Easy, cheap way to defuse workplace tension: Just breathe

Thursday - 9/1/2011, 10:12am EDT

Mary Mitchell, The Mitchell Organization

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Fear during uncertain times can create tension that might lead to backbiting and snapping in the office.

However, there are ways that managers and workers can make their working environment a more pleasant, professional place.

Mary Mitchell, the president of The Mitchell Organization, a training and consulting practice that focuses on workplace etiquette and professional behavior, said worries about the economy — and natural disasters — often lead to fear. And that leads to stress.

But there's a simple remedy to combat some of that stress: breathe.

Just one or two deep breaths "can re-focus you, recenter you, kind of reset your dials," Mitchell said,"and then you move forward."

And even in today's fast-paced work life, "everybody can afford one or two deep breaths," she added.