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When Being Stressed Out Feels Normal

May 20, 2016

In today’s world, you’d be hard-pressed to find someone in your life, including you that wouldn’t say they’re stressed about something in their life. And while stress can sometimes be good, it can help you conquer fears or motivate you to get something done — when you’re constantly in a state of tension and anxiety, it can have a negative effect on your body’s physical, mental and emotional state. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that 90 percent of all illness and disease is stress-related.

Here’s what to do:

  1. Listen to today’s podcast. Learn the best way to get a handle on your stress levels, and how to teach the mind to cope during pressing times.
  2. Take the quiz below, to find out if you’re way too stressed.
  3. Practice one of the breathing exercises below and discover how you can relax in 10 minutes or less.

 

PUSH PLAY!

Quiz:

We’ll help you identify 7 red flags that you may be too stressed.

  1. You’re perpetually sick and just can’t seem to get over it.
  2. You’re having trouble concentrating.
  3. You have a constant headache that just won’t go away.
  4. Your back or neck is always aching.
  5. You having trouble sleeping well.
  6. Your hair is starting to fall out.
  7. You’re getting UTIs.


Breathing Exercises: From your bed, a desk, or anywhere stress finds its way, practice these techniques to help keep calm and carry on.

1. Sama or “Equal Breathing”

How it’s done: To start, inhale for a count of four, then exhale for a count of four (all through the nose, which adds a natural resistance to the breath). Got the basic down? More advanced can aim for six to eight counts per breath with the same goal in mind: Calm the nervous system, increase focus, and reduce stress.

2. Abdominal Breathing Technique

How it’s done: With one hand on the chest and the other on the belly, take a deep breath in through the nose, ensuring the diaphragm (not the chest) inflates with enough air to create a stretch in the lungs. The goal: 6 to 10 deep, slow breaths per minute for 10 minutes each day to experience immediate reductions to heart rate and blood pressure.

3. Progressive Relaxation

How it’s done: To nix tension from head to toe, close the eyes and focus on tensing and relaxing each muscle group for two to three seconds each. Start with the feet and toes, then move up to the knees, thighs, glutes, chest, arms, hands, neck, jaw, and eyes—all while maintaining deep, slow breaths.

Have an idea, tip, or trick that has helped you handle stress? We want to hear about it! Leave a comment below for points!

6 responses to “When Being Stressed Out Feels Normal”

  1. Chris Truman says:

    Awesome!

  2. Alex Hansen says:

    I’ve always been a fan of the equal breathing technique. Another thing I like to do is go to a quote place, close my eyes and take these deep breathes and literally think about nothing. Some might even call it advanced meditation, some might even say there’s nothing in my head.

  3. Luke Scott says:

    Thank you! This will help me when the inevitable stressful day will come up. I’m always telling my kids to calm down and breathe when they freak out over things important to them. I guess sometimes I need to take that same advice.

  4. Jeremy Anderson says:

    My mother always told me that if it is in the past or you can’t control it, stressing out about it won’t get you anywhere. I took that to heart and not a lot stresses me out. Whenever I feel stressed, I try to take a step back and tell myself that whatever the problem is, I will get through it stronger on the other end. It isn’t easy sometimes, but my positive attitude has helped me live a relatively low stress life.

  5. Andrew Deifel says:

    At least I don’t have to worry about my hair falling out. Anyway, so something that works for me along with slow, deep breathing is to walk away from a stressful situation or take some time away from it and come back again to tackle it at another time. Usually it doesn’t seem quite so bad or quite as important or stressful and sometimes you have a new perspective that helps you get through it. Bam!

  6. Alexandra Busico says:

    When I am feeling over stressed I try to follow my mind’s path back to what led me to feel this way. Then I try to focus on my breathing to calm my anxiety about the situation as I try to find a solution. This has given me some other tips and techniques to try for the future! I need to do more deep breathing!

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