Have you heard of companies offering yoga and/or mindfulness classes at work and wondered why? You might be surprised by how essential these classes can be to support the mental and physical health of employees, especially during COVID-19.

According to the American Institute of Stress, 80% of workers feel stressed on the job and half of them say they need help learning how to manage stress. This statement came before COVID-19, so stress levels are much higher now as employees try to work at home in the midst of a crisis.

Copy of ONLINE Yoga for Runners (1)

What impact is stress having on your body and mind?

Stress is our body’s biological response to a threat or challenge. Stress activates our fight or flight response and mobilizes our sympathetic nervous system.

In the short term, this can help us avoid a challenge, gives us an energy boost, and can increase our concentration. However, if the stressor remains and our body continues to have a stress response over an extended period of time it can be detrimental to our mental and physical health.

Symptoms of Chronic Stress:

  • Weakened immune system
  • High blood pressure
  • Chronic pain
  • Fatigue & trouble sleeping
  • Headaches
  • Digestive issues
  • Over or under eating
  • Shrinks the prefrontal cortex (difficulty concentrating and making decisions and decreased ability to deal with stress)

How can we better manage our stress levels when a threat or challenge remains for an extended period of time, such as during COVID-19? The key is giving our bodies breaks by balancing out our response to stress. Mindfulness can help.

Impacts of Mindfulness:

  • Increases energy levels
  • Improves sleep quality
  • Increases self-awareness and self-regulation
  • Decreases stress and anxiety
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Impacts the brain’s neuroplasticity (increases memory, cognitive skills, and ability to deal with stress)

When we practice mindfulness and mindful movement (such as yoga) we learn how to balance our stress response and increase our ability to manage stress.

Mindfulness practices can counter balance our body’s response to stress by activating the parasympathetic nervous system (known for “rest and digest”) decreasing our heart rate, relaxing the muscles, and creating a sense of calm in the body and mind.

The more we practice, the more we benefit, and the more able we are to apply these stress management tools to any stressor we face.

Support the mental and physical health of your employees during COVID-19 by offering virtual wellness sessions. These skills empower employees and companies to manage the challenges we face. For more information email us!

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