This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
MANAGING STRESS


A Few Moments A Day to Melt Stress Away


By Margot McKinnon


tress around the holiday period is practically a given. Many of us remind ourselves constantly to eat wholesome food, get adequate rest, and take care not to over-commit. Sometimes though, knowing the many things we should be doing to control our stress levels causes them to rise. It all becomes a vicious cycle, and we get more stressed out by the fact that we are getting stressed in the first place. For anyone who can relate to this scenario, take a moment now


S


and breathe. Go ahead: inhale…and exhale. Do it three times and focus on the feeling of your breath as it flows in and out. The simple act of taking a few mindful breaths helps to calm the nervous system and slow us down.


How we Breathe has a lot to do with the Stress we


Experience What most people don’t realize is that less-than-optimal breath-


ing contributes to feeling stressed. There are four patterns of “faulty” breathing, which many of us unconsciously adopt over a lifetime. Each one contributes to stress in a significant way, and is magnified when we feel stressed. These patterns have been linked to biomechanical, biochemi-


cal, and psychological influences. While all three are intimately connected, intervention in one area can have very positive effects on the other two.


20 canfitpro NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2013


Breathe Easy and Ease Stress In most cases our body’s natural respiratory process emerges the moment we pay attention to dismantling the restrictions that impede it. At BODY HARMONICS, we use the following four steps to melt away stress-inducing breath patterns.


Step 1: Identify your breathing pattern Identify what you do when you breathe and focus on how it feels. Do any of the following descriptions apply to you?


Reverse In reverse breathing, the abdomen moves in on the inhalation


and out on the exhalation. This pattern often results in shoulder and upper back tension.


Upper Chest


This breathing relies on upper body muscles, because the lower ribs are unable to expand, which limits the movement of the dia- phragm. As a result, the oxygen/carbon dioxide exchange is poor. Chronic upper back, shoulder, and neck tension are commonly associated with this pattern.


Collapsed In this type of breathing, the person’s chest is drawn down and


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56