With the fast pace of today’s world and the current tough economic climate putting pressures on businesses and organisations to do more with less resources, it is not surprising that many people are experiencing high levels of stress .
Currently one in six workers are experiencing stress, anxiety or depression and over 10 million working days are lost directly due to work related issues.
Most of us will suffer from stress at some point in our lives but there are simple and effective steps we can take to deal with it so that we don’t suffer needlessly.
One of the easiest and most effective things we can do to alleviate feelings of stress is simply to breathe correctly.
When we are feeling anxious we attend to breath shallowly, only drawing in the minimum amount of air to the chest. It’s the way we tend to breathe when we are experiencing our bodies fight or flight response to being in a stressful situation.
The problem is that in order for our cells to repair and renew and our nervous system, muscles and circulation to function well, we need to ensure we breathe deeply and take in enough oxygen.
Try this exercise at least once a day and you will notice the difference:
1. Sit or stand in a relaxed position.
2. Slowly inhale through your nose, counting to five in your head.
3. Breathe out slowly through your mouth, counting to eight in your head as you do this. Repeat several times.
1. As you breathe, try not to raise your shoulders but focus on bringing the air down to your abdomen so that it expands outward. When this happens you are breathing deeply and your body will be getting the oxygen it needs.
2. Doing this just a few times will help you feel less tense, more relaxed and able to cope with the demands of the day.