These days, it seems like everyone is interested in relaxation techniques and mindfulness practices — even many top employers. If you’re pondering ways to embrace a calmer life, start by remembering why you should make relaxing a top priority in the first place. Hint: it’s not just about enjoying your personal life outside of work. Learning how to relax can make a big impact on your professional life, too.
- You’ll be more able to think positively.
When you’re stressed, it changes the way you see the world around you, and focusing on the negative can really drag you down. However, when you’re relaxed, it’s easier to think more positively, which could do wonders for your career. You’ll be more upbeat, more energized, and more willing to face the challenges of the day with a good attitude and determination.
- You’ll be more productive.
It can be difficult to feel relaxed when there is so much to do. However, dashing from one task to the next actually isn’t the best way to get things done. Instead, when you settle in with one to-do item without worrying about the dozens of other things you also need to do, your ability to focus will improve, and you’ll be more productive.
In fact, a growing body of research affirms that “strategic renewal” (midday workouts, more sleep, regular breaks after periods of focus, longer/more frequent vacations, etc.,) improves health, productivity, and ultimately job performance.
- You’ll help others feel and act more relaxed, too.
Another really important reason to try and relax a little more is that it will inspire those around you to do the same. Emotions are contagious, in a way. That’s why negative people around the office are so toxic — their negative attitude rubs off on others. The good news is that the same is true in reverse. When you’re feeling and acting more relaxed, you’ll inspire others to follow your lead, and that could benefit both you and your work environment.
- It will improve your problem-solving abilities and heighten your creativity.
When you’re relaxed, you think differently. You’re better able to settle into creative and problem-solving challenges when your brain isn’t working so hard to combat your stress. When you feel settled and comfortable, you work through problems and apply your creativity differently than you would otherwise. Flow state is more accessible when you’re at your best, and that’s been shown to heighten creative capacity and improve performance generally.
- Relaxation gets easier.
Learning how to relax takes practice, but as you gain experience with applying various techniques and experiencing their awesome consequences, it gets easier and easier. It’s hard to change habits of mind, so once you’ve learned to manage your challenges differently and relax a little more, it will be difficult to ever give it up.
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