The Stress Response
Using Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), you will learn how to relax both your mind and body.
First, let’s think about how to relax your body.
When we’re upset – the stress response automatically kicks in (the sympathetic nervous system).
Daily stress creates wear & tear on all of us and can worsen medical illnesses. For that reason, we all need to learn to manage stress really well! We may not be able to stop stressful situations from happening … but, we can learn to manage our reaction to stress — in the moment.
The beauty of your body is that you can literally take control of your stress response (even in most stressful situations) by paying more attention to your breathing than to how stressed you feel!
The Relaxation Response
The first step is to be mindful in the moment that you’re feeling stressed! Please read about the Mindfulness Technique here.
The next step is to learn how to reduce your stress response …. just by using a simple breathing technique.
If you breathe slowly (approximately 6.5 breathes per minute) and take a little more time on the exhale (4 seconds per inhale; 5 or 6 seconds per exhale), then you will turn on the ‘relaxation response’ (parasympathetic nervous system).
The below videos will teach and demonstrate for you exactly how to do that slow belly breathing. It takes a little practice … everyone can learn to do it in time!
How to Belly Breathe
I highly recommend using the FREE Breath2Relax app … Watch this video (which includes 4 short mini-videos) about how to breathe slowly as well as how the App can help. This app has been developed by the Department of Defense.