This most basic of biological functions can also be one of the most powerful weapons against stress. Read the research, then try the exercises described at the end of the article to learn how to use your own breathing for relaxation.
Not only does reducing stress, at its most basic level, make you feel better, but it makes you work better, too. “Left unmanaged, stress escalates all day long,” says Dr. Bertin. “You get into a ‘reactive’ mode where you are on auto-pilot, relying on routines and protocols. But you need to be aware and alert for the patient who is the exception, and that requires focus. Spending a few moments focused on something neutral like breathing allows the stress response to calm.”
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