Just Breathe to Relieve Your Stress
by Mike Gracen
Stress. You feel it in some way most days. Getting the kids to school on time. That deadline you have to meet or the “deal is off” at work. Your husband or wife just lost their job. Money is tight. Your house or car needs major repairs. Your parents are aging. You have a sick child. Your plane is late taking off. The airline lost your luggage and it contains all the hand outs for your presentation tomorrow, not to mention your “power” suit.
You get the picture, right? There are dozens of things that can shake us up and ruin our whole day everyday.
What can you do? Sit down. Relax. And breathe. That’s right, just breathe. Because if you don’t learn to do this, you might just learn how much damage stress causes in your life in terms of dis-ease and negativity.
How does breathing help stress, you ask? Slow, deep, focused breathing helps your body relax. Stress causes your body to react with a “fight or flight” response that raises your heart rate, quickens your breathing and puts your whole body “on alert.” Slow, deep breathing slows down your heart rate and relieves you of some of those intense feelings.
Next time you feel particularly stressed, try this:
First, get comfortable, whether it’s sitting in a chair or on the floor in a yoga position or lying down on a bed or outside on a blanket – the only thing that matters is that you relax.
Next, learn to breathe using your abdomen, not just your lungs and chest. Breathe in slowly through your nose, push your abdomen out, away from your spine for 5-6 seconds. Keep your shoulders relaxed.
Then exhale or breathe out through your mouth, pulling your stomach toward your spine, and squeezing all your air out.
Continue to breathe, not allowing any thoughts to enter your mind, other than the visualization of a peaceful place or imagining that you can feel each body part relax as you breathe. If a stressful thought enters your mind, push it away.
Deep, concentrated breathing is a simple and effective way to take your mind off whatever is stressing you at the time. Once you’re relaxed and your mind is clear, you can plan more permanent ways to relieve the situation that caused you stress in the first place.
If you or someone you know is experiencing the debilitating effects of chronic stress, I recommend ChooseNatural.com to find natural stress remedies, including natural asthma relief, that can help relieve your symptoms.
Copyright 2011 Mike Gracen
All Rights Reserved