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Control Stress With Deep Breathing Exercises

 


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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. (The diaphragm is a sheet of muscle extending across the bottom of the ribcage. The diaphragm separates the thoracic lung cavity from the abdominal cavity and performs an important function in respiration. By the way, a hiccup is an unintentional contraction of your diaphragm ). Any way, deep breathing 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.
  • It may be quite difficult to do this exercise in the middle of a stressful situation but please try-it is more than worth the effort. For example, when driving in heavy stop and go traffic after a long day, it may help to do this exercise while listening to calming, soothing music. But be careful, because you could relax to the point of sleepiness.

    If a stressful, intense situation occurs while at work or home, between you and another person, do the exercise while they are talking. It gets better with practice and easier. You will be able to control yourself and respond in a calmer, less emotional tone of voice.

    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. The keyword is practice.

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

    Marlene Griffin R. N.

  • Website URL- http://womenover40health.com
  • Email: marlenegriffin@womenover40health.com
  • I've been a registered nurse for 30 years and nearing retirement. However, I would like to continue helping my “patients" by way of my website. My focus is primarily on women over age 40 issues, but I receive emails from women younger and that's fine.

    Please send your comments, suggestions, questions and remarks to me and I will try my very best to respond within a few days. I like to read your email very carefully and try to put myself in your position to understand your concerns, before responding.

    I am genuinely a “people person" with a big heart; very empathetic and sympathetic, intuitive and caring.

    Medical issues are difficult to handle online sometimes. I cannot be certain I've made things more clear for the reader or more muddy. This is the reason I need your feedback, negative and positive. I do hope you find my website helpful. Thank you for allowing me to serve you.

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