Stress Relief is as Close as Your Breath
With so much information on how to find stress relief, we can get overwhelmed just trying to find relief! The simplest methods are usually the best and one simple and easy stress relief method that anyone can do without any special equipment is using their breath.
You know it's gonna be one of those days. Your e-mail in-box is full of messages that need your attention. The phone is ringing off the hook and the boss is looking for that project you were supposed to complete in a week but instead he wants it now. You feel overwhelmed with everything that needs your attention and you don't know where to start. This scenario is repeated in countless offices and workplaces across the country. No wonder we are a nation of stressed out people looking for relief. With so much information on how to find stress relief, we can get overwhelmed just trying to find relief! The simplest methods are usually the best and one simple and easy stress relief method that anyone can do without any special equipment is using their breath.
Stress leads to quick, shallow breathing which can then becomes a habit. Some studies have shown that a fast breathing rate is linked to high blood pressure. Other studies show that anxiety sufferers tend to take shallow breaths from their chest. This can lead to hyperventilation. Hyperventilation is taking in more breaths than the body needs. It causes a loss of carbon dioxide in the blood and can result in intense physical symptoms that are very similar to panic attacks.
Stress relief can be achieved by bringing conscious attention to our breath, lengthening and deepening the drawing in of oxygen which nourishes every cell of our body and promotes relaxation. Prolonged exhalation helps get rid of stale air and toxins in our lungs. Deep breathing is effective for stress relief as it helps lower blood pressure, relax the muscles, and slow your heart and respiration rate. It also prevents stress from building up, reduces insomnia and fatigue and reduces general anxiety. It increases your energy level and helps you turn off analytical thinking and racing thoughts. Deep breathing counteracts the physical and mental affects of the fight or flight response which is the mode our body goes into when we are under stress. Deep breathing can also reduce anxiety when it strikes. When practiced regularly for stress relief, the physical and mental benefits of deep breathing may also help prevent anxiety.
The following is a simple exercise you can do to relieve stress. Begin by sitting or lying comfortably. Breathe in slowly and deeply through your nose, counting to six. Hold this breath while slowly counting to six. Exhale slowly through your mouth, slowly counting to eight. Concentrate on counting and your breath. Feel you lungs fill up with air. Feel your heart rate slow. By exhaling more breath than you inhale, you cleanse all the stale air held in your lungs. Feel the relaxation deep breathing brings. Repeat this exercise several times.
Breathing for stress relief is simple. Wherever you are, whatever you are doing you are always breathing! Making deep breathing a habit whenever you think of it will help you feel instant relaxation and you won't get stressed out in otherwise tense situations.
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