OK, so admit it, we all get stressed out from time to time. There are deadlines, traffic, obligations we wish we didn’t need to fulfill and intermittent tsunami warnings. Some of these conditions may warrant feeling stressed, however have you ever met someone who seems to be in a constant state of un-rest. It may manifest in anxiety, fidgeting, hyperactivity, excessive talking or panic. This individual may have difficulty recognizing their need for periods of deep relaxation. It is common for some people to hold their breath for brief periods of time with out realizing it.
Some things that improve our ability to relax and reduce anxiety are meditation, deep breathing and belly laughing. These therapies may take practice, however the benefits will outweigh the effort.
Making certain to eat prior to being starving is a key component to avoiding anxiety. When we go too long without consuming food, our body produces cortisol which is a stress hormone released by the adrenal glands. When cortisol is in the blood stream, it creates a sense of fight or flight and causes us to feel ungrounded and hyper.
Additionally, the body can not heal when it is amped up, whether on cortisol, excessive caffeine, alcohol, or chronic stress.
The next time you find yourself breathing shallow, holding your breath or letting yourself get all wound up when there are other effective ways of handling the moment, think about your body’s need to relax and heal. The awareness, mixed with calm breathing, when done with regularity will enhance the activity of your immune system and over time, dissipate stress before it takes you down!
-Dr. Diana Joy Ostroff