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Stress Relief - One Breath at a Time

Posted by Eileen Yelovich

If you Google the words “stress relief “ you will find approximately 1,310,000 results. While there appears to be vast amounts of information related to relieving stress, statistics show unmanaged stress levels keep rising. 

Currently, over 80% of all visits to primary healthcare providers are due to stress related problems. In addition, half of those visits are from those suffering from adverse effects due to stress. 

Stress is a natural unavoidable part of life. Our survival mode, the “fight or flight” stress response is a necessary and appropriate reaction when action is required to keep us safe and out of harms way. The mind cannot tell the difference between a real survival stress response and a self-created stress response. Consequently, when we live in a constant state of “fight or flight” the body’s self‐repair and natural healing abilities come to a halt. 

The goal is to interrupt and ultimately remove the patterns of our self-­imposed stress to reduce the harmful effects to our health and wellness. Every opportunity to interrupt our stress patterns creates space within the body where our natural abilities for healing can flourish. 

Breathing is the most efficient tool to open space within the body to balance the mind, body and spirit. Each opportunity to concentrate on the breath can contribute significantly to our wellness. Even three or more slow deep belly breaths can bring balance in the moment, opening space within the body interrupting our stress patterns. The cumulative effect of ongoing awareness and practice of deep breathing can have profound effects on our health and wellness. 

Opportunities to incorporate slow deep breathing into the day are unlimited and can be practiced while:

  • Stuck in traffic
  • Waiting on the phone 
  • In line at the grocery store
  • In an elevator 
  • Walking the dog
  • Preparing dinner 
  • Before falling asleep 

Commit to finding numerous opportunities throughout the day to take a moment to pause and breathe. Discover the impact you can have in your health and wellness, one breath at time!