man meditating on a tree log

Lowering Stress Level With A Powerful Mind Body Connection

Battling stress has become a normal part of daily living. But by developing the mind-body connection, one can succeed in lowering stress levels. By strengthening the emotional and physical connection existing within us, we can help control stress.

The mind-body connection is the relationship between our mind and body. It’s the link between our thoughts, emotions, and physical health influenced by many factors, such as genetics, environment, lifestyle, and stress levels.

The mind and body are not separate entities. Indeed, they are interconnected and interdependent.

For example, when we experience stress, our emotions can lead to physical symptoms such as headaches, stomach problems, and muscle tension. Whereas physical pain often results in emotional distress, such as anxiety and depression.

Research tells us the mind-body connection can be harnessed for positive health outcomes. Practices such as meditation, yoga, and other mind-body therapies have been shown to reduce stress, improve immune system function, and decrease symptoms of chronic illness. Therefore, mind-body practices are moving to the forefront as an effective means of managing stress.

One way to improve the mind-body connection is to practice mindfulness. Mindfulness involves paying attention to the present moment without judgment or distraction. Mindfulness is utilized in the practice of meditation, breathing exercises, and other techniques.

Another way to improve the mind-body connection is to engage in physical activity. Exercise has been shown to reduce stress, improve mood, and promote overall physical health. Engaging in activities that bring joy and pleasure, such as dancing or hiking, can also have a positive impact on the mind-body connection.

Why Is The Mind-Body Connection Important?

The nervous system connects the brain and body, transmitting nerve signals responsible for controlling functions such as breathing, digestion, movement, thinking, and feeling. Research suggests that long-term stress, depression, and anxiety can adversely affect these signals. For example, we may be more likely to become ill or experience chronic fatigue.

In contrast, having a strong mind-body connection can help individuals work towards positive well-being. To clarify, the body cannot remove illness, but it can assist individuals with becoming attuned to how their body is feeling and use that information to help alleviate symptoms of stress, such as headaches, rapid heart rate, and others.

There are several ways to lower stress using the mind-body connection. Next, let’s examine six proven methods for reducing stress levels utilizing this powerful connection between emotions and physical function.

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Meditation And Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction

Woman lowering stress level with meditation

Meditation involves focusing or clearing the mind using a combination of mental and physical techniques. According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), meditation focuses on mind and body integration.

Thus, it calms the mind while enhancing overall well-being. Meditation offers many benefits, such as improving concentration, enhancing relaxation, promoting inner peace, and reducing stress and fatigue. In addition, it stabilizes emotions and may help reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression.

The emotional and physical benefits of meditation can assist with building stress management skills, increasing self-awareness, and focusing on the present. It also aids in reducing negative emotions, increasing patience and tolerance, and even lowering resting heart rate.

For patients exhibiting symptoms of Depression, research has shown that meditation may be nearly as effective as an antidepressant. This is because meditation is thought to have a positive effect on the sympathetic nervous system. The sympathetic nervous system is the control center in the body that increases heart rate, breathing, and blood pressure during times of stress.

Overall, meditation can be a useful tool for improving both mental and physical health.

If you want to try the benefits of meditation, see the guided video below.

Utilizing Deep Breathing Exercises For Lowering Stress Level

Man decreasing stress with deep breathing

Another stress reduction technique is deep breathing, which relaxes the body and slows racing thoughts.

When you inhale, your heart rate speeds up, and when you exhale, it slows down. Deep breathing increases the supply of oxygen to the brain, which helps lower blood pressure and heart rate. It also reduces lactic acid buildup, which causes muscle tension and stress. Slowing our breathing to about six breaths per minute through the nose reduces heart rate, widens blood vessels, and promotes calm.

To obtain a calm, relaxed feeling, try the 4-7-8 breathing technique, made popular by Dr. Andrew Well. It is best performed in a quiet area without distractions. Remember to keep your back straight throughout the exercise.

The 4-7-8 Exercise

  1. Place the tip of your tongue against the gums behind your front upper teeth.
  2. Close your mouth and quietly inhale through your nose to a count of four.
  3. Hold your breath for a count of seven.
  4. Exhale through your mouth, making a whooshing sound for a count of eight.
  5. Repeat this process three times for a total of four breath cycles.

The 4-7-8 technique is effective when performed just before going to bed. Due to the calming effects of this technique, it helps in getting to sleep more quickly.

If you have difficulty holding your breath long enough or the exercise makes you feel lightheaded, it’s best to start slowly and gradually work up to the four cycles.

To learn more about the use of deep breathing for stress control, see Take A Deep Breath.

Biofeedback For Stress Reduction

Using biofeedback to lower stress level

Biofeedback is a noninvasive technique often administered by a trained professional in a clinical setting. It involves the use of instruments and software technology to translate body functions, such as heart rate, blood pressure, and muscle tension, into signals that you can see and hear.

By observing these signals, you can learn to control these functions to achieve a state of relaxation. Therefore resulting in a successful method for lowering stress level.

Not only does Biofeedback help you make small changes to manage stress, it is useful for managing conditions frequently exacerbated by stress. This includes muscle tension, and aches and pains, anxiety, and depression. Other benefits include improving sleep, helping stabilize emotions, and improving overall health.

There are no known side effects of Biofeedback.

Recently, Biofeedback has become available for at-home use. The devices range from $20 to $1,000 and usually last several years. See this 5 Star Biofeedback device:

For self-guided Biofeedback options, click here: Biofeedback At Home.

Hypnotherapy For Lowering Stress Level

Lowering stress level with hypnotherapy

Hypnotherapy, or clinical hypnosis, involves a therapist guiding a person into a deeply relaxed state of focused awareness. The goal is to bring about positive change. Hypnosis involves guided imagery and verbal repetition. It can be an effective way to cope with stress and anxiety and may ease stress before a medical procedure, such as a breast biopsy.

This treatment can be used for stress management in two ways. First, to transition into a deeply relaxed state and ease tension. Second, to help manage chronic stress and related issues.

Mindful hypnotherapy has recently grown in popularity with therapists as a stress reduction technique. This newer form of hypnotherapy combines the ancient mental technique of mindfulness with hypnosis and is now an acknowledged means of helping people manage stress.

Additionally, hypnotherapy has successfully helped some patients achieve pain relief. Furthermore, many therapists use hypnotherapy simultaneously with other practices to help individuals quit smoking and lose weight.

An important note to add is that a person does not lose control of behavior during hypnotherapy.

Side effects of guided hypnosis are usually mild and can include dizziness, headache, nausea, drowsiness, anxiety, and sleep disturbances.

The Use Of Guided Imagery For Lowering Stress Level

Use guided imagery to manage stress.

Guided imagery is a relaxation technique using one’s imagination to create peaceful, soothing scenes, events, or objects that reduce stress and increase well-being. It is a type of focused relaxation often used in meditation. With guided imagery, one concentrates on a specific object, sound, or experience in order to calm the mind. Notably, this method can be performed alone or with a guide.

When performing guided imagery, one should engage all senses; sight, smell, sound, and texture throughout the experience. For example, imagine the smell of flowers or the earth after a restorative rain, the taste of your grandmother’s chocolate cake, etc. With regular practice, this technique can effectively alleviate bodily tension.

To learn more, see Guided Imagery.

How To Use Yoga To Help Relieve Stress

Lowering stress level with the corpse pose

Yoga is a form of exercise that relaxes the mind and body. It combines stretching techniques with controlled breathing. Yoga helps fight pain and stress and increases balance and coordination.

This ancient practice allows us to focus on the present and empty our minds of mental clutter that can disrupt inner peace.

Yoga is best performed in a quiet place free of disruptions. While the poses can be quite challenging, continuing to practice will help you master them. Performing yoga routinely also improves coordination, flexibility, and stamina.

Here are two relaxing yoga poses you can try.

The Corpse Pose

This pose uses mindfulness to induce relaxation and puts the body at ease. It quietens the nervous system and helps lower blood pressure.

  1. Lie on your back on the floor. Arms are relaxed at your sides with palms facing upwards.
  2. Place your legs a few inches apart.
  3. Close your eyes. Then breathe slowly and deeply as you notice every body part. Start with the top of your head and slowly work your way down to your toes.
  4. Remain in the position for at least four to five minutes.

Standing Forward Pose

This pose enhances stretch, relaxation, and balance. It is known to combat fatigue and lower stress.

  1. Stand straight with your feet hip-width apart.
  2. Exhale deeply as you slowly bend forward to press your head against your knees.
  3. Place your palms flat on the ground.
  4. Hold the pose for five to six breaths.
  5. Release the pose while slowly inhaling as you straighten and return to the standing position.

This is a tiny sample of the many yoga poses one can perform. If you enjoyed these poses, I encourage you to look into a nearby gym that offers yoga classes. But Yoga can be done at home, as well.

Wrapping Up Lowering Stress Level

The above techniques efficiently utilize the mind-body connection to fight stress. While most of these methods use intertwining themes such as mindfulness and body functioning, each one also demonstrates the impressive strength in the connection between our emotional and physical selves. Clearly, the mind-body connection is a powerful tool with which we can effectively deal with stress and anxiety

Thus, lowering stress level with one or more of these techniques may be a strategy that’s too powerful not to utilize.

Other Posts Related To Emotional Well-Being

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  1. You have shared some great tips. With age catching over many of us, I am realizing over and over why I have to cut down on my stress levels and go easy on myself. I already do yoga, but thinking about hypnotherapy now. Thanks for

  2. Wow! This is a really great and very informative post! Lots of helpful tips here thanks for sharing this with us

  3. These are such great ideas to lower stress. I tried meditation and yoga before. I also find listening to music as well as singing help with stress.

  4. That’s amazing! This is one of the most interesting topics! Thank you for sharing this information with me.

  5. Stress can wreck havoc on the body. They say that chronic stress can lead to fibromyalgia or other chronic pain conditions. I have both fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis. I’m sure it’s the stress and having a genetic issue with my hip caused long term back problems that surgery made worse.

  6. These are great and helpful tips to lower your stress level. Meditation and listening to worship songs is one of my weapons to battle stress.

  7. Great post! Seems like stress has overtaken many of us daily! I have found implementing some of these strategies works best for me! I know we can’t avoid it but its always good to find ways to help improve lowering stress levels as much as possible!

  8. Thank you for sharing such useful tips on lowering stress levels. As someone who struggles with stress and anxiety, I found your suggestions to be practical and easy to implement. I look forward to incorporating them into my daily routine and feeling more at ease.

  9. Guided imagery has helped me feel better almost instantly! And love the 4-7-8 technique you mentioned in today’s post. Thanks for the details and information here

    1. I’m glad you find guided imagery helpful. It worked well for me during childbirth. And I hope the 4-7-8 technique also helps you relax. It slows everything down and helps your mind relax so you can feel the stress leave your body.

  10. This is such a great post. I personally love meditation and mindfulness. It can get stressful at times, so I love to meditate when I can.

    1. Then, I hope you find the methods in “Lowering Stress Level” helpful this summer season! But, I really hope you enjoy this summer and have a lot of fun with your kids!

  11. I’m always looking for ways to lower my stress level, and this article gives some great tips and advice. Thanks for sharing.

  12. This is a great post with lots of useful tips. I especially love the the emphasis on mindfulness and exercise. Thanks for sharing!

  13. Wow, you have so many great ideas here! Mindfulness and exercise are big for me. I know consistency can be a challenge and I am working on that piece. Thank you so much for sharing. I feel like you can help so many with these very relevant tips.

    1. I’m so happy you found “Lowering Stress Level With A Powerful Mind Body Connection” helpful, Lindsey! Thanks for the words of encouragement. I hope you’ll keep reading every week because there’s much more to come!

    1. That is helpful with keeping work under control, Jimmy, but I hope you practice plenty of self-care and relaxation as well! That work-life balance is so essential for stress control!

  14. Awesome post! One of the things I find myself struggling as I get older is stress – caring for elderly parents and a special needs child takes its toll. These tips are super helpful – I’m always looking for ways to lessen stress. Thanks!

    1. It sounds like you have your hands full, Deirdre! I admire you! I’m sure you need plenty of stress relief by the end of your day! Hope you found something here to help with managing it!

  15. Great read! Awesome sources. Many of these techniques, I use with clients. I’m glad to see this type information being shared and using this beautiful platform to help and inspire others. ❤️

  16. So much excellent information and practical advise in this. Being mindful, writing, breathing and exercise has become part of my daily life. I’ll try some of the techniques you mention here

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