Breathing exercises can combat stress and improve your quality of life (P1)
According to the American Institute of Stress, the number one way to stimulate your relaxation response is by breathing.
Researchers in the medical university of South Carolina recently confirmed the impact deep yogic breathing has on stress.(1) Their research concluded that it helps in the reduction of proinflammatory cytokines, a type of signaling molecule that is produced as a natural response to stress.
Noticing thoughts and staying calm (P2) Image Credits: Relaxing Music
The word meditation brings to mind many types of practices most of which involve sitting quietly. However while these maybe the traits of people who are meditating. Meditation itself involves the process of quieting the mind, not by focusing on not thinking, but by letting pressing thoughts come to mind, seeing them and not getting caught up in the uncertainty they bring. So you can return to focus on the present moment.
Research into meditation has confirmed it helps reduce errors under mental stress.(2) Participants were given a stroop test and the results of meditation practitioners was compared with a control group.
As shown in the picture above this test contains coloured names of colours. In the left column the name and the colour match, in the right column they don’t. Participants were asked to name the colours of the names. For example the answer to the first item on the right column is yellow.
In the second column there is an inconsistency, between what you read and the answer, which creates an error response in your brain. This error response sets off emotional responses and activates stress in the mind. The executive center is responsible for managing emotions and determining the best approach to find the right answer. Which makes it an essential skill when working in a challenging environment. So breathe a few times and see your major concerns, without taking on the worry of it. This will help you see how you can overcome them.
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