12 October, 2009

Stress-busting Techniques

What is Stress?
No need to tell you, "What is stress". You already know it.
Effects of high stress is your body's internal alarm. It alerts you to immediate danger & stimulates the fight-or-flight reflex, a primitive survival mechanism that triggers a chemical surgethat makes your muscles tense and your heart race. Your brain releases 1. cortisol - which raises your blood pressure slowly and steadily. 2. Adrenaline - which raises your blood pressure in a more violent fashion. These increase your blood pressure, metabolism, heart rate, breathing rate and muscletension. Certain other stress hormones may increase stomach acidity and the risk of an ulcer. These reactions can impair your cardiovascular, respiratory or immune system or your gastro-intestinal tract. Heart disease, high blood pressure and strokes can also be related to your stress levels and responses.
Symptoms of stress overload are
1. Headaches
2. Heartburn or indigestion
3. nausea
4. high anxiety
5. sleeplessness-the inability to go to sleep, or awakening after a few hours and being unable to go back to sleep
6. low back pain
7. inability to control anger
8. being unassertive and unwilling to say no
9. feeling listless and lost when your values are not in congruence with your lifestyle.

There is also evidence that chronic stress can lead to, or worsen, certain illnesses.

Stress Relief relaxes your mind and body to release your stress, improve and calm breathing, strengthens your internal organs and can help to lower your blood pressure. Evidence suggests that reducing your blood pressure by just 5-6 points can:
1) Decrease the risk of stroke by 40%,
2) Decrease the risk of coronary heart disease by 15-20%, and
3) Reduce the likelihood of dementia, heart failure, and mortality from
vascular disease.

Stress-busting Techniques
1. relaxation of Muscles: Relax all the major muscle groups – from shoulders to toes. Muscle relaxation is especially useful if you tend to carry a lot of tension in your forehead or shoulders. This technique can stop muscle tension before it grows into a fullscale headache or other problem.
2. Meditation: Spend 10 to 20 minutes of time in a comfortable position, repeating a word (relax, love, Om, Cool etc.) You focus only on the one word and try to keep all thoughts out of your mind. When you're in a deeply relaxed meditative state, your blood pressure and heart rate drop and your brain produces more slow alpha waves, which are associated with enhanced well-being.
3. Yoga: The Yoga practice combines full, deep breathing with muscle stretching and focusedrelaxation exercises. The process helps you recognize the stress signals your body produces andthen work on getting rid of them.
4. Massage: This brings a new flush of blood and oxygen to your body, which allows for better disposal of metabolic waste. It counteracts the tensing of muscles that occurs during stressful situations.
5. The quieting response: Whenever you're in a stressful situation, you can do this four-stepexercise:
a. Say to yourself, "Isn't this a silly thing I'm doing to my body?"
b. Take 4 or 5 deep breaths.
c. As you exhale, let your jaw fall comfortably slack.d. Say to yourself, "I am feeling relaxed and calm," as you exhale.
7. Worrying: Most of us worry over things that don't happen, or about things over which we have nocontrol. Whenever you start to worry about something, ask yourself, "Is there anything I can do tochange or prevent the situation?" If the answer is "yes", think about developing a plan. If "No", agree to set aside your worrying until worry time, a few minutes every day reserved for fretting. And, don't allow yourself to worry in between. Try to use your worry-energy in the most productive way possible.By practicing any of these techniques described here is guaranteed to make you feel better. Each success gives you courage to keep going.

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