Bad days are an unfortunate part of life. For many of us, the stress can linger long after we return home and, while we yearn to just relax, more often than not we are still holding onto negative energy. It’s not just limited to the workforce, either. Many people return home from the office and must care for children or tasks around the house, which can increase stress and possibly negative energy. It may not be possible to eliminate stress entirely, but here are five ways you can reduce negative energy during the day, and avoid bringing it home with you.
Take a Deep Breath
Start your day off with a deep breath when you arrive at the office. It’s too easy to dive right into work when we arrive, but try to take 30 seconds after you sit down to close your eyes, take a deep breath, and let it out slowly. Set the intention to leave your energy – good or bad – from the day there.
Focus Your Energy on an Object
This may seem a little silly at first, but it does work. Pick an object, such as a coffee cup, where you can “store” all of your energy for the day. Imagine all of the day’s energy flowing out of your body and into your chosen object, where it can stay safe for you until another time.
Leave it at the Door
When you leave your workspace for the day, see the door as a physical marker of transition. Once you pass through that door, everything that you’ve mentally carried with you for the day should stay behind. This includes any stress, negative thoughts, thoughts of all you have to do at work, and whatever else will prevent you from relaxing and separating work from home.
I am a firm believer in meditation. It’s helped me through countless stressful situations, and it really helps me feel grounded and calmer. As someone who struggles with anxiety, meditation has been a life saver in preventing panic attacks. If meditation isn’t your thing, give stretching a try. Spend five minutes before or after your day and perform a stretching routine. It helps to physically relax you and can help ease the physical side effects of stress.
Whether you practice aloud or prefer to keep a gratitude journal, spending a few minutes each day to list out what you are grateful for helps to reinforce the good, and can help you place less emphasis on the bad. Oftentimes, when I list out five things I’m grateful for (and it can be as much or as little as you want) I tend to spend more time focusing on the good and brush the negative feelings aside. It’s especially helpful to practice this the last few minutes of your workday so you can leave any negative feelings there, but before bed is also a great time to practice gratitude.