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What Are 2 Best Ways To Manage Stress Response

What Are 2 Best Ways To Manage Stress Response 

2 best ways to manage stress response

Have you ever felt butterflies in your stomach before speaking in front of a group or doing something that makes you nervous? Experiencing nerves or stress is normal for everyone. It’s part of our body’s way of helping us to survive and avoid danger, which is more effective for things like fighting off a tiger. What’s not so great is that we can be left feeling anxious with elevated cortisol and adrenaline after a stress-inducing experience. Let’s explore what are 2 best ways to manage stress response effectively. 

When you learn how stress works, it’s easier to find effective ways to better manage your stress levels and mood throughout the day. There are mindfulness apps that can help you to become more present in the moment. There are a wide range of online platforms for therapy available, as well as online therapeutic chat alternatives

With all of us living more of our lives online, it’s only natural to look at some of the options for improving our mental health digitally. Receiving therapy online can be more convenient and cost-effective than in-person therapy, take some time to weigh the benefits for yourself. 

In this article, we’ll look at how the stress response system works in the body and some easy exercises designed to help calm stress in the body. 

How The Autonomic Nervous System Works

So how do we find ways to ways to live more cooperatively with our body and not experience as much stress? First of all, let’s take a deeper look at how the body’s stress or flight-flight-freeze response works. 

manage stress response

The human body has what’s called the autonomic nervous system, which automatically regulates several vital human processes. The autonomic nervous system is a part of the peripheral nervous system that is responsible for regulating things like our blood pressure, heart rate, respiration, and digestion.

How The Sympathetic Nervous System And The Parasympathetic Nervous System Is Involved With Stress 

It’s important to understand our body’s autonomic nervous system is one of the body’s ways of protecting us in the face of danger. The way autonomic nervous system regulates our flight-flight-freeze response is divided into the sympathetic nervous system and the parasympathetic nervous system. 

When we’re faced with a perceived threat, like the proverbial tiger, the sympathetic nervous system kicks in. The result is that the sympathetic nervous system releases adrenaline and cortisol into the body, which helps us to feel more focused and energetic for catching tigers. 

The thing is that unless you’re hunting a tiger, do you need that burst of energy or stress? Not really, and this is part of why a person feels physical effects from anxiety or threats. The physical symptoms are real, they’re not just in your head. 

Helping The Body To Feel Less Threatened

Yes, the body’s sympathetic nervous system works automatically this way to release cortisol and adrenaline if we sense a perceived threat. But that doesn’t mean we’re stuck with this happening. We can do things to lessen the body’s sympathetic response, which effectively lowers stress hormones. By working on the way we perceive threats, we can exert some influence over how our body responds. 

If our mind understands there’s no tiger, and we’re not actually in any form of life-and-death danger, we can help our body to lower the stress response. The key is understanding for our minds to know there’s no real danger, which we can then use to help our bodies physically feel less stressed. One of the ways we can regain more control over our mind, and hence our body, is with mindfulness

How Mindfulness and Breathing Exercises Can Help

mindfulness exercises

Practicing mindfulness exercises can be helpful to our mental health in a wide range of ways, from building mental strength to helping us remain calmer. One of the specific ways mindfulness can positively affect health is by activating the parasympathetic nervous system. 

Scientific studies have identified a positive relationship between mindfulness and getting more of the beneficial calming effects from the parasympathetic nervous system. Research has shown that mindfulness exercises can aid in building a stronger parasympathetic nervous system. In one study, slow breathing exercises were linked to strengthening the body’s parasympathetic nervous system. 

Because the parasympathetic nervous system comes in to dampen the effects of stress caused by the sympathetic nervous system, the result can be physiological as well. When the parasympathetic nervous system is activated, the resulting physiological effects can also include benefits like a slower heart rate and lower blood pressure. 

Mindfulness Exercises To Try – 2 Best Ways To Manage Stress Response

So let’s look at a few mindfulness exercises that are easy to learn and only take a few minutes. 

The Body Scan Exercise

The body scan is one of the most important mindfulness exercises to learn because it’s important to learn how to check in with your body. As discussed, there are many physical symptoms of stress, such as raised heart rate and elevated blood pressure. Checking in with the state of your physical body is an important way to measure the level of stress your body is under. 

To scan your body, make sure you’re in a comfortable position lying on your back with your legs and arms extended out. The position of your body, arms, and legs should not be causing you any tension. Start at your toes, then slowly move up. Examine each part of your body as you go up. Without judging, simply notice what you feel in each part of your body until you reach your head.  

The 4-4-4 Breathing Technique

There are many breathing exercises related to mindfulness. Breathing deeply may help signal to the parasympathetic nervous system to send a more calming stress response. The key is to remember to practice. Find whatever works, sometimes simpler is better when getting started. One of the easiest mindfulness breathing exercises to learn is the 4-4-4 breathing method.

In the 4-4-4 breathing method, we simply inhale for a count of four seconds, then hold our breath for four seconds, then finally exhale for four seconds. Repeat this exercise (you guessed it) four times. 

In Conclusion

We hope this article is a valuable tool in helping you to understand more about the way stress works in the body and what you can do about it. Just don’t hesitate to get support for your mental health if you’re feeling overwhelmed. You’re not alone in feeling the stresses of life, there’s help out there. Taking steps to improve your mental well-being is one of the healthiest things you can do for yourself. 

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