Stress Management With
In todays busy times it seems like there is no escaping
stress. The demands of work, home, family and society not to
mention being bombarded with negative images and news of
tragedy from the many media outlets. When things get
overwhelmed and it feels like it is getting to be too much it
is important to remember to just breathe.
Breathing is one of the simplest and most effective methods
of stress management. Simple deep breathing techniques can be
used by anyone, anywhere, at any time. Since the effects of
stress are so multi faceted and some of the negative results
and symptoms of stress can be stressors in themselves; it is
most beneficial to take a holistic approach to stress
Deep breathing, or other breathing techniques fit nicely in
with this type of approach. This is probably because breathing
and stress are so similar in nature. Both are automatic
functions of the body, yet both can be deliberately changed.
Many holistic, or naturopath healers believe that breath links
the physical body to the ethereal mind.
While many hold different philosophies or ideas about the
effects of conscious breathing, science has proven that
breathing correctly can help manage stress and stress related
conditions. When a person is under stress they tend to breath
They will take short shallow breaths, since the brain
controls breathing and the rate is set in accordance with
carbon dioxide levels, rather than the rate of oxygen, too much
carbon dioxide is often expelled causing an imbalance of gases
in the body.
When a person is feeling nervous, anxious or stressed they
will usually breath only with their shoulders and chest and
does not use their diaphragm which also requires the use of
abdominal muscles to breath properly and achieve the correct
balance. When a person is relaxed their breathing is slow, calm
Short, shallow breathing or hyperventilation in extreme
cases can lead to physical symptoms of stress such as tightness
in the chest, headaches, muscle aches, insomnia or even heart
palpitations. By using abdominal breathing, or breathing
deliberately there are positive results that can be seen and
felt including lowered blood pressure, increased energy and
even improved immunity.
Today's Stress Cure Fact
Workplace StressThe human body can adequately experience stress and react to it. Stress can be a positive thing, however too much stress or prolonged stress has negative effects on the body. Acute stress is the body's reaction to an immediate threat, whether it be real or perceived. This reaction is often referred to as the fight or flight response. Stressors such as physical or emotional trauma, or environmental factors such as noise, light and crowds can cause acute stress. These and other stressors activate the part of the brain called the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis. This triggers the production and release of steroid hormones, particularly the primary stress hormone cortisol. coping with stress
Breathing is the only bodily function you can do either
consciously or unconsciously. Breathing consciously is a
learned habit. While anyone can do it even initially, it may
take some practice to achieve the best results. There are a few
different approaches that you can take.
The best way to learn abdominal breathing is to close your
eyes and focus on your breathing. Pay attention to which
muscles are being used, the rate and depth of the breaths. It
may be helpful to place one hand over the chest and one over
the diaphragm to feel the muscles at work.
Keep a stress diary. Jot down
when you feel stressed, what led to the stress,
and how this made you feel.
A stress diary can be a helpful tool when
trying to find the best stress management
techniques for you.
In times of stress or anxiety the best way to relax is to
breathe by taking a slow but short inhale, followed by a slow,
but significantly longer exhale. By doing this a few times you
can start to control your rate of breathing and exude a sense
of calm when needed.