How Stress effect our body
There are physiological mechanisms in our body by which chronic stress and associated emotional states contribute to diseases. Our nervous system is the consequence of many years of evolution. It basically comprises our master computer, the brain; the major cable of the body, our spinal cord; and the network of nerves that links the master computer to the nooks and corners of the body.
In primitive times, for survival in jungles and less protected surroundings, the brain was tuned to meet external challenges like wild animals and natural threats by triggering a ‘ fight- or- flight’ response in the body. This would enable the body to recruit physiological changes to cope with the demand of either fighting the threat or fleeing from it.
In our day- to- day life too, we have many stressors.
When we get angry for any reason, our breathing gets coarse, the heart rate quickens, and the face turns red.
Our personality changes and communication becomes aggressive.
These changes spontaneously make up the stress response, and are mediated through a welldesigned interaction between the nerves and the hormones in the body.
Stress Response in Present Time Today our challenges and stressors are different from those in primitive times.
Instead of wild animals and inhospitable terrain, we have to cope with unending traffic and speeding vehicles, shortage of time and increasing demands. An over- competitive environment, and our struggle for a healthy self- image.
Fighting or fleeing would be socially inappropriate in most cases, So what do we do in the face of such modern stressors? We feel bad and get emotional disturbed; at a deeper level, we actually tend to override the stressor and suppress the physical reaction to it.
Unknowingly we keep suppressing our responses to the unending list of stressors throughout the day.
This leads to a negative cumulative effect on the body and manifests as chronic stress, which has not been released.— extracted from Power Pranayama by Dr Renu Mahtani; Rs 295; Jaico Books.
HOW TO IDENTIFY REVERSE BREATHING If the stomach caves in instead of bulging out during deep inhalation, and vice versa, we are doing what is knows as reverse breathing, which is very common. A few deep breaths done with awareness and with the palms placed on the belly will instantaneously identify reverse breathing.
HOW TO CORRECT REVERSE BREATHING > Place both hands on the belly region > Begin with exhalation, as the first step is to enable the belly to reunite in the act of breathing.
As you breathe out… > press the belly in… > and release with inhalation. In order to experience the flow of the breath, imagine that there is some dust in the nose and you are trying to blow it out.
Naturally, the breath would go out and the belly would go in.
> During inhalation, relax the abdomen without allowing it to bulge out
BENEFITS OF SLOW AND DEEP BREATHING BLOOD: An improved quality of blood is a direct result of increased oxygenation of the lungs. All the cells benefit from the oxygen and, as a result, all the toxins are flushed out of the body.
LUNGS: The lungs become stronger and more elastic. Deep breathing saves the breath by slowing down and deepening the respiratory pattern. This brings about efficiency in the gas exchange and has an economizing effect.
HEART : Yogic breathing reduces the workload on the hear in two ways: As the efficiency of the lungs increases, the oxygen- carrying capacity of the blood increases, and the heart does not have to work so hard to deliver oxygen to the tissues.
Owing to greater pressure differential in the lungs due to deep breathing, there is an increase in circulation, thus giving the heart a little rest. The heart operates better and lives longer. Keeping blood pressure and other heart diseases under control.
WEIGHT CONTROL Oxygen burns up excess fat more efficiently, and in an underweight person, this oxygen feeds the starving tissues and glands. In other words, the inhaled oxygen offers the ideal weight for the individual.