When Stressed-out Just Breathe

Are you relaxed?  Most of us lead stressful lives.  When you live in constant state of stress, your body gets used to the stress.

But do you know all the harm a constant state of stress has on your body?  We all know chronic stress is bad, but do you know why?

When we are faced with stress, the body initiates a fight or flight reaction.  It is a naturally occurring process in the body meant to protect us from perceived dangers.

 

 

 

 

Stress triggers the following in our body:

  • Flood of stress hormones
  • Heartbeat increases
  • Muscles tighten
  • Blood pressure rises
  • Breath comes quick
  • Sharpened senses

As you can see the body diverts all energy into helping us flee from eminent danger.  The problem is most times there is no real danger.  It may be bad traffic, an argument with a loved one, financial debt, or some other stressful situation.

Chronic stress has an impact on many areas of your health.  It can create hormonal and gut imbalances that eventually can lead to sickness and disease.

In a perfect world, it would be easy to wave a wand and remove stress from our life.  Reality is that we will be faced with stressful situations probably everyday of our lives.  We need to have tools to survive the stress and become resilient.

One of the simplest ways to get out of a stress response is to Breathe.

Next time you are feeling a stress response, pause and acknowledge it.  Then take a slow steady breathe in for a count of 5 and release it in the same pace for another count of 5.  Do this deep breathing for 3 to 5 cycles of breath.

Breathing deep down into the diaphragm is what turns off the stress response.  It is telling your body there is no threat and it is ok to relax.

You might think it sounds silly, but it really does help.  We don’t breathe deep enough.  Have you really looked at how you are breathing?

I never gave it much thought until I became an integrative health coach.  It was then I realized I was shallow breathing.  I don’t think I really gave my body the oxygen it needed most of my life.

Let your body know you are ok, breathe deeply, and relax.

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