We have all had moments when we have to stop, take a deep breath, maybe count to 10, and get ourselves together because the moment is overwhelming. Stress is killing us while we are awake and keeping us from sleep to get away from it.
The numbers are shocking, stress has real health consequences. According to the American Psychological Association’s latest stress survey, 66 percent of people regularly experience physical symptoms of stress, and 63 percent experience psychological symptoms. The stress we carry is affecting our immune system making us more susceptible to illness and chronic stress is linked to hypertension, heart attack, and stroke. Mental resilience is affected by stress as well. Long term stress can trigger depression, anxiety, and insomnia.
How we deal with stress varies person to person and runs the gambit from very healthy, for instance: taking a run, or drawing a bath. To the very destructive like drug abuse, and high-risk behaviors. For most of us, we try things on until something sticks. That stress relief technique might work for a time, then we need to come up with a new one. Keep trying until you find what works.
4-7-8 To the Rescue
Here is a technique that you can use that will immediately intervene in stressful moments. It’s insanely simple and really effective. It has been shown to help interrupt panic attacks, induce sleep, and help lowering blood pressure. The 4-7-8 Breathing Technique was developed by Dr. Andrew Weil. He is an integrative medicine practitioner who called it “The single best anti-anxiety method I’ve found”. Dr. Weil recommends practicing the 4-7-8 Breathing Technique morning and evening as a routine and as need through your day. Dr. Weil explains further here
Tackling stress head on with intention instead of avoidance, and armed with tools instead of from a place of fear is a great first step to living a healthier more balanced life.