engine. Looking at beautiful images of wonderfully decorated homes, finding anxiety-relieving tips, and getting ideas for motivation are awesome ways to de-anxiety and push forward. It can allow you to imagine yourself elsewhere for just a few minutes, which ultimately is a great anxiety relief.

25. Soap Cutting

As odd as it sounds, this relatively new fad is taking the internet by storm. Watching someone cutting soap into pieces or doing it yourself seems to be the newest way to relax. Psychologists attribute it to ASMR, which means Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response. The calm and methodical visual gives the brain something to simultaneously enjoy and calm.

26. Crafting

Doing activities like crocheting, knitting, or even assembling felt pieces into a picture takes the brain away from stressors and allows it to focus on the process of creating. As anxiety-relief goes, this idea is fairly popular for people that prefer something methodical. Counting stitches and following strict crafting instructions are simple ways to do just that.

27. Studying

Despite the fact that studying sounds boring and highly unenjoyable to many, there are some that love the distraction it provides. Also, you could study a topic that you enjoy. If you love sports, you might study football plays in the shotgun formation or potential players in next year’s MLB draft. Whatever it is that you study, put your entire focus on it for 15 minutes and see the changes that it makes in your body.

28. Watch Thunderstorm

If you find the rumble of thunder and the visual of lightning appealing, watching a thunderstorm is a great way to relax at work. If you’re lucky enough to get a thunderstorm brewing while at work, this idea is recommended as a great break from anxiety. Open the blinds as you work or stand by the door as the action happens outside. It is a sure way to make your day better.

29. Paint

Like all forms of art, painting has the ability to take your mind elsewhere. The swirl of colors provides a distraction that can be utilized in the office fairly easily – simply bring a small canvas and a small smattering of supplies so that you can paint when the hardship of work becomes too much.

30. Sketch

Similar to painting, a sketch can provide a methodical distraction. The black against the white scene of pencil on paper gives you a reason to focus on the details of shapes and forms. That distraction can allow your brain the break it needs to focus in on work several minutes later in a less-anxious manner.

31. Drive

Go for a quick drive if you feel the need to escape the monotony of work. With the windows down and the music turned up, you’re sure to feel rested and refreshed after your short trip. Even if this trip is to drive a mile or two to your favorite lunch spot, it will give you the break needed to lose the anxiety.

32. Video Game

Take 20 minutes away from work to play a video game on your phone or your portable gaming device. There are a number of free game apps on all smartphones. Finding one that can keep your attention and allow you to calm down from anxiety is ideal. These often include puzzle or logic games, but can differ for everyone.

33. Planning

Use your break to plan something. Personally, I find planning out my next vacation or what to do with extra money from my paycheck to be the most relaxing. Knowing that I will be enjoying the amenities of a nice hotel and spa treatment at some point in the future gives me the ability to momentarily imagine that very event. You can also create Pinterest boards to see a more visual aspect of planning. As simple as it sounds, it works when it comes to de-stressing.

34. To-Do Lists

The tedium of listing out tasks calms my brain and the brains of many. By prioritizing and giving yourself ample time to get everything done, the anxiety will lessen upon the realization that it is possible to get everything completed in a timely manner. With some drive and motivation, your to-do list will center your focus. It also helps to shrink anxiety by scratching items off the list. Seeing your list get smaller and smaller helps you to feel accomplished about the day and effectively cuts back on anxiety.

35. Clean Break Room

For many people, doing dishes and other chores lessens anxiety by the sink load. Scrub the counters, clean out and arrange the fridge, take out the trash, and do whatever else can be done to get your mind away from the anxiety it doesn’t seem to want to leave behind. Doing so will not only relieve you of the tension, but it will leave you with a clean space to eat.

36. Holiday Office Parties

When the entire team is feeling the effects of anxiety, there is no better way to bring up morale and decrease said anxiety than an office party. This could be during the workday or after hours. Fun things might include a secret Santa, an Earth Day party, or a Valentine’s Day event. Planning and attending the event can help workers to take their minds off the mental strain of work.

37. Browsing Internet

When things at work start to get to be too much, a short break browsing the internet can do great things for anxiety levels. With the immense amount of information and things to see online, it is easy to get lost in the world wide web. Set a timer so that you can get back to work at an appropriate time and dive deep into the wonder that is the internet.

38. Guitar

Bring your acoustic guitar to work with you so that you can take 5 minutes and play a quiet song. By focusing on the movement of your fingers and the tune that comes from the strings, your mind can release the anxiety that is plaguing it. Be wary of others trying to work in the area if you choose this one, though. It may be best to do this if you have an enclosed space to play.

39. Bonding Activities

There are a variety of group activities that can help coworkers to bond. These activities are often fun and anxiety relieving. Some examples include the Human Knot, lunchtime trivia, and a scavenger hunt. By offering and partaking in these activities, not only will the day be broken up with a bit of fun, but anxiety will be lessened, and the team will be stronger because of it.

40. Hugging

While hugging in the workplace is not a typical activity, it releases a hormone in the blood called oxytocin. Oxytocin works to reduce anxiety and increase overall happiness. This is especially effective in women. It is recommended that the hugging be kept between coworkers that are also good friends, as hugging all of your coworkers may be frowned upon. Otherwise, wait until home to engage in the hugging.

41. Videos

Watching one of the many millions of videos online can entertain, cheer up, and help to rid your mind of anxiety. Some popular options are funny cat videos and cute babies. These kinds of videos are found on various social media platforms: most commonly YouTube. After a few short videos, you will find yourself in a better mood and ready to tackle more in the workplace.

42. Shortened Work Day

Sometimes the anxiety is just too much to deal with in the confines of four office walls. Taking the occasional short day will go a long way in decreasing tension. It can be counterproductive to stay at work while you’re too anxious to complete quality work. By leaving a few hours early to relax, the next workday can be more productive and less anxious.

43. Poetry

Poetry does great things for anxiety. Whether writing it, reading it, or listening to spoken-word, poetry allows your mind to focus on the stanzas, rather than the stressor at work. Whatever it is that the poem makes you feel, you will feel it instead of the rough workday grinding at you.

44. Volunteer Work

Organizing a group of employees to do some volunteer work does more than just relieve you of anxiety. Volunteer work helps others, which helps to make us feel good. So, use a work day to paint a house for an elderly person, raise money for charity, walk a shelter dog, serve food to the homeless, or participate in a food drive. Whatever the volunteer activity, it will make you feel blessed and less anxious.

45. Grow Lavender

Lavender has been scientifically proven to reduce anxiety and anxiety in people. A large terracotta pot can handle the growth of lavender indoors if properly cared for. If your office space gets a lot of natural sunlight, you can have a flowering lavender plant that looks nice and decreases anxiety just from its proximity.

46. Zen Garden

Many people feel that tracing smooth patterns in the sand of a desktop zen garden has a soothing and calming effect. Even if you do not believe in the spiritual aspect behind the idea, the sand and stones can do good things for the mind. It is also an activity that can be done while sitting at your desk and will not take a lot of extra time.

47. Breathing Exercises

There are a number of breathing exercises that one can do to rid their minds of stressful thoughts. A yoga breathing technique is called equal breathing. It means simply breathing in for 4 seconds and out for 4 seconds. When you become more advanced with this technique, you can advance to a longer inhale and exhale. Typically, 6 seconds is what more experienced people aim for.

48. Chew Gum

Studies have shown that chewing gum regularly can help reduce anxiety and anxiety levels. The anxiety hormone called cortisol is reduced by chewing. So, eating and chewing gum should help with anxiety, but the constant chewing associated with gum is sure to have better results. Slow chewing in particular has an effect on diminishing cortisol. It also will increase the brain’s alertness. Plus, the constant fresh breath is an added positive!

49. Feng Shui Your Office

By applying feng shui methods to your office space, you can relax in both the organization and the theory that it reduces anxiety. The feng shui method can be applied to the office spaceOpens in a new tab. as a whole, your desktop, or the whole building. You might start small by arranging your desktop to feng shui standards and then moving to your office space as a whole.

50. Fountain

A tranquility fountain is not only a anxiety reliever, but it adds a beautiful focal point to the room. The sound of the water cascading down is the aspect of the fountain that helps to decrease mental strain. By placing a fountain in your office, your workday is likely to be less stressful in general.

Related Questions

What are the long-term effects of anxiety on the body? A few of the long-term effects include depression, dizziness, and migraines. Other effects are problems with memory, a lowered immune system, decreased bone density, and an increased cholesterol level.

How do office parties effect productivity? Office parties show employees that they are valued. This increases company morale, increases creativity, and develops a focused team.

Do cubicles increase anxiety in the workplace? Yes. Cubicles create a blockage from sunlight, views, and a lack of space to add personal or homey touches. Because of these factors, cubicles cause more anxiety and are often a source of misery in workers.

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