Stressing 101

stress-2

As the school year rolls in and everyone sees or thinks about the amount of work that needs to be done we need to remind ourselves to relax. According to a study at Harvard, 60-90% of hospital visits are for stress related disorders. We can’t push ourselves too hard!

What is stress?
Stress is the body’s response to danger or better known as the “fight or flight response”. Stress can affect your body in many ways from raising blood pressure (by 300-400%) to impairing your ability to think so stay alert for signs because that’s your body protecting you!

How to help manage:
-Turn to those that support you and spend some time with them to talk it out. Loneliness makes you more vulnerable to stress
-Gain confidence by believing that you can overcome these obstacles! Kurt Vonnegut said: “We are what we pretend to be” so focus on being optimistic and adjust your attitude to deal with the stress
-Instead of sitting around get moving! Stop binge watching and go for a walk to balance your nervous system.

Relaxing Techniques:
Autogenic Training is when the individual feels heaviness and warmth to reduce tension. Johannes Schultz discovered it in 1932 when he noticed hypnotized individuals feeling relaxed because of heaviness and warmth.
Natural Breathing is a good technique before a stressful event. Place one hand on your chest and the other on your belly. Take a deep breath through the nose and stretch the lungs.
Progressive Muscle Relaxation is starting from the bottom of your toes and tensing each muscle for five seconds then relaxing for thirty then moving up the body to the next muscle.
-Meditation has many varieties but one of the most common is mindfulness meditation. This is when the person shifts their focus to on their thoughts and sensations. Meditation has been used as part of the treatment of post traumatic stress disorder and addiction of drug abusers.
-Visualization requires some imagination. Use all the senses to picture places to help you calm down.

Why do these?
Clinical studies have proved that relaxation techniques reduce perception of pain. Remember, the brain is a powerful tool and a good mindset usually predicts the end result. One study had patients watch a calming video while being awake for surgery and they reported feeling less pain than those that did not. In another study, breast cancer patients were taught deep breathing and visualization and the results said the exercises enhanced the immune response. Relaxation techniques improves an individual’s mood and help people cope with stress.

I hope this article was helpful to you guys! How do you guys deal with stress? Or should we look at the big picture and wonder why is everyone so stressed? How do we relax more?

Sources:

“Autogenic Training.” Autogenic Training. American Holistic Nurses Association, n.d. Web.

Kissane DW, Grabsch B, Clarke DM, et al., Supportive-expressive group therapy for women with metastatic breast cancer: survival and psychosocial outcome from a randomized controlled trial. Psychooncology. 2007;16(4):277-86.

Krisanaprakornkit T, Krisanaprakornkit W, Piyavhatkul N, Laopaiboon M. Meditation therapy for anxiety disorders. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2006;(1):CD004998.

Kwekkeboom KL, Hau H, Wanta B, Bumpus M. Patients’ perceptions of the effectiveness of guided imagery and progressive muscle relaxation interventions used for cancer pain.Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2008;14(3):185-94.

Jordan Shakeshaft |. “6 Breathing Exercises to Relax in 10 Minutes or Less.” Time. Time, n.d. Web.

Prasad K, Sharma V, Lackore K, Jenkins SM, Prasad A, Sood A. Use of complementary therapies in cardiovascular disease. Am J Cardiol. 2013; 111(3):339-45.

Rakel D. Rakel: Integrative Medicine, 2nd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders Elsevier, Inc. 2007;95.

Segal, Jeanne, Melinda Smith, Robert Segal, and Lawerence Robinson. “Stress Symptoms, Signs, and Causes.” Stress Symptoms, Signs, & Causes. Help Guide, n.d. Web.

Edited by: Timothy John

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