Have you been feeling stressed or anxious lately? You aren’t the only one feeling this way. Millions of people living in the UK are dealing with stress due to their employment situation, personal relationships, financial status, or health concerns.
A 2018 survey of 4,619 people found that 74% of respondents had experienced stress so severe in the previous 12 months that it became debilitating. This statistic highlights how prevalent stress is in the UK.
Fortunately, there are several simple techniques which can be used to reduce your stress levels. In this guide, our Ealing chiropractor will be focussing on one of the simplest and most effective stress reduction techniques — deep breathing exercises.
The Dangers Of Chronic Stress
Stress is a natural instinct which has helped the human race survive. Whenever we find ourselves in a situation where we feel threatened, our brain responds by releasing hormones which change our physiological state. Some of those changes include:
- Elevated blood sugar levels to give us the energy
- A heightened sense of mental alertness
- Tense muscles
- Rapid breathing
- De-prioritisation of some biological functions like digestion of food
These changes are designed to help us either fight for our lives or run away from a threat (the so-called fight or fight response).
Unfortunately, the human brain isn’t always good at deciding which events are actually life threatening. As a result, events like getting stuck in traffic, dealing with family drama, worrying about financial problems, and thinking about climate change can all trigger the stress response.
When you are constantly feeling stressed, it can cause a number of unexpected outcomes including excess muscle tension, insomnia, anxiety, and indigestion. If you experience chronic stress for many years, it can even increase the risk of dangerous health conditions like diabetes, heart diseases, and high blood pressure.
Many of the patients visiting a chiropractor in Ealing are highly stressed and have back pain or neck pain directly attributable to stress. We provide a number of chiropractic treatments to help resolve the issue, but lifestyle changes are often the most effective solution.
Why Use Breathing Exercises?
Shallow rapid breathing is one of the symptoms of the stress response. By slowing down your breath, you can change your physiology, controlling your nervous system and take yourself out of stress response.
Deep breathing will also help you relax, turn your focus away from the trauma causing your stress, and reduce muscle tension.
Simple Breathing Exercises
Here are a few of the best breathing exercises for stress reduction. If you require any more stress reduction tips, visit our chiropractic clinic in Ealing. Our chiropractors will be able to share some useful breathing techniques and perform chiropractic adjustments which can help relieve stress symptoms.
This is the simplest of stress reducing breathing exercises. Start by sitting or laying in a comfortable position. Slowly breathe in through your nose until your belly is full of air then slowly breathe out through your nose.
To check that you are breathing correctly, place one hand on your chest and the other on your belly. The hand on your stomach should move more than the hand on your chest. Practice for 10 breaths, then re-assess your stress levels.
This breathing exercise helps you deal with the thoughts that are triggering your stress. Start by taking a few deep breaths. Then, imagine that each breath you take is filling you with energy and positivity, while each exhalation is ridding you of negative energy, anxiety, and stress.
4-7-8 Breathing Method
This technique was developed by a Harvard graduate named Dr Andrew Weil. Start by counting to 4 as you breath in. Focus on expanding your belly to fully utilise your diaphragm. Once you have completed your breath, hold it in for 7 seconds. Finally, release the breath while you count to 8 in your mind. Repeat at least 4 times. This exercise will help you stop the stress response in its tracks.
Visiting Our Chiropractic Clinic in Ealing
Chiropractic treatment can be helpful in alleviating stress.
If stress is impacting the quality of your life, why not book an appointment with one of our chiropractors at The Spine & Joint n Ealing. To book a visit call our clinic on 020 8900 9004.