Stress Reduction Tips

Breathing and Stretching for Stress Relief

People who suffer from chronic stress are more likely to experience moodiness, poor digestion and anxiety.

Stress is a normal reaction to the demands of daily life, but having too much stress over a long period of time can cause many serious health problems. Having a stress management system, like meditation or deep breathing can help improve your health and give you peace of mind. Studies suggest that when you are stressed, performing regular, mindful breathing exercises can have many health benefits, like slowing a fast heart rate and lowering your blood pressure. Here are some simple breathing exercises you can do standing, sitting or even at your desk that will keep your brain and body stress free.

  • Sitting in a comfortable position, breathe in through your nose while counting to five. When you reach five, breathe out through your mouth while counting to eight. Repeat this three or four times.
  • Sitting with your legs crossed and eyes closed, take a deep breath. Let the air fill your stomach and not your chest. Breathe out and repeat two times. Now breathe normally , inhaling with your nose and exhaling with your mouth. Focus on your breath and keep breathing like this until you feel calm.
  • Sitting in a comfortable position, close your eyes and breathe deeply. Imagine being in your favorite place or at the beach. Breathe deeply while still imagining yourself at a peaceful place. Repeat until you feel less tense and relaxed.

Just doing simple breathing exercises each day can help you take care of your stress level give you a much needed break from the stress of daily life.

 

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Sitting too much? Take breaks for wellness

Have you ever noticed a burst of positive energy after a workout?  Physical activity sets off physiological and psychological mechanisms that can improve your mood. Exercise releases hormones that can leave you feeling calmer and happier. Activity can also offer the opportunity to release stress, meet new people and boost self-confidence.

Studies suggest that sitting for hours on end -- regardless of calorie intake and exercise -- is harmful. This may be because immobile muscles lose the ability to metabolize fats and sugar as efficiently as they should, which could promote high cholesterol and up diabetes risk.

Do you have a stiff neck and back pain from sitting down all day? For many people, spending 12 hours or more a day sitting down is a normal part of life. However, a new study suggests that spending more time sitting down not only causes back pain and tense muscles, but increases your risk of getting type 2 diabetes, heart disease and obesity, even if you workout everyday!

  • Don’t despair – though most people can’t avoid sitting down at work or while studying, taking short exercise breaks or ‘microbreaks’ every half hour are a great way to reduce time spend sitting down and fit some activity in your day.
    Doing simple stretching exercises, like stretching your arms, neck, wrists and legs can help them not feel too stiff. 
  • Taking short walks around the office throughout the day, and participating in lunchtime walks, will help increase blood flow in your legs and arms and keep them from getting numb.
  • Grab a colleague or friend to walk this mile route that on the Morningside campus (approximately 2000 steps; 15-20 minutes).

You can do most of these simple exercises in two minutes or less, so you can squeeze them in during the day.

Remember, taking these small steps to reduce time sitting down goes a long way in improving your overall wellness.

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Last Updated: 
01/31/14