How to Overcome Stress, Anxiety, and Other Related Maladies with Mind-Body Techniques - dummies

How to Overcome Stress, Anxiety, and Other Related Maladies with Mind-Body Techniques

By Therese Iknoian

Mind-body techniques provide real benefit for those suffering from stress, anxiety, and other related maladies. “Related maladies” means depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and even heart disease because too much stress can increase your risk of developing any one of those conditions, too.

Live with success over stress

A slow and prolonged exhalation (the breathing out part of breathing) has been shown to enhance a reaction in the body that causes overall muscular relaxation. Chanting, singing, or breathing techniques can promote that slow and prolonged exhalation. If you are more relaxed, you handle your stress and your emotions more easily, and you may even sleep better.

One study specifically compared moving Tai Chi Chuan practices to walking and found that reactions in the body during Tai Chi were similar to the reactions caused by moderate fitness walking in reducing anxiety and increasing vigor. Of course, researchers even pointed out that people may have been biased after hearing of the wonderful relaxing effects of Tai Chi Chuan.

The only study that actually used the NIA technique compared women who did NIA with women who just did traditional aerobic dance. Lo and behold, the NIA group had less anxiety and generally felt better,

Even non-aerobic mind-body methods like Feldenkrais and Alexander may have tension-reducing effects that can leave you feeling better in your everyday life.

Lower the risk of heart disease

When you aren’t bound up by stress and anger, you just feel better on a day-to-day basis. But living without stress and anger may also cause decreases in your blood pressure, bad-cholesterol level, and other factors that can raise your risk of heart disease.

One recent journal article reviewed research about meditation and relaxation techniques (although not specifically mind-body exercise) and found a reduced risk of coronary artery disease. Yet another article, which also looked only at related areas such as relaxation breathing, found fewer secondary heart attacks after five years in patients with cardiac disease.

Control obsessive-compulsive behavior

One study recently found that simple breathing techniques had as much positive effect on people with obsessive-compulsive behavior as drugs did! That means the obsessiveness and compulsiveness decreased and allowed the people to live better day-to-day . . . without drugs.