Easy Stress Relief – Breathing

Our lives are filled with stress. Everyday living confronts us with a continuous stream of potentially stressful situations. From driving, school work, driving to work during morning rush hour, harsh weather, the daily struggle, relationships, to watching the latest terror attack, school shooting or lock-down on the nightly news.

Whether the stress you experience is the result of a life-changing event or the cumulative effect of our daily grind, it is how you handle the stress that determines the impact on your life.

Handling Stress

Prolonged stress can result in physical illness. Upsetting emotions and stress can affect our immune system. Studies show that the immune system is even weakened during school exam week. It is also affected by divorce, job loss and everything else life throws at us. We are particularly susceptible to feeling stressed when we can’t control our immediate situation. But stress affects everyone differently, so what are the best and easiest ways to relieve stress?

Options and Remedies

The way to deal with stress is up to you. There is a wide variety of options. Doctors can treat your stress symptoms and illnesses. Various over-the-counter products can help relieve your pain, help you sleep, keep you awake and alert or help you relax. In addition, there are remedies to give you an appetite or to help you with your diet. You have recreational options such as going to the movies, watching tv, the internet, books, hobbies and sports activities. You can even just stay home and let the world pass you by, avoiding the most stressful situations.

Or… Just Breathe

All of these options will work but not be practical or convenient. There are a few easy and effective methods for relieving stress, such as breathing techniques, exercise and relaxation.

Many people are unaware they have poor breathing habits, that actually make it harder to cope with stressful situations. Bad breathing patterns may even contribute to anxiety, panic attacks, depression, muscle tension and aches, even fatigue and sleep disorders. Understanding your own breathing and practicing good breathing habits will improve your psychological and physical well-being.

A Proper Balance

Bad breathing techniques include breathing in with your chest in short, rapid and irregular breaths. Shallow chest breathing coupled with short moments of holding your breath, coupled with tight clothing, poor posture, having your shoulders rise when you inhale causes too little oxygen to enter your lungs and too much carbon dioxide to escape. We hardly ever think about our breathing but your blood, brain and body need a proper balance of oxygen and carbon dioxide.

Bad breathing habits can go unidentified for many years and, as stated above, contribute to many chronic aches, pains, stress and tension.

Diaphragm and Abdomen

The proper way to breathe is with long, deep breaths with your diaphragm and abdomen. This is exactly how new born babies and sleeping adults breathe. By practicing proper abdominal breathing you can balance the oxygen and carbon dioxide levels in your blood, normalizing your heart rate, reducing anxiety, stress related to thoughts, and get a better night’s sleep.

Ten Minutes a Day

Practice diaphragm breathing for as little as five to ten minutes twice a day, gradually extending the time. Take in long, slow, deep breaths through your nose and exhale through your mouth, as if you are exhaling through a drinking straw. Just concentrate on long, slow, even deep breaths. You will soon feel your body relax. 

Don’t Forget

Breathe with your abdomen and diaphrajm. Hold your breath in for a moment, exhale slowly and deeply.  Pause for a moment before taking in the next, slow, deep breath and let go of your tension.

This report is not a diagnosis. We hope this information can guide you toward improving your life.

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