In the hustle and bustle of daily life, it is almost impossible to avoid stress and stress-inducing situations. When we encounter stressful situations our body’s natural “fight or flight” response is triggered. This is useful for us to respond to dangerous situations. However, when this response in turned on for too long it can result in a prolonged stressed state which can then lead to chronic health problems down the road such as high blood pressure, heart disease and more. While it seems almost too obvious, one of the best ways to cope with stress is through relaxed, deep breathing.
Deep breathing helps activate your body’s “rest and digest” response which is the opposite of “fight or flight”. This helps stimulate your body to relax and not remained stressed. Controlled breathing can also reduce your heart-rate which in turn can help lower blood pressure, all of which are peripheral benefits of managing and lowering your stress level.
In addition to deep breathing, quality sleep can drastically reduce the negative vices that nag at you during the day. Unfortunately, for many people achieving quality sleep is easier said than done. Musola Oniyide, a physical therapist at the Barnabas Health Ambulatory Care Center, offers these helpful tips to improve the quality of your sleep:
· Set Down Your Ideas. Before dozing off to dreamland, jot down your ideas on a piece of paper in an attempt to deter them from affecting your sleep.
· Put Down The Water A full bladder can keep you running to bathroom and prevent you from uninterrupted sleep.
· Don’t Check Email Before Bed Any and all unnecessary distractions should be limited at bedtime to prime your body for sleep.
· One Hour Relaxation Before Bed A full-unwind can do wonders for not only helping you fall asleep but keeping you asleep as well.