Tuesday, April 20, 2010

On Stress and Relaxation

Getting stressed out from work is really something that I can't avoid. I work in a busy environment. I always deal with pleasant and sometimes not so pleasant customers, worry about my performance status everyday, and just eye strain from being in front of the computer for a long period of time.

(Taking a break at work)

My medical insurance company together with my employer has this one-on-one wellness coach program to help manage our health. It is really nice because if I complete the program, I'd get a monetary reward. It is like getting paid to get healthy. One of the programs that I took was Dealing with Stress.

Here are the tips that they shared:

Breathing under stress

Chest muscles between the ribs are used more when you are stressed.

* When exercising, you take in a lot of air.
* The rib cage expands more than at rest to give more air to the lungs.
* However, if you're worrying, you use your chest muscles as well as the shoulder and neck muscles. This causes shallow and rapid breathing.
* If this goes on for too long, this kind of breathing leads to tiredness, chest tightness, muscles aches and other symptoms.

Focusing your mind
Focus on your breathing.

* Be aware of your breathing so you can slow it down by taking deep, deliberate breaths.
* When you do this, you relieve a lot of tension in the muscles of the chest and back.

Deep breathing

1. Place your hand just below your navel and the other hand on your chest.
2. Take a slow deep breath and count: "one, two, three."
3. Imagine that your abdomen is a balloon that you are blowing up with air.
4. Feel your belly expand into your hand. Your other hand should feel very little chest movement.
5. On "four," let the air out of your abdomen. Imagine that the "balloon" is slowly deflating.

They suggested that I practice this kind of breathing at least twice a day in a quiet place. They said that it will help me relax and deal with my stress. This is something that I can do. I hope I can continue or remember doing this.


Self Sagacity said...

Do you have any idea how I can get rid of back pain? It's just old age and lack of exercise I think ;-)

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