How often do you feel stressed?
Everyday we try and achieve so much, we always have long ‘to-do’ lists and more often than not, we do not tick everything off our lists. We only need small things to go wrong to trigger feelings of stress and overwhelm.
Continually being stressed is bad for our health, read on to understand what is actully happening to our bodies when we live in a constant state of stress, and why we really need to do something about it……
HOW HEALTHY ARE YOUR THOUGHTS, BELIEFS AND PERCEPTIONS?
The effect of this in causing you stress or helping to keep you relaxed in quite definite, it works a little like this: The nervous system has two modes of operation- the sympathetic nervous system and the parasympathetic nervous system. The sympathetic nervous system is dominant during what Walter Cannon at Harvard termed “the stress response,” also known as “fight-or-flight.” The parasympathetic nervous system is in charge during what Herbert Benson at Harvard called “the relaxation response,” which is the opposite of the stress response.
Only when the relaxation response is in effect do the body’s natural self-repair mechanisms function properly! It makes sense. When your body is preparing to fight or flee, it needn’t worry about preventive maintenance. Why bother eating up cancer cells or repairing broken proteins when you’re about to get eaten by a cave bear?
The stress response exists to protect you. It’s meant to get you out of harm’s way when your life is in danger. But these days, the average person has 50 stress responses per day. It’s no wonder chronic illnesses are at epidemic levels. Every time you have a stressful thought, belief, or feeling, your brain spits out harmful, disease-inducing stress hormones like cortisol, epinephrine, and norepinephrine that shut off your body’s self-repair mechanisms. On the other hand, every time you have positive thoughts, beliefs, or feelings, you release healing hormones like oxytocin, nitric oxide, dopamine, and endorphins that shift you to the relaxation response, where your body can get to work repairing what’s broken.
While it would be lovely if we could just flick a switch and all our stress would just turn off, at the same speed as which we can turn off a light.
It takes just 1 minute using either of the following techniques to refocus and stop stress fast!
FAST BREATH FOCUS :- This simple but effective exercise takes 1 minute!
Close your eyes and breathe in and out through your nose as deeply and quickly as you can for 30 seconds. The noise created and effort required to do this simple action will stop focus on anything else happening at the time and will add lot’s of extra oxygen to your brain which helps it to relax. For the next 30 seconds continue to breathe deeply but allowing it to return to a normal pace, whilst sitting still and focusing only on your breath. Repeat this exercise regularly throughout the day, as often as needed.
HEART BREATH FOCUS:- This exercise only takes one minute and can be done anywhere without anyone noticing!
Close your eyes and breathe in and out deeply and imagine drawing the breath into and out of your heart area. Whilst doing this breathing, try and recall a memory that brought you great joy and made you feel so loved and focus your attention on those wonderful feelings. Continue for 1 minute, even longer if you can.
Both of these simple tools can be used by anyone, and can safely be taught to children. Put them to use whenever you need a little break from the stress of every day life! Enjoy!
What is your favourite stress release technique?