Work offers different programs aimed at we employees overall health. The program this week was on Stress. (Yeah let me tell you about it.) We learned that when stress becomes excessive, our bodies and mind are unable to cope and disease can result. (Yeah let me tell you about it.)
We learned that the best way to relieve stress is to breathe. Ya, it's that simple. Really. I was surprised, too. Our presenter instructed us to press a fist into our chest. Then she asked us if we held our breath. Well, yeah. See how stress affects your breathing?
To calm yourself all you have to do is concentrate on your breathing. At first, I didn't get it. There are two types of breathing: chest and diaphragm. Since I practice Pilates, I'm a chest breather. You see, the point of Pilates is to strengthen your abs, so I hold my stomach and that area firm, and breathe with my lungs. But I should really go a step further and breathe a little lower--the diaphragm. That would give me deeper breathing.
Well, let me tell you, I almost hyperventilated trying to concentrate on changing from chest to diaphragm. Talk about stress!
But I got the hang of it. Soon I was filling the diaphragm and squeezing the air out. This conscious effort is called breath awareness.
While I was breathing in and out, a CD of calming music was playing.
I was just about asleep when the instructor turned the lights on.
I was surprised that 20 minutes had passed by. And it was so easy. All I have to do is concentrate on my breathing and I relax.
Let me tell you, I felt great! I was very relaxed.
(Yeah let me tell you about it, refers to my Cronkhite Canada Syndrome [see posting from Jan 2009], which is caused by STRESS.)