Stress Management Techniques

Raise your hand if you have stress in your life! If your hand didn’t go up, you are lying! In all seriousness, everyone has stress to a certain degree but it is really how we deal with stress that makes the biggest difference.

Recently the staff at Physical Therapy Consultants had a presentation from Darcy Rylander (Allina Community Engagement Team) regarding techniques to manage stress in the workplace or at home. One of the reminders we received was that stress is not always bad. Sometimes stress can help us reach deadlines, or work harder towards a goal. Other times, stress creates havoc on our work life and personal life but it doesn’t have to!

Here are a couple techniques you can try while at work (or home for that matter) to manage stress.

1. Pursed lip breathing: inhale through your nose and exhale through puckered or pursed lips. This type of breathing technique helps to decrease your breathing rate, as well as promote relaxation for the entire body. Try 5-10 repetitions with your eyes open or closed.

2. Belly or Diaphragmatic breathing: Put one hand over your belly and the other hand over your chest. Take a deep breath so that your hand on your belly moves with the inhale to a count of 4. Slowly exhale and feel your hands move with the breath you take. Try 5-10 repetitions.

3. Square breathing: slowly exhale getting all the oxygen out of your lungs. Inhale slowly for a count of 4 and then hold your breath for a count of 4. Slowly exhale for a count of 4 and hold your breath for a count of 4. Repeat this cycle 5 to 10 times.

Remember to sit upright during these breathing techniques. Also be aware that not all techniques will work for you. Choose the ones that you respond well too and know that sometimes the technique you choose will be dependent on the situation you are in.

Stress can be very difficult at times but it is not always a bad thing to experience stress especially when you have good tools to manage it. Your physical therapist can help you with stress management. To find a therapist near you visit our website at or call 1-888-THERAPY.

Jackie Giese, LPTA
Physical Therapist Assistant
Physical Therapy Consultants, Inc.

September 14th, 2018

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