stress management -deep breathing

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English: An anxious person

English: An anxious person (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Breathe

Breathe (Photo credit: PhotoLab XL)

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What is deep breathing?

Deep breathing is a helpful technique for dealing with stress, tension, anxiety, and anger. It can be done practically anywhere. It is also called diaphragmatic breathing. It helps in several ways:

  • It helps you to relax. Deep breathing alone can be enough to relax you, without the need for listening to tapes or meditating.
  • It takes your mind off what is bothering you. If you concentrate very hard on your breathing, you will be thinking less about other things. Any time you notice your attention turning to stressful thoughts, simply shift your attention back to your breathing.
  • It helps with the physical symptoms of anxiety. When you become anxious or stressed you are likely to take shallow, rapid breaths or even hyperventilate. This can result in dizziness, blurred vision, a feeling of pins and needles in your skin, and chest pain. Slow deep breathing can help to relieve such symptoms quickly.

How do I do this exercise?

  • Find a quiet place to reduce distraction.
  • You may want to sit in a comfortable chair or lie on the floor with a pillow under the small of your back.
  • Breathe in slowly and deeply, pushing your stomach out as you breathe in.
  • Say the word “relax” silently as you exhale. Picture the stress and tension you are feeling begin to leave as you breathe out.
  • Exhale slowly, letting your stomach come in.

Repeat these deep breaths 10 times. You will notice how much more relaxed you feel after a very few minutes of controlled breathing.

Practice this exercise 5 times a day.

Other relaxation methods you may wish to consider are mental imaging and progressive muscle relaxation.

One comment

  1. Brynn Tramonti · · Reply

    Stress can be defined many different ways. The most common definition is, stress is the body’s response to an outside situation in one’s life. Stress effects one’s environment, life and others around them in many ways. Sometimes these situations get the better of us and we have trouble dealing with the feelings of stress. You may become irritable, hostile, angry or overly sensitive just to name a few. Sometimes our physical body deals with the stress in an unhealthy way as well. You may have high blood pressure, become depressed, develop ulcers, or have a heart attack. It is important to learn what your stress triggers are and how to deal with both the triggers and the effects. Only by learning this will you be able to successfully manage your stress..

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