Stress is too subjective a phenomenon to be defined in one particular way. It is difficult to measure and it can affect each person very differently. What can be stressful for you, can be enjoyable to others.
The term ‘stress’ was coined by Hans Selye and he defined it as ‘the non-specific response of the body to any demand for change’ which involves physical, mental or emotional strain and tension.
Just as the definition varies from person to person, so does its symptoms
or ‘effects’. Some may experience effects of stress as stiffness of neck, chest pain, headache, or acidity, while others can have stress symptoms such as ulcer or even heart attack!
On an emotional level
, you may feel insecure or angry or sad when you are stressed. Stress can affect your behavior too. Eating disorder is a very common stress effect. Some people may take to drugs, alcohol or smoking. Social withdrawal and crying spells are also common behavioral symptoms of stress.
The ancient Indian system of healing considers the solar plexus chakra
(or the Manipura) to be associated with stress. This chakra is located below the diaphragm, between the navel and the base of the sternum. It energizes the spleen, pancreas, and stomach and is also associated with heart, lungs and kidneys. Prolonged stress de-vitalizes and blocks this chakra causing it to malfunction and this weakened ‘energy body’ manifests itself as ulcer or palpitations which may lead to number of diseases.
Yoga and breathing techniques help ‘unblock’ the Manipura chakra and make you feel de-stressed and relaxed. Yoga for stress management includes yoga exercises or yoga poses that target specific areas of tension
such as the nape of the neck and shoulders or just relaxes you by calming your mind.
Don’t worry if you are new to yoga and want to take up yoga for stress relief. Yoga for beginners includes very simple yoga poses that won’t take you long to learn and master. But remember, every yoga exercise is associated with the right breathing technique.
Shavasana or the corpse pose, bhujangasana or the cobra pose, shalabhasana, suptavajrasana and pranayama are a few yoga poses for stress relief outlined here.