Dealing with headaches and stress at work can be a nightmare. It is not always easy to get away from computers, bright lights, and noises that amplify these symptoms. Breathing techniques can be very useful when dealing with headaches and stress at work. They are free, and provide numerous health benefits such as: lower blood pressure, reduce stress, treat headaches, increase blood flow, improve mood and concentration, and prevent fatigue. There are several different kinds of breathing techniques that can be easy to do at work, and provide a natural alternative to taking medication.
Headaches and Stress
Stress is a natural defense response to environmental factors, and can be helpful in small doses. Stress allows you to be hyper-aware of your surroundings and encourages you to complete whatever task is at hand. However, excessive stress can be harmful to your health. Stress can cause or worsen headaches, and weaken the body - making it susceptible to other illnesses.
Headaches occur when blood vessels in the brain repeatedly expand and contract. When hormones fluctuate, it causes constant expanding and contracting, resulting in pain. The two most common types of headaches are tension headaches and migraine headaches. Additional causes of headaches include: excessive stress, inactive lifestyle, poor diet, dehydration, and lack of sleep.
Focusing on slow, long breaths (counting to five on the inhale, and five on the exhale) can be very helpful in relaxing and reducing inflammatory pain.
Alternate nostril breathing
In yoga, this breathing technique is called nadi shodhana - which promotes overall relaxation. This technique requires you to inhale through your left nostril and exhale through your right. Then do the opposite. You can do this either by concentrating on your breathing, or physically covering your nostrils.
This type of yoga breathing technique is meant to combine meditation and breathing - requiring full concentration on your breathing. This technique promotes overall relaxation and pain relief.
This breathing exercise is meant to treat migraines and cool down the body. It combines head movements that promote relaxation combines with breathing out through the left nostril.
This pranayama breathing exercise helps prevent and treat migraines. Take 10 quick breaths through your nose, filling your abdomen and chest. After 10 breaths, take one slow, deep breath.
This calming breathing technique is said to improve metabolism, memory, balance, and hormone production. This breathing technique requires you to partially close your throat, making a slight snoring sound during the inhale, and buzzing sound during the exhale.
These breathing techniques (aka yoga breathing) can be very useful in relieving headaches and stress at work. They are easy to do anywhere, and provide a free and natural alternative to medicine. Read about other stress relief methods for headaches.
- Mayo Clinic.(2014)."Stress management: types of relaxation techniques." Retrieved on December 1, 2014 from http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/stress-management/in-depth/relaxation-technique/art-20045368?pg=2
- National Health Service Choices.(2013). "Hormone Headaches." Retrieved on December 1, 2014 from http://www.nhs.uk/livewell/headaches/pages/hormonalheadaches.aspx