Long-term stress leads to external and internal tension and long-term to diseases. A few simple exercises to help relax muscles and improve breathing and oxygenation. We not only show you exercises that help reduce stress, but also explain what stress is and what types of stress exist.
What is stress?
Stress is nothing else than tension - the body is in some way under power. Stress as stress and tension of the whole organism is the cause of many illnesses. In Germany, the annual costs of medical treatment, absenteeism and loss of production caused by stress are estimated at 30 billion euros.
But stress is also important, because it inspires to peak performance. He has saved the lives of primitive man in the wild, and he ensures that we can perform for hours and complete complicated mental tasks and physical exertions seemingly effortlessly.
In stress situations, various mechanisms in the body are set in motion: Hormones such as adrenalin are released into the bloodstream. These hormones make your heartbeat faster, your heart rate stronger, and your muscles more well supplied. Plenty of energy is mobilized and blood clotting increased.
On the other hand, all processes in the body that are not vital to survival at the moment are put on the back burner: the temperature drops, the digestion proceeds more slowly, and impulses such as hunger and sexual desire are inhibited. When the stress stimulus on the organism subsides, the body recovers.
However, prolonged stress, a problem for many people today, weakens the immune system and can lead to insomnia, gastric ulcers or high blood pressure, or even worse to diabetes and heart attack. In her book "Risk Heart" Barbara Spachtholz u.a. a simple exercise:
- Observe breathing: Most people sink a little bit while exhaling, but this way the flow of energy is inhibited. The exhalation should be upright. Inhaling helps to gather, because when inhaling, you receive something.
- You should always inhale through the nose. The exhale takes place through the mouth; if possible, with a lip. This method gives the lungs the optimal amount of air.
- Breath breathing: This gives you a deep and quiet breathing rhythm. You breath slowly into the palm of your hand, as if you wanted to moisten it. Now it is inhaled again through the nose. Repeat this exercise until your hand is warm.
Laughter and yawning, singing are certainly the best breathing exercises!
Relax in between
As often as possible you should change your working position: sometimes sitting, sometimes standing, sometimes lying down - by the way, the good old standing desk can be found more often in offices. You can make phone calls while standing, reading lying down relieves the intervertebral discs. Everyone who drives a lot of their car and sits at the computer too long has a tense neck. It is very helpful to lift your shoulders up for four seconds and repeat them three times. By the way, quiet music while driving slows your heart rate and promotes inner peace. Some basic movements such as shaking, swinging, swings, circling, turning, balancing are well-being movements that can be well integrated in-between in the office. So you stimulate the body, relaxes and regenerates.
It also absorbs more oxygen. Since the brain only makes up three percent of the body's weight but consumes 20 percent of the oxygen, every form of exercise is so enormously important. Both the oxygen supply and the carbon dioxide removal in the brain are significantly improved. The brain is better supplied with blood and more efficient.
In his book "Die 90 Sekunden Pause" the author Rolf Herkert describes a short program for quick relaxation. The exercises can be performed while lying or sitting.
- You fold your hands behind your head and push your elbows far back.
- One stretches out the legs and at the same time tightens all the muscles firmly. The toes point forward.
- It tenses the abdominal muscles strongly and feels the power. Now hold your breath and count to seven.
- As you exhale gently, all your muscles relax.
- You can feel this relaxation for a while.
- Now stretch and stretch like a cat, while yawning extensively.
- Now the cat turns into a "dynamic predator". You think or say aloud: "I am full of energy, concentrated and relaxed!"