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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

How to reduce stress quickly and easily

By: Neil Becker 


More and more people are experiencing the negative consequences of stress, either due to the state of the economy, their situation at work or because of what is going on in their personal lives. Stress is causing people both physical and psychological problems.

It is well know that stress means that our bodies are being flooded with such chemicals as adrenaline, noradrenaline and cortisol in order to trigger our flight or fight instinct. But this mechanism was never intended to be continually switched on, only to be triggered when we were indeed in imminent danger. The trouble is that our bodies and minds are tricked into thinking that an encroaching deadline or being stuck in a traffic jam is the same as being chased by a wild animal.

Our mind and body are in close communication. Stress in the mind causes physical symptoms of stress, altering our brain chemistry which in turn heightens our awareness to danger and problem situations (and more often than not overreacts to perceived threats and problems) which in turn causes more physical symptoms of stress. This is a self-reinforcing cycle that causes us to become addicted to stress and harmful emotional and physical states because it is the state we become used to.

One way you can disrupt this cycle is by doing exercises that relax your mind and body, for example. Sit or lie down somewhere quiet where you won't be interrupted. Now allow your focus to move towards your feet. Now tense the muscles in your feet for a few moments then let them relax. Now tense the muscles in you calves for a few seconds and then let them relax. Tense and relax all the separate muscle groups in your body. After this you should feel quite heavy and relaxed inside your body.

Something else you can try is slowing down your rate of breathing. Take a deep breath for 3 counts then breathe out for 6 counts. Do this 20 times and you should have slowed down your breathing quite a bit. This will also cause your heart rate to slow down and your whole body will have relaxed.

Download an MP3 that will show you a fast working relaxation method at the following link:

Mindful Relaxation Method
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