December 7, 2012 2:34 am Published by

This is an article I wrote for the Our Town Colonie magazine earlier in 2012 titled: Stress!

What is stress and is there anything we can do about it?  Stress is how the mind and body respond to situations, good or bad.  Just about every disease has a route in stress and whether perceived mentally (Is there a tiger outside?) or physically (being chased by a tiger) the body reacts to stress with a “fight or flight” response.  All animals have it.  Freeze movement and hold the breath (so the tiger won’t see or hear you).  When this happens, the body produces and releases chemicals which are designed to give the body energy to respond.  Even though most of you won’t run into a tiger today, you will experience some form of stress.  Whether it is good stress or bad stress doesn’t matter. The body and breath will freeze causing the chemical release.  To use these chemicals, the body expects you to do something and when you don’t that’s when you feel the effects of stress (aches, pains, mental and physical exhaustion).

So if freezing movement and breath start the stress response, moving and breathing are remedies.  You can both ward off the release of the stress chemicals AND help the body use the chemicals once released, both a proactive and reactive solution!

Anyone can do it!  Start today, breathe deeper and increase movement.  You breathe deeper automatically when you work out, when you sleep, and when you laugh.  You can also practice meditation or yoga, which both emphasize deep breathing.  Add moving at least once an hour, even if it is just getting up for water or to use the bathroom, you are moving your body.  The more ways and more often you move your body and breathe deeper, the more you will find yourself feeling better and less stressed.

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