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The aches and pains that often come with being stressed  can be as a result of poor posture.  The muscles tense up and cause round shoulders which then sets off tension in the neck. Once we start to experience stress it can be hard to break the cycle.

Although it is not possible to stop the production of adrenaline, it is possible to take some action to reduce its effects.    There are a variety of ways to do this but some of the ways to  deal with it  are to

  1. think about your breathing
  2. how you stand, your posture.
  3. exercise training

STAND TALL

By standing up straight the body will be under less pressure and tension from the muscles that support us and have to work hard all day.  See the article on “BACK CARE”

BREATHE

Deep breathing increases the oxygen levels in the body and muscular tension can be reduced.   Learning how to breathe properly is a great key to reducing the affects of stress.    Most people do not breathe correctly, and the vast majority of the population only breathe from the top part of the chest.

Check yourself now.  Continue to breathe as you normally do and place one hand on your chest and one hand on your stomach.  What can you feel, what hand rises?   If the top hand rises then you are breathing from the chest and if the lower hand rises you are breathing from the abdomen.

Shallow breathing means that you are not fully using inflating your lungs. This in turn can lead to chest infections as stale air is left at the bottom of the lungs.  As the lungs are not fully being inflated,  this will result in less oxygen being transferred to the blood stream, which in turn means less energy for you.

Deep breathing or diaphragmatic breathing as it is also known, calms the body, increases energy and oxygen and reduces tension.  It is possible to train yourself to become a deep breather, but it does take practice but you will soon reap the rewards,

How to breathe deeply.

Make sure that you are either standing or sitting tall.  You may like to try this lying down the first couple of times.

Take a breath in through your nose and feel it go down into your stomach.  As you breathe in check that you are not breathing to hard, it is about taking it down to the stomach normally, not about forcing it down.

As you breathe in, place your hands along the lower ribs with fingers pointing in towards your belly button.  If you are aware of the ribs expanding and the stomach rising you have got it.

Continue breathing as above and check that your shoulders are down and relaxed.  Allow your breathing rate to slow down and deepen, you will soon be feeling a lot calmer.

A great place to practice this is outside in the fresh air, go for a walk in the local park, countryside or even sit in your garden.

If you find that you were answering yes to many of the signs of stress, then take some action, talk to a trusted friend or go and talk to your Doctor.   Don’t let your stress levels build up take some positive action.

Exercise Training

When you exercise your body releases adrenaline into your blood stream which causes your heart rate to increase and the body then gets ready to take action, the fight or flight syndrome.  Exercise is therefore a positive stressor.      Being physically active is the way we were designed to be and it is when there is little or no activity that physical and mental health can be affected.   Physical activity improves the condition of our body and by raising the heart rate the body learns to deal with and use constructively the adrenaline that is used.  Exercise training is therefore a great way of reducing stress

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