The Single Greatest Way to Stifle Stress at Work

In one simple exercise.

We've all been there. You missed the early train to work, you bombed your first meeting of the day, and you totally forgot that lunch with your best client. And right when you started gettings stuff done, you all of a sudden remembered that you need to pick up your kids from school. Yeah, you're stressed out.

Whenever life's like this and you feel your temperature slowly rising, we recommend a single exercise you can do right by your desk that triggers the release of calming neurotransmitters in your brain. It's called the "cherry pick."

Here's how to do it: rise up on your toes and reach as high as you can with your left arm, imagining you're picking a cherry off a tree branch. Hold for a second, breathing deeply, and then lower your arm; repeat with your right. Continue for about 60 seconds, trying to reach a little higher each time. Relax for a minute; then do two more sets.

How this helps: German researchers discovered that men under stress have high levels of the hormone cortisol in their bloodstreams, and they performed worse in memory tests. This exercise may help flush cortisol by loosening tight muscles and bringing oxygen-rich blood to the brain so you can think more clearly under pressure.

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