Take it one breath at a time. Modern life is full of stress and there’s no escaping it. Some experts say stress is the root of all illness – our rapid-pace, high-expectation lifestyle takes a running toll on our immune system. Sooner or later, we’re bound to get sick.
We try to eat right, exercise regularly, drink enough water, and laugh often, but chronic stress makes us more prone to panic attacks, sleep disorders and other health problems. The pressure mounts and we wonder why substance abuse is on the rise. Because what do you do when you just can’t take it anymore?
Something simple that anyone and everyone can do: Breathe! Deep breathing exercises work wonders. Not the short shallow gasps that come with anxiety or our fight or flight response to stress, but proper breathing in a slow, controlled rhythm is the fastest stress reliever you can do.
It’s also the fastest painkiller you can use. Your goal is to relax, which is the opposite of pain response where you tense up and grit your teeth. Deep breathing exercises activate your relaxation response, so you are, in fact, reducing your pain. When it comes to relaxation techniques for stress relief, breathing exercises to relax top the list.
Because deep breathing exercises change your physiological response, various techniques are recommended for asthma treatment, weight loss, pregnancy, and running and how to get the most from your workout.
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