Stress is a part of our life, and it is our responsibility to manage it, otherwise it manages us. What are the useful tips on how to manage stress? How effective are they? What stress managing technique is right for you, that fits your lifestyle and most effective for your kind of personality? Here are some ways to manage stress.
Isometric exercises. This method is based on putting tension on certain muscles and then relaxing them in a repeated, rhythmic way. An example might be making a fist and then relaxing it, or put your hands behind your head and press it forward straining neck muscles to force back, then press your feet to the ground and relax. These simple exercises can be used in any situation to achieve relaxation.
Autogenic training. This is a well-known method of relaxation. A deep relaxation that people usually feel after hypnosis can be achieved by means of self-suggestive techniques. You can sit quietly and give yourself simple commands like: I’m feeling calm, I’m feeling heavy, My arms and legs are feeling warm and heavy. To get really good at this, you must practice it a few times. The effect of this technique could become stronger if deep-breathing is used during the exercise.
Meditation. All known meditation techniques are targeted to focus your thoughts and attention on a single thing. It could be music, a mantra or your own breathing. All other thoughts become shut off, and other distractions are completely ignored. Such concentration helps you to achieve a deep relaxation. Deep breathing in combination with a specific sitting posture and closed eyes helps to achieve a full rest.
Biofeedback training. For the past few decades biofeedback has become very popular among stress- management professionals. The concept of biofeedback training is based on measuring certain physical parameters that can be directly or indirectly controlled. The subject/person can see the actual levels while being given specific suggestive or controlling commands that affects the parameter being measured. An example is -- skin temperature is being continuously measured while suggestive thoughts are being induced aimed to relax muscles. Muscle relaxation causes peripheral blood vessels to dilate and increase blood flow in limbs, which in turn causes skin temperature to rise. The temperature level is being displayed to the subject along with the continuation of giving suggestive thoughts. Thus the subject establishes a feedback leading to deeper relaxation.
For the past decade a special biofeedback method has gained much attention in the stress-management field. It is based on using deep rhythmic breathing positively affecting the heart rhythm by causing it to oscillate coherently with breathing pace. This method involves a very important physiological mechanism of baroreflex that is responsible for body’s adaptation to various factors (physical exertion, psycho-emotional stresses) and for achieving the body’s internal homeostasis. This technique is a special workout to this mechanism, by training and toning it in a similar way to physical exercise for muscles and cardiovascular system.
During the training session, your heart rate is being measured and displayed. At the same time a visual and/or audio pacer is presented to trainee to maintain specific rhythm of breathing. Using a special mathematical algorhythm an influence of paced breathing on heart rhythm is being evaluated and continuously displayed. This algorhythm analyzes a level of consistency between your heart rhythm and breathing pace at a very specific rate of around 6 breaths per minute.
The immediate effect of such training is stress relief and bringing back the body’s inner balance. Regular use of this technique causes various positive effects such as lowering blood pressure, strengthening immune system, improving digestion, normalizing metabolic processes and chemical balance.
Existing solution for stress relief.
There are many commercially available tools providing an appropriate means for stress relief based on the paced-breathing biofeedback technique. One of the most effective tools widely used for professional stress-management is Stress Sweeper. It is successfully used by stress-management professionals in many clinics and colleges worldwide.