Giving our Hearts a Break - Simple Stress Management Techniques



Simple Stress Management Techniques


Tension or stress has become a part of today’s life. One cannot escape it but by being aware of it, one can manage it and make life easier by coping with it effectively. The yogic philosophy enumerates three basic types of tensions or stress which are responsible for all the agonies of modern life – physical stress, mental stress and emotional stress. The heart has to bear the brunt of all these. Three simple stress management techniques described in this post will help you learn how to manage stress incredibly well and give your heart a break.


Stress has been accepted as a major risk factor for aggravating levels of blood pressure, sugar and cholesterol which hurt the heart over time. A person who is always in a hurry, who wants to get ahead in every sphere, who is a workaholic, etc is an individual who embraces tension and is more prone to heart disease. It is essential for such a person to undergo personal change. The process of change can be very tough and yoga can help in many cases. Yoga provides a systematic format for practicing techniques that have a direct therapeutic effect on the heart, mind and body.


The three simple relaxation techniques given here are excellent not just for heart patients, but for anyone looking for effective strategies to manage stress and minimize the burden of worries, negative thoughts, and anxieties within our minds.


How To Relieve Stress – Diaphragmatic Breathing


Lie down flat on the back in Savasana. Relax all the muscles from top of the head to the tip of the toes. Close the eyes and become aware of the natural and spontaneous breathing process. Feel the flow of breath in the nose. Focus on the cool air flowing in through the nostrils and the warm air flowing out of the nostrils. Do not strain. Place one hand on the abdomen and close the eyes. Get ready for diaphragmatic breathing.


When inhaling let the abdomen expand and when exhaling allow the hand and abdomen go down. Do this a few times. Now start counting backwards from 54 to 1. When the navel goes up count 54, then let it come down. When again the navel goes up count 53, then again let the navel come down. Continue till the counting reaches 1.


How To Relieve Stress – Physical Relaxation Technique


Lie flat on a mattress. Prop up the legs about 18 inches from the ground with a stiff cushion under the knees, and let every muscle go flop. A cushion under the head, if lying on a mattress, will relax the neck muscles. Close the eyes. Become aware of the whole body lying relaxed on the mattress. Simply develop an idea that the breath rate is getting slower, it is getting deeper and calmer. The idea of propping up the legs is to make the spine lie flat and to cool the feet by letting the blood run away from them, relieving burden on the heart. After a few minutes start counting the breaths, i.e. when you inhale count 1 in, when you exhale, 1 out. Count up to 54.


How To Relieve Stress – Importance Of Resolution


Lie in Savasana and close the eyes. Become aware of the body from top of the head to the tip of the toes. Ensure that there is no obstruction in the comfort of the body. Make a resolution mentally and repeat it three times. The resolution may be “I will achieve total health”, or any resolution which is short, simple and positive. Become aware of the natural and spontaneous breathing process. Become aware of the movement of navel. When the navel goes up count 54, then let it come down. When again the navel goes up count 53, then again let the navel come down. Continue till the counting reaches 1.


These Three Simple Stress Management Techniques help a heart patient (or anyone) to reduce stress by focusing on the breathing and concentrating on the counting. For a few minutes the body is allowed to perform its normal functions like respiration, circulation and digestion without getting messages from the sympathetic nervous system. The parasympathetic system which is concerned with relaxation, takes over. These stress management techniques increase the practitioner’s level of awareness and he becomes conscious of the harmful feelings, which are often unreasonable. We add more years to our life as our heart is relieved of stress and is adapted to function better in a healthy environment.


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