Feeling Stressed at Work? Boost Your Mood with These 4 Simple Techniques

Implementing these 4 simple mood-boosting techniques will improve your mood and increase your productivity at work.

A Stressed Businessperson Sitting at a Desk
A person stressed at work

You're stuck at your desk, ploughing through a project that's due in two hours, and you can't focus. Your mind is racing faster than your fingers can type, and you feel the tension in your shoulders starting to creep up. You're getting stressed, and it's affecting your productivity.

This is a common feeling in the workplace. And just like you, about 60% of people globally also feel "emotionally detached" at work.  

But, despite what some may think, controlling your emotions at work is possible if you know how.

The good news is that there are proven techniques that can boost your mood and make a big difference in how well you handle challenges at work.

So what can you do to combat stress and boost your mood at work?

Read on to learn 4 simple mood-boosting activities that can swing you back in action.

Image of a woman holding a paper with text "Take a breather"
Take a break

Take a breather

Have you been staring at your screen, reading the same line over and over again? Or is your mind wandering all over the place, and you're not sure what to do next?

It's time to take a breather.

This will relax your mind, release built-up tension in your body, and help you gather your thoughts. It'll also give you the opportunity to step away from the demands and pressures of work.

You’ll notice that when you're stressed out and anxious, it's harder for you to focus on work and other responsibilities. But when you take a break, you’ll get a renewed energy and fresh perspective when you get back to your tasks.

However, it's important to find a balance between work and relaxation, so you don’t get overwhelmed by either.

Try any of these to improve your mood at work:

  • Go for a stroll: You can take short breaks throughout the day–several minutes at a time–to get up and stretch your legs. Or simply walk around before returning to your desk to continue working.
  • Rest your eyes: Get up from your desk occasionally and find a quiet place to rest your eyes. Doing this will keep your eyes from getting dry or tired from staring at a computer screen all day long (which leads to headaches).
  • Chat with a colleague: Chatting can serve as a distraction from work tasks and give you the opportunity to vent about any frustrations. It can also help you build closeness and a sense of support within the workplace. Plus, you can brainstorm solutions with a colleague or come up with new ideas to complete your tasks.
  • Practise deep breathing exercises: By calming the nervous system and promoting relaxation, deep breathing exercises can help you reduce stress. It can also improve your focus and clarity of thought, which helps you solve problems better. Its oxygenating effect improves your blood circulation, leading to physical relaxation in the body.
  • Go for lunch break: It's important that you eat every few hours during the day, so taking a lunch break can be beneficial for your body and mind. If possible, go outside to get some fresh air and take some time away from the office environment.
  • Listen to calming music: Calming music can reduce your stress and anxiety levels, increase feelings of relaxation, and improve your overall mood and mental well-being. It can also serve as a distraction from negative thoughts and help shift your focus or mindset to something more positive.

Related: 30+? Increase your productivity at work with these 5 essential vitamins


Meditate when you feel stressed

Are you feeling anxious, or do you just need to refocus your attention on work? Take a few minutes to meditate.

You’ll feel less stressed and anxious after meditating because your brain and body will relax. It'll also lower your blood pressure and heart rate, which in turn reduces levels of stress hormones like cortisol in your body.

That’s not all.

With meditation, you'll feel happier and calmer, and this can improve your focus and concentration.  

The goal of meditation is to be one with your thoughts, feelings, and surroundings.

Below are three common meditations you can do to reduce stress:

  1. Breathing meditation - This is one of the easiest ways to meditate because you can do it anywhere and at any time. Simply take a few deep breaths through your nose and out through your mouth for a few minutes until you feel relaxed.
  2. Body scan meditation - This meditation involves focusing on specific parts of your body, such as your arms or toes, while repeating a mantra (positive affirmation) over that part until you feel calm. If that body part isn’t working, or you find your mind drifting away, switch to another part of your body until you feel calm again.
  3. Mindfulness meditation - When doing this type of meditation, you’ll need to focus your thoughts on an object, an activity, person, or place to calm your mind. The point is to allow you gain a deeper understanding of your “present”.

Follow these simple tips to improve your mood with meditation

  • Find a quiet space where you won't be disturbed
  • Sit or lay comfortably, and focus on your breathing
  • Slowly inhale and exhale, releasing any tension in your body
  • You can also try repeating a mantra or guided meditation
  • Start with just a few minutes a day and gradually increase the time you spend meditating.
A woman drinking water while working on a laptop
Drinking water while working

Hydration can boost your mood naturally

Drinking water is a simple yet often overlooked way to improve your mood at work. Because it helps your body function at its best.  

When you stay hydrated, your body will produce more serotonin and dopamine. More serotonin means an increase in happiness and regulated appetite. While more dopamine will keep you more alert, focused, and motivated.

It doesn't stop there.

Staying hydrated helps regulate your body temperature, keeping you from getting too hot or too cold, which can also affect your mood and productivity.

It can also help you manage stress at work. Because hydration keeps your stress levels in check by providing the necessary fuel for your bodies to function effectively under pressure.

NOTE: If you're dehydrated, you can experience symptoms like headaches, fatigue, and even decreased cognitive function. It can cause your cells to start breaking down, and begin to malfunction, which can dampen your mood and affect productivity at work.

Useful read: Multivitamins: Importance and how to choose the best for you

A woman and her colleague laughing while working
Photo by Surface / Unsplash

Don't forget to laugh

Laughter is a natural mood booster. It releases endorphins, the feel-good hormones in the brain, which reduces stress hormones.

So, when you want to improve your morale and productivity at work, do something that makes you laugh. Because it helps you relieve stress, anger, and anxiety.

And it can also help you feel more confident in your job and help you concentrate better.

But how do you laugh if you don't know what to do?

To laugh more frequently, you can:

  • Tell jokes - Doing this can boost your mood, because you’ll get to take your mind off things when in a bad mood or stressed. You can tell jokes during casual conversations or in dedicated sessions like team lunch or after-work happy hour.
  • Watch funny videos - Watching funny videos or browsing through comedic memes can also lighten the mood and bring some humour to your work. You can find plenty of funny clips on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, TikTok and YouTube that will make you laugh without even trying!
  • Engage in funny activities: Activities that induce natural laughter, such as sports or games, can have a positive impact on your mood.

Essential Vitamins Plan

Contains mood-boosting vitamins to increase productivity at work


If all else fails, what should you do?

An alternative to managing stress at work is to try energy-boosting medications, such as vitamins and supplements. While they may not address the root cause of your stress, they can provide temporary relief and increased energy to help you power through a difficult day.

However, it’s important to be cautious about relying on medication for mood enhancement. It's also recommended to consult a healthcare professional before starting any new medication.

Additionally, combining medication with other stress management techniques, such as exercise and mindfulness practises, can be more effective in the long term.

The end goal is for you to be happy, so you can be more productive, creative, and positive.