Stress relief programs in the workplace

The health and happiness of employees directly influences work output. Considering how much time an average employee spends in the office, fostering wellness in the workplace is a no-brainer. There are explanations of common stressors your employees experience and how incorporating workplace wellness programs can increase the well-being of employees both in and out of the office.

Common Stressors

Employees experience stress caused by both personal and professional situations. According to a MediKeeper survey, the top identified stressors in 2016 were:

  • Financial worries
  • Concerns over family life
  • Feeling overworked
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Concerns over child’s performance, habits, or behavior
  • Concerns over job security
  • Family members and/or close friends experiencing illness
  • Worries about personal health or injuries
  • Recent career or job changes
  • Worries about a current personal relationship

How Workplace Wellness Programs Can Help

Various wellness programs can ease these stressors listed. The same MediKeeper survey found that while nationwide stress levels are on the rise, their 3 million respondents, who have growing access to workplace wellness programs, reported a decline in overall stress at work and home. Over the survey’s three-year period (2014-2016), the percentage of respondents who reported their current stress level as the lowest increased by 58 percent, and the highest decreased by 39 percent — a key finding that supports the effectiveness of growing workplace wellness programs.

Physical and mental assistance and encouragement is an important part of reducing tension and achieving professional goals for everyone in the workplace. Offering employer-sponsored workplace wellness programs may reduce stress and benefit your business or corporation by:

  • Improving employee health behaviors. Exercise and healthy eating are essential to stress relief and metabolizing cortisol, the stress hormone. If employees are working long hours and have a busy family life at home, access to fitness and healthy eating choices can go a long way.
  • Reducing employee health risks and healthcare costs. The healthier your employees are, the less likely a serious condition will arise.
  • Improving productivity and attendance. On-site options that reduce common stressors boost energy and quality of work while reducing absenteeism.
  • Recruiting top talent. Competitive wellness benefits are paramount to retaining and attracting employees. Building talented teams and reducing employee turnover is key to a successful, stress-free work environment.

Workplace Wellness Examples

Employers must choose wellness programs that suit their employee demographic and workplace lifestyle. Some examples of programs that might relieve employees’ lifestyle stress and, in turn, enrich their experience and performance at work are:

  • On-site fitness. Options like weekly yoga/fitness classes or in-house/nearby gym memberships can spike workplace morale and employee energy.
  • Lifestyle coaching. Resident psychologists or therapists or programs such as smoking cessation or nutritional counseling will encourage healthy choices and mental stability.
  • Transportation. Consider reimbursing or discounting transit options or implementing bike- or ride-sharing programs or incentives.
  • Lunch or snacks. Encouraging healthy eating habits will reduce mid-day energy crashes and reduce employees’ stress of finding (and funding) food.
  • Relaxation opportunities. Provide numerous break rooms or meditation areas to encourage productive socialization and mini recharging breaks throughout the day.

Offering your employees a wellness program is one way to communicate that you’re invested in their contribution to your company and their overall health. Employee morale increases as stress decreases, and providing opportunities for physical and mental tuning, creative expression, and achieving and surpassing goals gives them the resources to succeed.

Canopy Health Is Committed to Employee Health

The well-being of your employees is important to us at Canopy Health. We know what attracts and retains healthy employees: refreshingly clear, human care that is available where our members live, work, and play. With thousands of primary care physicians and specialists across seven counties in the Bay Area, your workplace wellness goals are achievable.


Stress Levels in the Workplace Are on the Decline. (2017, January 23). MediKeeper. Retrieved from

Stress is a sneaky and malicious entity. It can be present without you even realizing it – causing your mind and body to activate innate, near-instantaneous mechanisms that trigger you to react to a perceived ‘threat.’

While it can be rare for an individual on an average day to find themselves in a true life-threatening situation where the widely-known “fight-or-flight” response takes over, it’s incredibly common in today’s fast-paced, highly competitive, and stressful work environments for employees to endure these hormonal and physiological reactions.

Stress in the Workplace

From demanding clients, colleagues and managers to deadlines, sales, and budgets, it doesn’t matter what title you hold or what industry you’re in, the workplace is stressful.

As an HR professional, it’s vital to know just how stressful. According to the American Institute of Stress:


Above all, 80% of the workforce feels stress at their job and about half of all working individuals need help with managing this stress.1 

Stress Management Training for Employees

More than lost productivity, and in conjunction with an increased spend on health care, stress is costing the average working American their health, demeanor, and outlook; indeed, their overall quality of life.

The stress workers feel at the office undoubtedly follows them home, and the stress they feel in their personal lives certainly travels to work with them. 

It’s a vicious cycle that affects sleep patterns, eating habits, weight, attitude, performance, and so much more. Without reining stress levels in and keeping them in check, stress takes a significant toll on the body. 

According to Harvard Health, chronic stress leads to high blood pressure, attributes to the formation of artery-clogging deposits, and causes chemical reactions and changes in the brain that may cause anxiety, depression and addiction.

Additionally, persistent stress may also lead to obesity, from both eating too much (poor eating habits caused by stress) and not sleeping and exercising enough (poor sleep regimes and exercise routines caused by stress).3

For these reasons, and countless others, creating a culture of health and wellness has never been more important.

And, keep in mind, a culture of health and wellness is so much more than providing more vacation or sick days, and goes beyond offering more comprehensive insurance.

A culture of health and wellness is about empowering employees with the tools and skills needed to face life’s inevitable, everyday stressors, demands and challenges. It is about teaching them how to adjust their perspective and the way they think, and change how they react to ‘threatening’ – or tense, overwhelming, pressure-filled, nerve-wracking – situations and circumstances.

Stress management training for employees can play a huge role in helping an individual take back control of their life, in and outside of work.

Top Stress Management Skills to Promote

You know your organization better than anyone. When it comes to stress management, what kind of support would your workforce benefit from the most?

Before implementing a stress management training for employees, or a full-fledged wellness program, be sure its main focus is to permanently eliminate the root cause of unwanted stress and behaviors that lead to health issues.

The most effective trainings and programs are comprehensive in nature and thoroughly focus on stress management skills in a wide-array of topics, such as:

  • Nutrition: Gain power over food and lose weight naturally.
  • Tobacco: Break free from tobacco addiction.
  • Stress: Create a sense of calm and resilience.
  • Fitness: Learn to love exercise one step at a time.
  • Diabetes: Manage diabetes in a new, empowering way.
  • Alcohol: Manage alcohol use and gain control.
  • Sleep: Address destructive sleep patterns or insomnia. 

Adequately addressing and learning stress management skills in vital and high-risk areas of life can help individuals break down self-defeating beliefs, thought patterns and emotional dependencies that drive stress, anxiety, and unhealthy behaviors.

Implementing a stress management program has been shown to help employees replace the negative, destructive thoughts and actions that drive stress with empowering beliefs, rational emotional responses, and healthy behavior patterns.

A Personalized Stress Management Program in the Workplace that Empowers Behavior Change in Your Team

Stress may be largely unavoidable in the workplace but allowing it to run rampant and adversely affect your workforce is preventable.

Through Bravo’s uniquely structured cognitive behavioral training through Online Health University, your workforce can learn how to reframe their stress and completely transform the way they think, act and behave. Our online and telephonic coaching solutions can help employees manage their stress and reduce associated health risks, like high blood pressure.


Learn how integrating wellness in the workplace can help your organization overcome industry challenges. Download our Wellness in the Workplace Guide to find out how you can overcome industry-specific challenges and cultural barriers to well-being.



1  The American Institute of Stress. Workplace Stress. Accessed December 10, 2018.

2 Tiny Pulse. 11 Shocking Stats About Stress at Work and How to Remedy Them. Accessed December 10, 2018.

3 Harvard Health. Understanding the Stress Response. Accessed December 10, 2018.

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