In an attempt to stress less, especially during the holidays, we have put 31 stress-reduction tips to the test. For the next 31 days, we will offer a new tip each day. Too much cortisol, the stress hormone, can put you at risk for high blood pressure, heart disease, impaired mental performance, and even ab fat. So please join us and learn to stress less!
Stress Reduction Tip No. 4: Breathe
Breathe Deeply. Under stress, you're apt take quick, shallow breaths, which increases heart rate and sweating and raises your stress levels even more. "Get control of your breathing, and the spiraling effects of stress will automatically become less intense," says Brent Bauer, M.D., director of the Complementary and Integrative Medicine Program at the Mayo Clinic, and medical editor of the Mayo Clinic Book of Alternative Medicine. Try this breathing technique when you're stressed out or anytime you want to feel more relaxed: * With your mouth closed and shoulders relaxed, inhale as slowly and deeply as you can to the count of 6. Push your stomach out as you breathe in. * Hold and slowly count to 4. * Exhale through your mouth as you slowly count to 6. * Repeat 3–5 times.
Jamie: This is how they teach you to breathe during yoga and it works!!! I like to lay with my back on the floor and take a few minutes every morning to just breathe. Great way to start the day.
Beckie: In addition, to practicing deep breathing in my car at stoplights, I also have a note posted on my refrigerator that says "breathe!" I'm good at deep breathing while waiting at a stoplight, but I tend to hold my breath in other situations. The note is a good reminder. If I tattooed one on my hand, I might be a much more relaxed woman.
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