Your office desk is a far cry from a zen-like environment. Covered with papers to be filed, lists of things to do, a keyboard covered with specks of many of a lunch…your desk may actually be increasing your stress levels at work.
However, with a few small changes, you can makeover your desk area into stress-free zone. Get started with these simple tips:
Clutter not only takes up valuable desk real estate, but it is also distracting. Valuable time can be lost when you’re looking for an important file; the piles of “stuff” also makes you look disorganized—which is a trait that will often prevent you from advancing in your career.
Clutter can also have an emotional toll,elevating stress levels and anxiety over misplaced items and loss of productivity.
De-clutter surfaces first, then take the time to go through drawers and organize. Throw away those old ketchup and soy sauce packets; sort paperwork into keep, toss and relocate piles, then file the keep, shred or recycle the toss, and move the relocate papers to their new homes.
Maintain a clutter free desk by taking a few minutes to tidy up your desk space every day prior to leaving.
Add Some Greenery
Not only will a few indoor plants improve your air quality in an office space, but also it can help improve your stress levels. A study fromWashington State University showed a strong relationship between a person’s psychological health and plants, especially in a windowless office space.
In the presence of indoor plants, people were more productive and were less stressed (as measured by blood pressure) than those who were asked to complete the same task, but in a room without plants.
A UK study found that people who worked in an office with plants had lower stress levels and recovered more quickly from stress than those in an office without plants
Add A Soothing Water Element
Water is a powerful calming agent. In fact, justdrinking a glass of water can help reduce stress. If you have an office or extra desk space, bring in a water element to create a zen-like atmosphere in your work area.
The fountain noises can also serve as “white noise” and block out the distracting noises of an office environment, like phones ringing, printers running, people chatting, etc., helping you focus on your work.
Preliminary studies have shown a connection betweenslower brain waves and certain scents. Lavender, bergamot, marjoram, sandalwood, lemon and chamomile are considered mood enhancers, while cardamom, chamomile and lavender are effective in calming those who are experiencing mental duress, anxiety and stress.
Use candles, oil diffusers or sprays to surround yourself with soothing scents to help de-stress your work space.
However, be mindful of your co-workers. Some people can sensitive to scent, so aromatherapy should not be used in shared and small spaces.
Get Ergonomic Chair and Desk Support
Spending hours in a hunched over position, straining your back, wrists and eyes only increases your level of discomfort and stress at work, and prolonged poor alignment can lead to injuries.
Make sure you have the proper equipment to improve your work area. Ergonomic chairs, keyboards and mouse pads can help alleviate some of the postural issues.
Once you have the proper equipment, make sure that you can rest your feet flat on the ground and that your eyes are level with the top of your computer screen so that you don’t have to slouch, squint or crane your neck in order to see the screen.
Add Positive Images
Whether it’s an inspirational or a funny poster, or photos from a recent trip or of loved ones, including pictures that bring up positive thoughts can help you relax from a tense situation. Surrounding yourself with positive images provide mental support in stressful situations.
While the workplace will never be considered completely stress-free, you can make your personal workspace as stress-free as possible. Improve your office experience by de-stressing your desk.
Marcela De Vivo is a freelance writer, mother and online marketing professional in California. She personally decorates her office space using feng shui, allowing her to stay stress-free and balanced throughout her work day. Follow her on Pinterest and Facebook to find more tips like these.