Knowing how to relieve stress is a very useful skill to have in our stressful world. In order to learn to relieve stress, you will first need to recognize when stress is affecting you.
Human beings do not react in the exact same manner when put under stress, so you will have to discover your very own stress symptoms.
The human body initially reacts to stress in a very general manner that remains common for all. The specifics of how your body then deals with the stress reaction that follows will vary.
When you mentally recognize or think you recognize danger, a whole sequence of events is triggered by your brain. Your nervous system gets a boost from a release of chemicals. Your heart rate then increases and your breathing accelerates.
These reactions are important in getting you ready for action. Your reflexes get sharper and you know you have to deal with the danger at hand.
If you try to imagine how the cavemen reacted when faced with imminent danger from a predator, it's easy to realize that our natural reaction to danger is actually a good one that can save our life.
Unfortunately, most of the "dangers" that are recognized by our brain are not physical dangers, but psychological dangers. The initial body reaction can still be useful when confronted with "dangers" such as deadlines, public speaking, or meeting certain people.
This initial body reaction is good when kept under control and when it doesn't last long. You can imagine that your body was not meant to function at such elevated rates all the time and negative consequences arise when your stress levels are too high for too long.
Read more on the effects of stress on this stress management tips page.
This is why it's important to learn how to relieve stress before you reach the critical threshold that can lead you to depression, burn-out, and other downsides of stress.
The most efficient way to relieve stress is to learn to breathe properly. Your emotional state affects the way you breathe. For example, anger makes your breath shorter, shallower and faster. When you are relaxed, your breath is longer, deeper and slower. You can easily see that stress will affect your breathing like anger does.
Such shorter, shallower and faster breath affects the equilibrium between oxygen and carbon dioxide. When the balance is lost, you experience, dizziness, panic attacks, faintness, sweating and other physical and psychological symptoms can be triggered.
Many people hyperventilates when facing a stressful situation or even when making an emotional connection to a past experience.
Fortunately, there are some breathing exercises that you can do anywhere that will improve your overall breathing. When you are confronted with stress, you can also focus on your breathing to help take the edge off. You should take a deep breath while mentally counting to 4 as you inhale. Then pause for 2, and exhale for 4 seconds. Pause for 2 and repeat.
There are countless ways to relieve stress but many of them involve a deeper change of lifestyle. Check out these links on other ways to relieve stress at home:
Fortunately, you can work on your breathing on your own in the comfort of your home, or even your office. Learning how to relieve stress through improving your breathing skills is a wonderful way to improve relaxation at home and to improve your concentration, focus and overall well-being.
If you are looking for professional help to deal with stress and anxiety, there are other options. Read more on what Chartered Psychologists recommend on the Psychology 4 You site.
You can also learn how to deal with stress with this great information: