For example, sitting in traffic, taking a shower, or right before bed or after waking up can be opportunities for practicing self-care. Find moments in your day when you can practice relaxation techniques and become fully engaged with them.Deep diaphragmatic breathing has a ripple effect on your autonomic nervous system and helps calm your other systems and quiet your mind. It is the first and fastest way in allowing yourself to regain control of your mind and body. Do not try to relax; allow yourself to relax. Slowly inhale for four seconds, and watch as your belly begins to expand and fill your lungs as if inflating a balloon. Gently hold for one or two seconds, and then slowly exhale for six seconds, completely letting go of your tension and worries. Biofeedback, mindfulness, meditation and yoga can all enhance your relaxation response to manage anxiety. Smile and remember that you are in control.
Source: The Ugly Butterflies: Managing Anxiety Better | Psych Central
Intense, sudden periods of stress or shock, like a breakup or even winning the lottery, can trigger such a rush of adrenaline that the heart can’t function properly, resulting in heart failure or heart attack-like symptoms. In the case of a breakup or death of a loved one, this has become known as broken heart syndrome. Flickr photo by epSos.de Sheldon Cohen, Ph.D., a psychology professor at Carnegie Mellon University, has been at the forefront of stress research since the 1990s. Early on, he showed that chronic stress lasting more than a month but less than six months doubled a person’s risk of catching a cold. His more recent research has tried to figure out why, and results seem to point to inflammation. It appears that stress hampers the body’s ability to fight inflammation, by making immune cells less sensitive to the hormone that “turns off” inflammation, HealthyDay reported. Flickr photo by anna gutermuth A March study found that, at least in mice, chronic stress impaired the prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain involved in abstract thought, cognitive analysis and detecting the appropriate behavior for a given situation. Previous research in mice also showed that shorter bursts of stress impaired the centers of the brain involved in memory and learning, and left the mice struggling to remember how to find their way through a maze.
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