A Breather Of Inspiration

footprint-1021452_640Feeling stressed as the year approaches it‘s end? Tired and desperately needing a breather before the new year begins? You are not alone!

What if you gave yourself permission to take just 10 minutes to breathe slowly and deeply? Instead of entertaining the constant worrying you feel, just take your attention to something else. Maybe read a chapter of a favorite book or watch a funny cat video on YouTube. You need to get out of your stressed state!

Of course watching a funny video will not solve any of your issues causing the stress in the first place. But it will get you to feel more positive. A healthy laugh can work wonders!

We gathered a few motivational quotes for your reading pleasure. Why don’t you pick one that speaks to you, print it out and keep it on your desk? This way you have the inspiration you need right in front of you!

Which quote will be your favorite?

“Don’t watch the clock; do what it does. Keep going.” – Sam Levenson

“The secret of getting ahead is getting started.” – Mark Twain

“You will never win if you never begin.” – Robert H. Schuller

“Change before you have to.” – Jack Welch

“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” – Albert Einstein

“Whatever you do or dream you can do – begin it. Boldness has genius and power and magic in it”. –Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language. And next year’s words await another voice.” ― T.S. Eliot

“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” – Thomas Edison

“There is always room at the top.” – Daniel Webster

“Don’t let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.” – John R. Wooden

“Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.” – Tony Robbins

“Your success and happiness lies in you. Resolve to keep happy, and your joy and you shall form an invincible host against difficulties.“ – Helen Keller

“Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.“ – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear.” – George Addair

“Well done is better than well said.” – Benjamin Franklin

“Nothing is impossible; the word itself says ‘I’m possible!'” – Audrey Hepburn

“There is little success where there is little laughter.” – Andrew Carnegie

“The beginning is the most important part of the work” – Plato

“You can’t build a reputation on what you are going to do.” – Henry Ford

Here is our favorite:

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” – Eleanor Roosevelt


Start Meditating Today

woman-481769_1280Did you notice that chronic and severe stress levels are becoming the norm for society? Many of us are so used to their stress that we do not notice it until it begins to significantly affect our health.

Meditation is an essential practice that will help you to recognize when you’re feeling stressed as well as give you the tools you need to overcome and remove these feelings.

How Meditation Works

Meditation teaches you to practice focused attention and concentration in order to bring about peace and tranquility. It is a mindfulness exercise that requires you to learn how to identify thoughts and feelings on a deeper level. This helps you to become in tune with your body so that you can recognize what you’re feeling while you’re feeling it and understand what it means.

Meditation is best done in a quiet place where there are little to no distractions. To get started, find a place where you feel at ease like your bedroom, living room, the library, the park, or the beach. The key is to choose a location that is soothing to you.

Usually during meditation practitioners focus on a prayer or mantra that helps them to welcome calm energy. Adding deep yoga breathing and tranquil thoughts while sitting in an upright posture that encourages clear thinking and easy breathing helps tremendously.

If you are focusing on stressful thoughts and memories, you will notice that your body is tensed. Your shoulders may be up to your neck, your back tight, your fists clenched, and your toes curled. Let these thoughts go and notice your body begin to relax. Through meditation, you will be able to become more in tune with yourself.

Why start meditating?


Mindful meditation will help you in many different ways:

  • boost your energy levels all day every day
  • help you find inner peace
  • reduce stress to manageable levels in your work and private life
  • increase your mind and body awareness
  • boost your ability to focus and concentrate in your job
  • improve your sleep quality and being able to fall asleep faster
  • improve your quality of life and well being
  • strengthen your immunity so you get ill less and less
  • reduce chronic pain
  • lower blood pressure
  • will help your heart to stay healthy
  • support you on your weight management journey
  • improve your cognitive flexibility and help you become more creative
  • boost your memory
  • reduce depression and help you get a more positive outlook on life
  • can also support you dealing with anxiety
  • all in all it will help you greatly to enjoy your life at a deeper level!

With so many wonderful gifts meditation can give you, there is no reason to wait another day before starting your practice.

Do you need help getting started with meditation? Ask your corporate yoga instructor to create a joyful meditation for your next corporate yoga class!

Let us help you set up an awesome company yoga program for your organization. Feel free to give us a call at 314-630-1677 and we will be happy to assist you to find the very best wellness program for your special company and employee needs!





Laugh Stress Away

cute-18716_640Is it really possible to laugh stress away? Yes! Laughing is the best medicine!

A good laugh will increase your oxygen intake, stimulate your organs and relax your stress response. Who can think negative thoughts when laughing? No. You will feel happy and that state can even strengthen your immune system. All great benefits to have every day of your life. That is why it is so important to make sure to get your daily dose of smiles and laughs!

If you are having an especially stressful day, use our tips to feel lighter. (Depending on your work situation, you might not want to engage with these tips when you are at your office. What about right before and after your workday?)

Create a humor journal. Gather the funniest jokes and comments which make you laugh out load. When you feel less than energized, just read this journal for a few hearty laughs!

Learn to tell a joke. You might need to practice this skill if you are not a stand-up comedy talent. But once you master this skills, you will be able to entertain your co-workers and lighten up stressful situations at the office.

Can you laugh at yourself? Everybody fails and makes mistakes – don’t take yourself too seriously. People who can actually laugh at themselves have a higher self-esteem compared to those who cannot.

Just smile. Even if you don’t feel laughing out loud, you can still create a big smile on your face. You will feel happier instantly!

Make humor part of your days. Look out for funny films and good jokes. You will be able to find a lot of funny entertainment online, just search Google or YouTube. Set up your own fun channel on YouTube to have your favorites in one place.

Here are 4 videos randomly from our own selection:

No Soup For You! This is a classic that still makes people laugh – from Seinfeld

The weird things couples fight about – so hilarious! Next time you feel stressed with your partner, just watch this together.

Everything is amazing and nobody is happy – in the mood for some comedy?

What is your favorite joke or funny video? Feel free to share it below in the comments section so we can have a good laugh with you!


Aromatherapy To Lessen Stress

blue-69749_640Workplace stress is one of the major stress factors nowadays. It begins in the morning when you dread going to work and never stops till the evening when you are worn out or even feel burned out from spending your time at the office. How sad is this? To be under stress every day with seeing no way out!

What to do when the typical stress advice doesn’t work anymore? When you feel stressed even in a job you love? Even if you close the door to your office to minimize distraction? When reading all the tips you can find online still doesn’t help you get a few stress free minutes per day?

There are some out-of-the-box thinking and practices to manage stress. Here is a great example where aromatherapy was used to help employees decrease their stress levels and increase their job satisfaction.

One recent study has shown that workers in one of the most stressful careers are successfully using aromatherapy at work to deal with their stress.

Imagine working in the cancer treatment field. Each day you’re dealing with life altering situations, where some patients die and you’re dealing with their stress on a day-to-day, hour-by-hour basis. Secondhand stress itself is something that affects us, too.

At the Oncology Nursing Society 39th Annual Congress, a study was presented that showed nurses dealing with cancer patients were able to improve their own health and job performance using aroma diffusers in the office.

This career is one that suffers high turnover. The emotional impact of the job – as well as high demands placed on the workers – causes extreme burnout, so they often quit.

The James Cancer Hospital in Columbus, Ohio conducted the study – using diffusers to dispense essential oils over a 6-week timespan. They strategically placed them at a main nursing station.

They conducted before and after studies of workplace stress and measured four things: worry, demands, tension and lack of joy. Everything improved except lack of joy, but according to the study, that happened to coincide with an unusual number of patient deaths, so that’s understandable – because these nurses are caretakers of their patients.

Do you suffer from workplace stress? Why not try aromatherapy? You might seek out calming scents and invest in a diffuser or other aromatherapy method that won’t interfere with those around you. It could help you see your job in a whole new light.

Here is a detailed article about calming aromatherapy scents: http://stress.about.com/od/generaltechniques/a/aromatherapy_b.htm

The most important calming scents are lavender, rosemary, peppermint, lemon and ylang-ylang. Of course always ask your colleagues if they enjoy the scents, too. Some people have hard time tolerating some scents even if you personally love them. If they are allergic to a scent, your colleagues can get severe headaches and feel sick. So be mindful that you are not adding extra stress to your co-workers life!



Is Stress as Contagious as a Yawn?

baby-19295_640Have you ever seen someone yawn in front of you and instantly felt the need to yawn as well? Have you ever seen a yawn go viral during a boring meeting?

According to new research stress can be as contagious as a yawn. Stress is something we can’t see or hear (like we can a yawn), but it’s something that’s every bit as contagious. Who would have thought that?

Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Cognitive and Brain Sciences and the Technische Universitat Dresden discovered that not only can someone else’s stress seep into your world if you’re in close contact with them, but even watching stress unfold on TV can wreak havoc in your world.

It’s called empathetic stress, and even though you might not know or care about the people on TV, your mind is capable of empathizing with the characters. It is truly amazing how we can get involved with those stories we watch on TV!

Scientists were able to measure the stress hormone cortisol that freely flooded the bodies of those who were around someone else’s stress – even though they, themselves weren’t put into a stressful situation.

During the study, 95% of those confronted with stress experienced higher cortisol levels. But almost 30% of bystanders who were strangers did, too! The number jumps when the stress involves someone you love. If someone close to you is under stress, then you’re 40% more likely to stress out yourself.

How many times do we get involved in stressful situations at work? During demanding meetings, managing an important team project or working through mergers – we are experiencing stressful situations unfold every day.

Even if you are not part of the stressful situation, experiencing the stress your co-workers and managers go through seems to be enough to stress you out!

Affected by contagious stress? Here is what to do:

Give up on the idea that you can “fix” stressful situations your co-workers are experiencing. When requested, it’s okay to offer advice or your help. It is best to learn how to create an invisible barrier around yourself so that you are buffered from other peoples’ stress.

Does this mean that you are a mean person? Just because you refuse being influenced by contagious stress doesn’t mean you don’t have empathy!  Don’t let yourself get mired in trying to make it all better for your colleagues. If you want to, let your co-workers know that you’re there to lend an ear or a shoulder if needed.

If you’re noticing that your stress levels are too high, it’s time to decrease your exposure to outside influences. Stop watching TV all the time, refuse to listen to negative programs on any media and consciously limit your exposure to negative people in real life and on social media.

The calm and relaxed atmosphere we create during a corporate yoga class can be positively contagious, too. Why not give yoga a try at your organization? Call us at 314-630-1677  so we can bring our contagious “stress-less” practices to your company soon!


Stress – It Never Stops

person-246239_640Do you feel that your life is filled to the brim with stress on most days?

It usually begins with hearing the sound of your alarm: time to get up! Have you ever woke up scared and not knowing where you are at hearing that alarm clock? Wanting to hit the snooze button… if only you could find the clock or your phone or whatever you use to signal the end of sleep.

You are on high alert even before getting out of bed. And it is not betting better, either. Your family members are intruding in your space (aka use the bathroom so you have to wait, eating up your breakfast instead of making theirs, and sharing with you the newest to-do list of the day and…and…and…).

By the time you hit the road to enjoy your daily commute, you are stressed deeply. The rest of the day has plenty of situations where your stress response gets tested. And it never stops, does it?

Stress becomes a constant in your life not an exception. “Good stress” that is helping you stay alive in the face of danger is an acute state. What you experience most of the time is the killer non-stop stress.

How can you get a breather during intense periods of stress?

First you need to become aware of the situation you are in. Become aware of the need to step back for a few seconds and realize what is happening. What is causing the stress response? What symptoms you experience in the moment of stress?

The second step is to make a conscious decision to step out of stress’ way. This might mean actually separating yourself from the place of stress. During an argument, you might decide to go to another room or office to remove yourself momentarily from this situation you are in. While driving you could take a short break. I know you might be stressed because you are late already but driving yourself crazy will not get you to your meeting any seconds earlier.

Take a deep breath! I know you hear this advice all the time. But have you tried it? Taking a few deep breaths concentrating on how the air is moving in and out of your lungs is guaranteed to help you to calm down.

Depending on your stress level, you might need to take a few more deep breaths. Do you feel you are wasting your time? No, you don’t. You are helping your body to get back to its normal state. Your thinking becomes clearer as a result and you are able to look for solutions to the issues that caused you the stress to begin with.

If you are able to take a few more minutes away from the stress source, even better.

The reason corporate yoga classes work so wonderfully to cut back on bad stress is that you are “allowed to walk away” for 50-60 minutes. Just imagine having an hour to actively relax your body, brain and nervous system!

Our corporate students return back to their desks rejuvenated and ready to look for solutions through cooperating with their co-workers. This is one benefit that all companies love!

Would your company be interested to create a calm, results-oriented and cooperation-based culture? We would love to help! The solution might be just a phone-call away. Call us at 314-630-1677  to discuss how we can support your organization!


Keeps You Alive While Killing You At The Same Time?

date-62739_640Can you guess? What is this everyday condition that keeps you alive while killing you at the same time?


Stress has kept humankind alive for thousands of years. Without it we might be just ancient history. But now it is out to kill us in several different ways and we all suffer from it.

Even small kids in their kindergarten years are diagnosed with stress and it doesn’t stop until we draw our last breath on Earth.

What is stress exactly?

It is a natural biological mechanism which is designed to help us in critical situations. Not just humans but all mammals enjoy the benefits of stress: the same hormones get activated in the primitive part of the brain.

Fight-of-flight and survive: this is at the depth of this natural phenomenon. And it is a very usual survival tool for animals and humans alike. Run as fast as you can when an unfriendly visitor enters your territory or fight back and send him running – depending on the current situation and the intruder.

Stress influences the whole body. When we are stressed Adrenalin floods our body, heart beat quickens, muscles are ready to flight or fight – the body is on high alert. Then another hormone, Cortisol is released to give extra power to us to master the situation we are in.

All the sense are sharpened, too. This is why we can act so efficient under the spell of stress. A heightened level of attention is given to what is happening around us and even multitasking seems to be a reality.

As you see stress at its core is a very useful to us. The problem begins when from the acute stress (e.g looking at a dog bearing his teeth at you) becomes a constant state of being stressed.

Stress is supposed to last for a limited period of time. You face the danger, your body gets pumped with hormones to solve the situation. You find a solution and act on it and your system returns back to normal. It takes a few minutes before the level of stress hormones begin decreasing in your body and even a few hours before you experience your normal state again. Until you face the next situation that stress you out….

Now think about your life. Just the last hour of today. How many less or more serious frustrating situations did you face in that 60 minutes of time? Take your time and make a list, please.

When does your body have the chance to return back to normal? Some days you are in a constant state of stress and that is what is killing you bit by bit, day by day.

In our new series we want to give you our best advice to deal with constant stress for a healthier you! Check back next week for our next blogpost!

In the meantime, taking a yoga class is an excellent idea to soothe your stress-ridden body and mind! Don’t have corporate yoga classes at your workplace? Call us at 314-630-1677 so we can design the perfect solution for you and your colleagues!



Music to Your Stressed Out Ears


If you cannot escape stress, let’s at least find ways to relieve the situation.

Music can help you cope with everyday stress! It helps to calm your mind and change your mood.

The wonderful impact music has on our lives is known for ages:

“Music has charms to sooth a savage breast, to soften rocks, or bend a knotted oak.” – William Congreve

“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.” – Plato

“The only escape from the miseries of life are music and cats…” – Albert Schweitzer

“Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent” – Victor Hugo

Naturally, it makes a big difference what type of music you decide to listen to at the times of stress.  Hard rock, or fast paced dance music will create the opposite of the experience you are looking for. Your heart rate, your blood pressure might increase while listening to that type of music. Which can be very welcome, of course when you are looking to increase your energy or get into action.

For relaxation try to opt for soothing melodies, soft piano pieces – both classical and modern.

Classical music is known to reduce stress. Did you know that your breathing and heart rate will match the pace of the music you are listening to? Your brain waves are also changing in accordance – gifting you with a few sacred minutes of relaxation and joy.

What if you don’t like classical music? There are a lot of “new age” artists producing relaxation inducing tunes. Don’t forget about jazz – for some people jazz music will also do the trick.

The important thing is that you take a bit of time to explore which music soothes your nerves. Select a few favorites and have a playlist ready to listen to on your iPod. If you have a stereo headphone, you can listen to a few minutes of music even in your office.

One of the best places to explore the music you like and search for new pieces is YouTube. Just search for relaxation music, or new age or classical. You will get a wealth of videos to choose from and listen to. Look for Mozart, Chopin, Tchaikovsky clips.

A few of our favorite music “videos” on YouTube:

Tchaikovsky – Lake in the Moonlight: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_P65WNm48p0

Mozart – Symphony No. 40 in G minor, K. 550 [complete]: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JTc1mDieQI8

Frederic Chopin – Nocturnes complete: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V60USaluxGA

Relaxing Music: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zYe92a4vG-Y

LONG Playlist of Relaxing Soft Piano Music: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vCYk9CRx0g8

Why don’t you spend on evening looking for the best relaxation music for you instead of watching the same old shows on TV? I am sure you will have a much better time and falling asleep like a baby will not be an issue, either.

Please share your favorite relaxing music pieces in the comment section below so our community can benefit from your recommendation! Thank you!



Find a New Way to Respond to Stress!

sunshine-123672_640Let’s continue our series around stress in the workplace! In our last installment we discussed better ways to deal with the source of stress in the office.

Let’s explore ways you can change your stress response!

First I would like to become aware of your typical stress response. What happens when you get a call to appear in his/her office immediately? Or any other stress inducing situation happen? Do you begin sweating? Reach for a piece of chocolate? Feel your heartbeat getting quicker and quicker? Feeling dizzy and weak?

Our stress response is as varied as we are. I encourage you to get awareness for your own response to stress. Try to take just a few seconds and notice what is happening. If you forget to do this when stress is flooding your system, no problem. Try to take a minute after the immediate stress is gone to reflect on what has happened.

Explore new ways to react to stress:

Take a deep breath – immediately as stress hits you. One the typical stress response is taking fast and shallow breaths. Stop the craziness and breathe. Just one deep breath has the power of putting you in a better state of mind.

“It shall pass” – remind youself that whatever causing your stress now will eventually pass.

Ask for time. If you are expected to report to your boss or answer a complex question immediately, try to ask for a few minutes to prepare yourself. Most managers and colleagues will understand the need to gather your thoughts and even appreciate your initiative to come prepared. This way you don’t waste anybody’s time.

Have a buddy. Hopefully there is at least one co-worker in your workplace whom you can totally trust. Buddy up with him/her to support each other. Have a short chat during the workday, take your lunch hour together and vent if you need to. It is better to vent than bottle up all your frustration inside. The important thing is not to stop at venting. After you had those negative emotions out of your system, make a commitment to look for a solution. How can I handle this situation best? What good could come out of what I experience now? How would Bill Gates, Mother Teresa, Gandhi, Madonna (or any of your inspirational heroes) handle this situation?

Bathroom break – there is one place you can escape to if stress is getting unbearable: the bathroom. Take a minute and visit this sanctuary if all else fails. Use this as the last measure, though as you cannot use this escape every time somebody stresses you out. Still, it is perfect if you need a few minutes of undisturbed time to get calm yourself down and gather yourself.

We hope these tips will help you next time you feel stressed out. Please share below in the comment section how you deal with stress on an everyday basis!


How To Deal With Stress In Your Workplace?

stress-111425_640Stress is part of life – there is not much you can do about it! But that doesn’t mean that you must suffer from the different symptoms stress will cause you.

A bit of stress can be actually good for you as many times it adds to your motivation to take some action to get rid of or change the circumstances that add stress to your life. If you feel overwhelmed with your projects at work and feel stress mounting up inside, a healthy stress response would be to go to your manager and ask for help or ask for a new deadline. You take action to solve the issue and this helps to relieve the tension inside.

What happens if you get no support from your manager in that situation or nothing changes even after you asked for help a few times? When you see no way out from a situation, no chance to solve the issue or influence the solutions – a small irritation can turn into a major stressor in your work life.

Too much or constant stress will not only kill your motivation to do your best work, it can threaten your physical and mental health, too.

The first signs of facing a stressor can be procrastination and avoidance. You try everything not to face the reality of the situation, begin procrastinating on projects or missing meetings. The problem with reacting this way is that the problem will not go away. You will have less time and chance of renegotiating with every minute you procrastinate. And this will lead to even more stress. A never ending circle!

In every stress situation there are 2 important factors:

1.the source/cause of stress: the stressor

2.and your reaction to the situation: your stress response.

Let’s look at both factors separately!

You should deal with the source of stress in your life, there is no way around it. You might opt to take pills or herbal medications to deal with your stress response, but if you don’t do something about the source of this problem, the solution you picked might be short-lived.

A few tips:

-before the situation gets out of hand, try to set up a clarifying meeting with your boss. Even if you tried talking with him/her once, try again. Your manager has a vested interest in keeping you motivated and doing the best job you can. Important is that you don’t complain – that rarely solves anything. Concentrate on setting up priorities and renegotiating.

create a better solution. Use the freedom you have in your job and come up with a better work organization. Try out the new solutions, gather proof that your ideas work then share with your manager.

clear expectations. Many times misunderstandings around projects, confusion around the deliverables will lead to much unneeded stress. The only way to deal with this: discuss with your team and create clear, manageable, realistic and measurable goals. A system for follow-ups will help tremendously, too.  

Most important is this: The more proactive you are, the less powerless you feel. The feeling of being able to influence the outcome will decrease stress levels immediately.

In our upcoming blogposts we will look at the options you have to change your stress response and heal the damage stress is causing in your life. Stay tuned to our new articles in the coming weeks!

In the meantime, starting a corporate wellness program is proved to help alleviate stress in the workplace. Please get in contact so we can help you find the best solution for your company’s needs!