(1) Physical Relaxation through Tension Release
Strategies that facilitate the release of tension are mindful breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, meditation, or yoga. Applying these techniques seems to decrease employees’ stress levels as well as to improve employees’ sleep quality and inner balance (Wolever et al., 2012). Effective tension release contributed to greater well-being (as measured through increases in one’s job satisfaction and life satisfaction) only when the person who used such tension release strategies was not a high-self-leader. If a person was a high self-leader (that is, he or she used a lot of self-leadership strategies (i.e., strategies to create constructive thoughts, effective behaviors, and intrinsic rewards), the high use of self-leadership strategies explained why the person also experienced satisfaction with their personal life as well as on the job.
(2) The Pursuit of a Healthy Diet
Employees’ access to healthy nutrition is frequently addressed by organizations’ comprehensive wellness programs. Such wellness programs tend to be evaluated by whether or not they increase employees’ job satisfaction and performance (Parks & Steelman, 2008). Comprehensive wellness programs ordinarily consist of interventions to increase employees’ engagement in physical activity and provide information about healthy dieting and nutrition. A meta-analyses of wellness programs revealed that employees who engaged in physical vitality activities showed a decreased level of absenteeism and increased level of job satisfaction (Parks & Steelman, 2008). Due to the lack of empirical studies one can only speculate about the outcomes of dietary interventions, such as the sustainability of physical exercise and/or healthy food intake, or the impact of (un)successful healthy dieting on well-being.
(3) Physical Exercise
Physical exercise seemed to buffer the negative effects associated with stress (Gerber & Pühse, 2009). Specifically, physical exercise seems to act as a coping mechanism to deal with critical life events and demands placed on an individual in today’s complex work and personal environments (Cooper & Berwick 2001; Gerber et al., 2010). Crone et al. (2005) reported that individuals who exercised more frequently exhibited enhanced coping with all aspects of their life, especially critical life events occurring on the job and at home. Sonnentag and Bayer (2005) found that employees who moderately exercised in the evening reported enhanced positive mood and general well-being. Meta-analyses by Crews and Landers (1987) and Wipfli et al. (2008) showed that physically fit individuals reacted less psychosocially aversive to stressful events compared to control groups. Individuals who exercised interpreted stressful events differently and reported a greater sense of control of their lives than individuals who did not exercise (e.g., Buckaloo et al., 2009; Ritvanen et al., 2007; Norris et al., 1990). While the aforementioned research may have sufficiently explored the relationship of physical exercise and stress management, the impact of physical vitality on one’s well-being (i.e., one’s job satisfaction and life satisfaction (Diener, 1994; Wright, 2014)) has received less attention (e.g., Alexopoulos et al. 2014; Frew & Bruning, 1988; Ruffieux et al., 2014).
Although the exact mechanisms may be unclear, there is ample evidence that exercise, healthy nutrition, and effective tension release may buffer the negative effects of stress on a variety of outcomes (e.g., Buckaloo et al., 2009; Ritvanen et al., 2007; Norris et al., 1990; Parks & Steelman, 2008; Wolever et al., 2012; Alexopoulos et al. 2014; Frew & Bruning, 1988; Ruffieux et al., 2014).