This strategy requires practice ahead of time! Learn and practice this strategy when you are calm.
What are they? Muscle relaxation exercises mean that you tense muscles in your body and then slowly release the tension. You usually do one body part at a time and move through the different parts of your body. For example, you might tense and relax your shoulders, then left arm, then right arm, and so on, throughout your body.
Why? Not only does muscle relaxation calm your body, but it also makes your mind focus on something else. Instead of thinking about what upset you, you concentrate on your muscles.
How long? These exercises could last anywhere from 5 to 30 minutes. Keep in mind that when you are at work, you may not be able to take a 30 minute break. Set a timer (on your watch, computer, or cell phone, for example) for however long you are going to do these exercises- maybe 5-10 minutes. This way you will have a reminder to get back to work.
Where? You will need a quiet and perhaps private place to do these exercises. You might do these exercises at your desk, in a restroom, in your car, outside, or in the break room.
How? Check out this demonstration of muscle tension and release exercises.
Check out our printable visual aids for help: