STRESS! It affects everyone. Here are a few simple techniques that you can use wherever you are to help reduce that stress.
Have you ever noticed how you breathe when you’re stressed? Stress typically causes rapid, shallow breathing. This kind of breathing sustains other aspects of the stress response, such as rapid heart rate and perspiration. If you can get control of your breathing, the spiraling effects of acute stress will automatically become less intense. Relaxed breathing, also called diaphragmatic breathing, can help you.
Practice this basic technique twice a day, every day, and whenever you feel tense. Follow these steps:
Inhale. With your mouth closed and your shoulders relaxed, inhale as slowly and deeply as you can to the count of six. As you do that, push your stomach out. Allow the air to fill your diaphragm. Hold. Keep the air in your lungs as you slowly count to four. Exhale. Release the air through your mouth as you slowly count to six. Repeat. Complete the inhale-hold-exhale cycle three to five times.
The goal of progressive muscle relaxation is to reduce the tension in your muscles. First, find a quiet place where you’ll be free from interruption. Loosen tight clothing and remove your glasses or contacts if you’d like.
Tense each muscle group for at least five seconds and then relax for at least 30 seconds. Repeat before moving to the next muscle group. Upper part of your face. Lift your eyebrows toward the ceiling, feeling the tension in your forehead and scalp. Relax. Repeat.
Central part of your face. Squint your eyes tightly and wrinkle your nose and mouth, feeling the tension in the center of your face. Relax. Repeat. Lower part of your face. Clench your teeth and pull back the corners of your mouth toward your ears. Show your teeth like a snarling dog. Relax. Repeat.
Neck. Gently touch your chin to your chest. Feel the pull in the back of your neck as it spreads into your head. Relax. Repeat. Shoulders.&nsbp; Pull your shoulders up toward your ears, feeling the tension in your shoulders, head, neck and upper back. Relax. Repeat.
Upper arms. Pull your arms back and press your elbows in toward the sides of your body. Try not to tense your lower arms. Feel the tension in your arms, shoulders and into your back. Relax. Repeat.
Hands and lower arms. Make a tight fist and pull up your wrists. Feel the tension in your hands, knuckles and lower arms. Relax. Repeat. Chest, shoulders and upper back. Pull your shoulders back as if you’re trying to make your shoulder blades touch. Relax. Repeat.
Stomach. Pull your stomach in toward your spine, tightening your abdominal muscles. Relax. Repeat. Upper legs. Squeeze your knees together and lift your legs up off the chair or from wherever you’re relaxing. Feel the tension in your thighs. Relax. Repeat.
-Source- “Chiropractic Newsletter- Inspiration of Life” (c) Dr. Jay Morgan. (Alexander Chiropractic Monthly Newsletter, February, 2017)
Alexander Chiropractic – Spring Texas
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