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Managing Stress: Week 3

by | Nov 15, 2017 | Managing Stress | 0 comments

Breathing & Meditation

This week, we will be discussing the importance of conscious breathing and meditation. First let’s look at the parts of the nervous system that involve our stress responses: Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS): Involves in the stimulation of activities that prepare the body for action. This includes increasing the heart rate, increasing the release of sugar from the liver into the blood, and other generally considered as “fight-or-flight” responses. Parasympathetic Nervous System (PNS): Conserves energy as it slows the heart rate, increases intestinal activity, and relaxes muscles in the gastrointestinal tract. This system is also known as “rest and digest”. The exercises this week activate this system. For example, deep abdominal breathing for 15-30 minutes per day has been shown to help decrease anxiety by overriding the SNS responses to unwarranted stress. It also increases oxygen to the brain while inducing a state of calm. Meditation is also beneficial for stress relief. It contributes to lower blood pressure and improved digestion. There are many types of meditation. Starting with only a few minutes per day can make a big difference in your mood. This Week’s Stress Management Technique: Relaxation Techniques Action Item: For the next week, try each of the relaxation techniques below.  Record how you feel, particularly noting any changes in mood and sleep. Progressive Muscle Tension & Relaxation: Dr. Edmund Jacobson developed the technique to help patients relax before surgery. By alternating the contraction and relaxation of muscles, people learn to distinguish between tension and relaxation, and is beneficial in preventing stress related muscle tension in building up.

  1. Tense left toes (5 seconds), then relax
  2. Tense left leg (5 seconds), then relax
  3. Tense right toes (5 seconds), then relax
  4. Tense right leg (5 seconds), then relax
  5. Tense left hand into fist (5 seconds), then relax
  6. Tense left arm (5 seconds), then relax
  7. Tense right hand into fist (5 seconds), then relax
  8. Tense right arm (5 seconds), then relax
  9. Bring chin to chest, squeeze eyes shut, and tense entire torso (5 seconds), then relax
  10. Curl up into a ball, wrapping arms around legs, rocking back and forth, (5 seconds), then relax body to lay flat on the ground

Deep Breathing Counting Meditation: Exhales are one beat longer than inhales

  1. Inhale 1 beat, exhale 2 beats
  2. Inhale 2 beats, exhale 3 beats
  3. Inhale 3, exhale 4
  4. Inhale 4, exhale 5
  5. Inhale 5, exhale 6
  6. Inhale 6, exhale 7
  7. Inhale 7, exhale 8
  8. Inhale 8, exhale 9
  9. Inhale 9, exhale 10
  10. Repeat from (1)

Next Week, We’ll Discuss Simple Aromatherapy for Stress Relief … See you then! Please note that the information in this blog is not intended to replace medical treatment or advice. Consult your physician before you make any major dietary or physical activity changes.

About Rochelle

Rochelle Redding, M.S. is a wife, mother of four, and the owner and operator of Rochelle Redding Coaching and Consulting Services (RRCCS). RRCCS is a spiritually-based coaching service dedicated to helping women be their best selves and achieve wellness in all aspects of their life. Learn about life coaching services with Rochelle by clicking here.

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