8 Stress Breakers That Actually Work

If you’ve never been overwhelmed by stress, you can stop reading this now. For everyone else, know that you’re not alone. Because EAs are skilled problem solvers, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that they rank high on the list for most stressed in a company. All EAs can benefit from a few extra tricks to keeping cool. With so much advice being shared online, who has the real solutions? Here at ELS, we’ve been curious to hear some of the most effective and efficient stress relievers for executives, EAs, and everyone in between.

Take a Walk

We’ve all heard or seen the trends for standing desks. While many professionals might see that practice as torturous, allowing your body to stretch and move can have a significant impact on your health. Keeping an active lifestyle outside of the office has also been shown to reduce stress while working. According to the British Heart Foundation, studies have shown that individual work performance can be improved by up to 15% when people engage in regular physical activity. Not a fitness junky? No need to worry, even a simple lap around the office can do wonders for your mood.

Find a Laugh

It may seem childish to make yourself laugh, but it’s really no joke. Laughing can lead to physical reactions in the body that can boost your mood, lower your immune system, and even diminish physical pain. There is ample evidence to this phenomena. According to the Mayo Clinic, “A rollicking laugh fires up and then cools down your stress response, and it can increase your heart rate and blood pressure. The result? A good, relaxed feeling”.

Play Your Jams

Historically, listening to music at work has been frowned upon, but today many managers have learned to embrace its benefits. From the one ear in policy to office dance parties that boost morale, music has shown to be a powerful motivator that produces tangible results. Just make sure you listen to your music at a reasonable volume. You wouldn’t want to run into the same issues as Milton from the classic film “Office Space.”

Treat Yourself

It’s so easy to get into a regular routine for lunch. You might bring your lunch to work or have your favorite spot on the corner. However, treating yourself to something extra on a particularly stressful day can help break your attitude. Treating co-workers can also be a fun way to release stress for yourself. This practice can also be a great way to maintain friendly relations with the colleges you rely on most.


Meditation means different things for all types of people. Meditation could be as simple to as a few deep breaths, to immersing yourself in a dark quiet room. Cultures from across the world have used various methods of meditation to focus and clear their mind. If we stop and listen, we can learn to integrate their techniques into our daily routines. According to Medicinenet, training our bodies on a regular basis to achieve this state of relaxation can lead to enhanced mood, lower blood pressure, and reduction of lifestyle stress. New to meditation? Check out these 5 simple methods to relax without leaving your desk!

Discover Your Happy Clip

We all have the one video, no matter how silly it is, just makes us warm and fuzzy inside. Whether it’s hilarious dog video, stand up bit, or just a goofy selfie, discovering your happy clip is essential for quick acting stress relief. Keep it handy on your personal phone or tablet for easy quick viewing when you need a pick-me-up.

Kick the Caffeine

Giving up caffeine might seem like a giant step to reduce stress, but it may be the root cause of your daily anxiety. Due to its frequent use and popularity, it would be easy to forget that caffeine is a powerful drug. According to Precision Nutrition, caffeinated beverages directly raise your cortisol levels, which many claim as the “stress hormone.” Its initial rush can you have feeling buzzed, but will eventually lead to a low after a couple hours of consumption. If you’re concerned you will be missing the kick to start the day, try eating a breakfast that’s high in protein. Need to limit your protein intake? Review these 7 tips for gaining energy fast.

Reach out

If something is triggering constant stress, never hesitate to reach out to someone you trust. This may feel juvenile or weak, but it can become vitally important to improving your mental health. If the source of stress is related to work, first reach out to an independent ally to talk it through. If you do decide to approach your executive, make sure you organize your thoughts before that conversation.

Identify the root of your stress, and express possible solutions or alternatives that would help you relax. If the source of stress is a fellow co-worker, contemplate ways to work it out with them before turning to your executive. Although, there are some sources stress that shouldn’t be tossed under the rug. Sexual violence, harassment, or workplace bullying should be immediately dealt with. Allowing these issues to go unreported can make your stress level exponentially worse. To learn more about workplace bullying, check out Bonnie Low-Kramen’s article here.

Everyone deals with stress differently. The important thing to remember is there are multiple methods for controlling and reducing it. If none of these methods work for you, keep looking and keep trying. Today’s executive assistants are expected to make the impossible possible, but even these office superheroes sometimes need some internal rescuing.