What is the definition of stress?
Stress is defined as a person's response to his environment. Stress is measured in terms of arousal or stimulation. As such, stress must be present for a person to function.
Each person has his own normal (homeostatic) level of arousal at which he functions best. If something unusual in the environment occurs, this level of arousal is affected.
We offer stress reduction using the Chi Machine. You should use it 3 minutes each day to eliminate the storage of stress. It works!
There are three phases of arousal:
Phase 1. Alarm phase: When an unusual (or stressful) event occurs, the output of energy drops for a short period as the event is registered in the person's mind.
Phase 2. Adaptation phase: Next, the output of energy increases above the normal level; arousal is heightened as the person seeks to deal with the situation. Adaptation responses available to humans include physically running away, fighting, freezing (self immobilization), suppression emotion, or learning.
Phase 3. Exhaustion phase: Finally the person's available energy is expended and his capacity to function effectively is reduced.
The physical response to stress is as follows:
In the state of chronic stress, heart rate, blood pressure, and respiration are chronically elevated
The physical response to relaxation is as follows:
Stress management strategy is to evoke the relaxation physical response on a regular, daily basis.
Personal Life Events analysis
To learn the level of stress (distress) in your life, circle the value at the right of each of the following events if it has occurred within the past 12 months:
Death of spouse.........................................100
How to analyze your score:
Suggested uses for personal Life Events analysis:
*Note: This scale is derived from the Holmes-Rahe Social Readjustment Scale. Holmes, T. & Rahe, R. (1967) "Holmes-Rahe Social Readjustment Rating Scale", Journal of Psychosomatic Research, vol. II.
Learning to relax:
You may have grown to accept a certain high level of stress and anxiety as ``normal.'' You may be unfamiliar with what it feels like to be relaxed, calm, and unstressed. With progressive relaxation you learn what it feels like to be relaxed, you learn to increase relaxation to a new level. By doing this you not only improve your physical well being by reducing hypertension, headaches, and other physical complaints, but you improve your mental state by reducing stress, anxiety, irritability, and depression.
The physical setting: Progressive relaxation should take place in a quiet, attractive room. You should be completely supported. There should be no need for exertion to maintain body support. You should wear comfortable, loose fitting clothing during the sessions.
The process: Lie on the floor or a bed and follow the directions of the relaxation technique in the following Relaxation Training Technique as you tense and relax various muscle groups. After the initial tensing of the muscles, release the tension instantly and completely. This is very important in order to get the ``pendulum effect.'' The muscles relax beyond the point of their normal relaxed state. You should then feel the important difference between tension and relaxation. You should concentrate on the feeling of relaxation, learn what it is to relax and how to increase it. Continually repeat to yourself, ``Know what it feels like to be relaxed, deepen the relaxation, know what it is to be relaxed.
'' Do's and don'ts'' of relaxation:
Do: Make sure you have comfortable, loose clothing and
proper back support
Do: Allow your mind to quiet down. If tense thoughts
enter while you are relaxing, let them pass out of your head.
Do: Stay alert and conscious while you are relaxing.
Pay close attention and note any changes in your body (feelings that stand
out for you).
Do: Go at your own pace and let go of your muscles as
your body decides to give up tension.
Do: Give your body messages of appreciation for relaxing
as you notice these feelings going through your body.
Do: Stay aware of your breathing. Observe how much air
you're taking in full breaths at regular rhythms.
A full breathing exercise
Step 1: Lie prone on the floor. Loosen your belt and restrictive clothing.
Step 2: Relax and exhale as completely as possible. Begin to inhale slowly making your belly rise. Now move your rib cage. Now your chest. Hold it for a second. Now, exhale completely, all the air out of your lungs. Try it again. This is complete breathing. Breathe normally for a while, and in the next minute take at least one more complete breath. Pause one minute.
Step 3: You are still lying prone. As you lie there you will begin stretching muscles to achieve unblocked circulation. Bring your arms above your head and stretch them away from you fully. Now stretch your legs and feet downward, away from you, take a deep breath, let go and relax. Pause ten seconds. Feel the effects of the stretch on your body and on your breathing. Pause 15 seconds. Now sit up very slowly.
Step 4: Stand up for this part of the exercise. There are three very basic stretching postures to increase flexibility. backward bend forward bend side-to-side bend As you do your backward bend pay attention to stretching your abdomen and back muscles. Important: Go only as far as you can. Don't push yourself. Bend slowly. As you do your forward bend, pay attention to the stretch of your back muscles and backs of legs; blood in head and arms. As you do your side stretch, pay attention to stretching in your chest, sides and neck.
Step 5: Assume a comfortable sitting posture, one you can hold for 15 to 20 minutes. This could be in a chair. Get comfortable and close your eyes when you are ready. Please note everything you are aware of: outside sounds, your bodily awareness, thoughts; note this awareness and do not change it. Then, notice shifting from outside sounds to thoughts of bodily awareness.
After approximately five minutes of this, notice that breathing is occurring; again, not to change it but only to notice it. One can enhance this noticing by attaching the words ``breathing out'' to the breath as it leaves the nostrils and ``breathing in'' as the breath reenters. As awareness shifts from breathing to thoughts of external sounds, allow that to happen and the return to ``breathing out-breathing in'' (following the breath).
Continue this for five to seven minutes. At this point, try to incorporate some visual imagery in the form of a golden light with the in-breath. See yourself breathing in this golden light and watching it fill the inside of your body. This could be in a particle, vapor, smoke, or mist like form, whatever is comfortable for you. Visualize this light in your head, shoulders, chest and breath out any tensions in the form of a black color. Continue until you visually experience your whole body as being filled with this golden light. Experience that feeling.
Stay with this experience for another minute or two. Then, become aware of your breath again, with your body sitting on the floor or chair (feeling grounded). When ready, open your eyes.
Step 6: Try this breathing exercise for 15 to 20 minutes daily until you are able to achieve full breathing and stress reduction in a progressively shorter period of time.
Exercise to Dissipate Stress. After you have practiced this several times, establish a daily routine for exercise. Start with walking and then rpogress to weight lifting and then high level aerobic routines to dissapate stress. This will insure that the stress you take in every day will not accumulate and be stored as myofascial pain syndrome, arthritis, colitis, gastric ulcer, hypertension and other chronic disorders.
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