There's a lot of stress at work these days, which are why things like yoga and mindfulness are such popular topics.
But new research finds that deep breathing and downward-facing dog aren't enough to really reduce worker stress -- it's on-the-job learning that may lead to better outcomes.
Specifically, the University of Michigan finds that workers felt better -- and exhibited less troublesome behavior -- when they were learning something new as opposed to using relaxation techniques.
“When an individual comes out of relaxation activities at work and realizes the stressful situation hasn’t changed, it may generate frustration and reverse the benefits of relaxation," says one researcher.
While relaxation can help workers feel more refreshed and calmer, it doesn't do much to quell rude behavior, blabbing confidential company information or even taking company property, researchers say. Workers who were learning new things, however, exhibited much less of that kind of problem behavior, the study finds.
The lesson is that managers may want to incorporate learning into even the most routine jobs in order to lessen stress and promote better behavior in their teams. In addition, those who feel stressed by their workplaces may want to explore new learning on their own to help battle their anxiety.