Breathing for Stress Relief

It seems these days that every person of accountable age is subject to stress issues. Health professionals are finding stress-related symptoms even in toddlers and younger children. This can only be a sign of the times in which we are living. We are going through life at such an accelerated pace. People are being pushed to do more. learn more, achieve more and earn more, all at a much earlier age than ever before. Schools are being forced to teach students on a much higher level of achievement than ever before. The hamster wheel concept on which most of us live our lives never seems to slow down. Even at night, when we should be giving our bodies and minds a few hours of rest and relaxation, many of us are unable to sleep at all and we are running through our next day’s problems and schedules in our minds. It is no wonder at all that stress-related illnesses top the list of health concerns. So what do we do to allieviate the problem?

There are many types of treatments for what has been termed, simply, as stress. There are many prescription medications and herbal remedies. Meditation and hypnosis are also being utilized with reported good results. These are viable options and worth it all if they improve our quality of life. There is another alternative which is an excellent stress reliever and can be practiced at any time of the day no matter where we are. We may be sitting in a business meeting, at our desks at work, or watching television with our family after a particularly busy and harrowing day. We all do this anyway, it is just a matter of learning to do it properly to extract the maximum benefit from it. Health care professionals as well as practitioners of alternative medicine agree that purposeful breathing techniques, when performed properly, can provide as much or more positive result than any other type of stress relief therapy or medication.

Every human and animal breathes from the second we are born, until the second we die. We do it without even thinking about it. So what is the proper technique for stress relief breathing? It isn’t the shallow, sometimes rapid breathing that we usually do unconsciously.

Breathing for relaxation must be deliberate and deep. We should concentrate on our breathing and be very aware of the way our body feels as we pull in as much air as our lungs can hold, hold it for a few seconds and then push all the air out of our lungs. Since this technique is so different for most of us, it may be necessary in the beginning to schedule a time everyday simply to do our breathing exercises. Several times a day is even better than just once. But we should definitely make it a point to take at least five minutes during our stressful times of the day for breathing therapy. Since we can do this as we are doing any of our daily tasks, there is no reason to feel as if it is stealing time from our busy day. After a few sessions of doing this and as we begin to realize how much better and more alert this deep breathing makes us feel, we will begin to look forward to these mini therapy sessions and find ourselves doing it more than once a day. We will recogize the happy and relaxed mode into which our mind goes as we breath in and out deliberately, and it will bring a natural high into our day. Remember, the best part is that we have done this without putting any chemicals at all into our body. There is nothing added which can alter our body in any way other than the deeply satisfied and peaceful feeling of being one with our bodies.

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