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Today we have a guest post from Gina M. Casillo. Gina is a staff writer for Serenity Living Stores, an online vendor of popular furniture. She enjoys writing about home décor – especially when it comes to the spaces she’s most intimate with.

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Regardless of whether you work in a cubicle, your own corner office or from home like I do, sitting at a desk for more than 4 hours a day can be stressful on your body and mind. Realistically, most of us spend over 40 hours at our desk in office settings. To top it off, our days are chock-full of stressors – from looming deadlines and annoying coworkers to overtime hours and demanding bosses. As the stress from this variety of sources builds and builds, you’re bound to explode.

You likely already know or have seen the result of too much stress firsthand (especially if you work in this sort of environment). Severe, unmanaged stress can lead to high blood pressure, ulcers, digestive issues and even heart attacks. That’s why stress relief is very important for your health. The following stress-busting tips will help you lead not only a healthier life but a happier one:

1. Take frequent breathers.

Sometimes all it takes to turn down the dial on a stressful moment in your day is a short walk to shake off whatever is ailing you. Getting a quick bout of fresh air outside a few times each day can drastically reduce your stress levels.

In fact, when I worked in a cubicle city, my own doctor suggested that I make a point of getting up from my desk and walking around the office every hour. I used this time to get a drink of water or a coffee, go to the bathroom or say hello to a co-worker. Standing up and walking away from your work frequently throughout the day lets you return rejuvenated and clear-headed. As a result, you are much more productive.

2. Get stretchy.

I’m not talking about a full downward-facing dog but a few simple neck, back, arm and leg stretches, which will get the blood circulating and relieve physical stress on your lower back and other common pain areas for desk workers.

3. Walk at lunch.

Most office workers don’t have time to go to the gym over their lunch hour. However, a good, lengthy trek might do the trick. Why not invite a few friends along and make this a routine? Getting out of the office for a 30-minute walk will reinvigorate your body and mind. Choose to walk in an interesting, relaxing environment like a park or hiking trail and enjoy the surroundings and healthy conversation.

4. Play some of your favorite tunes.

Music soothes the soul, right? Playing music at work can help you relax and unwind. I use my iPod to lightly play music in the background while I write, but at work, you could grab your favorite set of headphones and listen to a satellite radio station or a YouTube mix.

5. Don’t be afraid to say no.

It’s human nature to take on more than we can handle so as not to disappoint others – particularly our families, bosses, coworkers and friends. Don’t be afraid to say no if your plate is just too full. Keep the lines of communication open with your boss and be honest if you’re feeling overwhelmed.

Photo credit: asphericlens

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