Mental Stress can come in many forms and can affect a person differently. Mental symptoms range from worry and irritability to restlessness and insomnia, anger and hostility, or sensations of dread, foreboding, and even panic. Mental stress can also produce physical symptoms. Muscles are tense, resulting in fidgetiness, taut facial expressions, headaches, or neck and back pain. The mouth is dry, producing unquenchable thirst or perhaps the sensation of a lump in the throat that makes swallowing difficult. Clenched jaw muscles can produce jaw pain and headaches. The skin can be pale, sweaty, and clammy. Intestinal symptoms range from “butterflies” to heartburn, cramps, or diarrhea. Frequent urination may be a bother. A pounding pulse is common, as is chest tightness. Rapid breathing is also typical, and may be accompanied by sighing or repetitive coughing. In extreme cases, hyperventilation can lead to tingling of the face and fingers, muscle cramps, lightheadedness, and even fainting.
As stress begins, the effects that it show scan actually trigger more stress in some parts of the body. It is like a virus that spreads rapidly affecting almost all systems in our body. The root cause of stress is emotion. As we feel anxiety or depression, stress begins its attack. Thus, it would be necessary to control stress by gaining insight, reducing life problems that trigger stress, and modifying behavior. But, stress control should also involve the body. Aside from aerobic exercises, there is another approach that enables you to use your mind to relax your body. The relaxed body will, in turn, send signals of calm and control that help reduce mental tension. These are known as Auto-Regulation Exercises.
Auto-regulation exercises are a group of techniques designed to replace the spiral of stress with a cycle of repose. This includes: Breathing exercises, Meditation and Progressive muscular relaxation.
Simple breathing exercises can help by themselves. Rapid, shallow, erratic breathing is a common response to stress. Slow, deep, regular breathing is a sign of relaxation. You can learn to control your respirations so they mimic relaxation; the effect, in fact, will be relaxing.
Here’s how deep breathing exercises work:
- Breathe in slowly and deeply, pushing your stomach out so that your diaphragm is put to maximal use.
- Hold your breath briefly.
- Exhale slowly, thinking “relax.”
*Repeat the entire sequence five to 10 times, concentrating on breathing deeply and slowly.
Meditation is the most demanding of the auto-regulation techniques, but it’s also the most beneficial and rewarding. Once you’ve mastered meditation, you’ll probably look forward to devoting 20 minutes to it once or twice a day. Meditation is a prime example of the unity of mind and body. Mental stress can speed the heart and raise the blood pressure; meditation can actually reverse the physiological signs of stress. Scientific studies of Indian yoga masters demonstrate that meditation can, in fact, slow the heart rate, lower the blood pressure, reduce the breathing rate, diminish the body’s oxygen consumption, reduce blood adrenaline levels, and change skin temperature. It can actually be done simply. By writing down your thoughts, choosing a comfortable place like a walk along the park will already do you good.
Muscle relaxation takes a bit longer to learn than deep breathing. It also takes more time. But even if this form of relaxation takes a little effort, it can be a useful part of your stress control program. Progressive muscle relaxation is best performed in a quiet, secluded place. You should be comfortably seated or stretched out on a firm mattress or mat. Until you learn the routine, have a friend recite the directions or listen to them on a tape, which you can prerecord yourself.
You can simply search on the internet what is needed to be done. With that, you now have another option to reduce your stress. Hope you’ll find the stress reliever that finally suits your lifestyle. You cannot actually remove stress. Having it is part of your life. Managing it and dealing with it is the best way to enjoy your life.