Stress And Anxiety - Take Charge Of It!

Have you ever noticed what occurs when you are suddenly thrown into a high tension situation?

Does any of this sound familiar?

* Raised pulse

* Short faster breaths

* Shallower breathing

* Feelings of losing control

* Limbs twitching and/or shaking

* Feeling hot and clammy

OK, there may be more, but I think they are a good start.

If you answered no to all of them then, CONGRATULATIONS, you don't suffer from stress (or any human emotion) at all!

Seriously though, such feelings are often the reason why people suffer from stress and anxiety in their everyday lives and, this is the point,

EVEN WHEN THEY ARE NOT IN STRESSFUL SITUATIONS!

The stress they feel regularly in pressure environments does not leave them and this leads to extended periods of tension, headaches, poor and shallow breathing, and often leads them to indulge in vices that exacerbate the problem.

Unfortunately this is the nature of society and, short of retiring to a mountain top for a life of solitude, it cannot easily change.

Not everyone can simply leave their jobs for example, it is not always that simple.

Alright then, what CAN be done?

Essentially, we need to spend some time re-training our responses to stressful and anxious situations. In a nutshell we need to develop AWARENESS of how we feel and which situations require a different response.

Obviously, this takes time.

Here are some practical steps to help alleviate stress related problems.

1. Practice becoming AWARE of when you need to apply different physical and mental responses. Meetings, interviews, and suchlike are obvious examples. How about while driving, many people are unnecessarily tense and stressed, and because it is such a common thing to do, we are not even aware we ARE overtly stressed while doing it!

2. Re-train yourself to breathe differently in hard to handle situations. Inhale deeply through your nose when anxious as opposed to reverting to shallow, fast, and erratic breathing. Now the important part. Allow the exhale to be LONGER. This will aid in preventing hyperventilation and will bring with it a feeling of calm control.

3. Check your body for muscular tension. Mentally scan down your body and feel for undue tension. If you do feel it, address it, and combine attempts at relaxing the relevant body part with your exhalation. Literally breathe out your mental AND physical stress and tenseness. Let it go!

Remember, you can learn to use such methods under everyday stress just like you can learn (and apply) anything. While many people resort to vices that really just make matters worse, deep breathing and all that it entails allows a person to go within oneself at any given moment and find a healthier solution to the problem of anxiety and stress.

(c) Tim Webb 2005 All Rights Reserved

Tim Webb is a fitness instructor, Ju Jutsu instructor and competitor. He specialises in easily accessible deep breathing exercises that combine breath and mind together. His site http://www.BreathForSuccess.com offers a product that provides deep breathing exercises for invigorating yourself, stress and anxiety reduction, and highlights how your breath can be tied in with your goals to move you towards them in record time!

In The News:

What Happens to Your Body During the Fight or Flight Response?  Health Essentials from Cleveland Clinic
Stress management during exams  The Tribune India
Managing Holiday Stress  Texas A&M University
Washington People: James DuBois  Washington University Record
Tips for Managing Holiday Stress  Front Porch Rockwall
Mind Over Matter Bhutan  Kuensel, Buhutan's National Newspaper
Stress relief  Warwick Beacon
Stress Management for Nurses  www.oncnursingnews.com/
It's time to rethink stress management  People Management Magazine

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