Can you remember all the way back to when you were a little kid in school? Try to recall how much your enjoyed your daily recess breaks. Teachers understand that energetic and lively kids do a lot better when they come back to class after an entertaining play break. The same philosophy applies to adults at work, too. Here are several interesting ways grownups can relieve employee stress and get along better with co-workers, as well.

What stress does to your body and brain

A heavy workload, money worries and other daily woes can cause big stress, says Mayo Clinic. The brain perceives just about all threats the same, whether it’s a negative bank statement or a barking, snarling dog. When the hypothalamus is triggered, your body goes into fight-or-flight mode. Hormones surge through your bloodstream and the adrenal glands atop your kidneys release cortisol, adrenaline and other reactive chemicals. When your brain feels stressed, your heartbeat races and your blood pressure elevates.

Stress can cause myriad unpleasant symptoms, some of which may be life-threatening. Headaches, high blood pressure, anxiety and depression are commonly exacerbated by stress. Restlessness, aggravation and an overall sense of ill ease take over, leaving a person unable to do their day-to-day tasks with any sort of joy.

Grownup ways to take a stress load off

Have you ever noticed how dental offices, doctors offices and medical clinics often feature a fish tank in the waiting room? There’s psychology behind that. When stressed people, such as people worrying about a medical procedure, tend to calm down when watching colorful fish swim lazily back and forth.

Relaxation experts at TalentSpace magazine suggest that bosses install a game room in the workplace. When employees spend break time playing a friendly game of ping pong or other table game, they tend to get along better and be more productive, too. Decorating the office for holidays can be a fun project for co-workers and can lower stress levels, too. Go for a walk, play with Legos or another childhood toy or pick up an instrument and play your stress away. In the summertime, treat yourself and your office staff to double-dip ice cream cones.

Art is another great stress reliever

If you want to calm yourself in a beautiful way, do something artistic. Dig out your sketchbook, sharpen your colored pencils and make an illustration. If you think you can’t make art, think again. There are a number of cool apps for smartphones that offer pre-drawn images that you simply color in. Mandalas are geometric designs that are especially enchanting stress relievers. Apalon makes a free Android app that you can use to ditch stress anytime, anywhere. This mandala coloring book app can be found at Google Play and doesn’t cost a penny.

Don’t let stress hurt you. These days, we all have plenty to fret about. Fortunately, we also have all sorts of good, natural ways to alleviate anxiety while making something beautiful.

Mark Rogers writes about creating a happy and healthy workforce where the team spirit and morale is high.