Breathing can be a difficult task, especially if you’re sitting at your computer or surfing the web. Luckily for us, we don’t have to give much thought to breathing – it is one of our autonomic nervous system’s duties and happens without conscious control- but this doesn’t mean that all breaths are created equal. For example, have you found yourself holding your breath while working on an assignment?
Technology is having a real effect on our breathing, whether we’re scrolling through Facebook or typing up work for an important deadline. The “tech apnea” idea was coined to describe the way technology affects how we breathe because it’s so intuitive and easy that you can do without realising what your body is doing.
It doesn’t matter if you are stressed out about deadlines at work; in tech terms, both stress levels have similar effects on your breathing patterns as they happen! Our own voice can trick our body into feeling stressed. When this happens, the tight jaw and tense shoulders contribute to a negative mood that will affect your sense of wellbeing in general.
Wait! How do You Fix the Response?
You’ve already completed the first step—You’re aware of the problem.
Now, it’s time to start taking more breaks from your PC. There are apps you can download that will alert you to walk away for a few minutes. You don’t even have to get up. Just look away from the screen, stretch some, and roll your shoulders. Also, move your mouth—Either yawn or sign. This step can take you out of that place where you’re not breathing regularly.
Another tip—When you feel stressed at work or home, try to take a deep breath. The more relaxed and calm that you can be while breathing, the better off your body will feel in general too. To do this, just inhale for 5-6 seconds, then exhale for an equal amount of time as well!
You can also try different breathing techniques, such as reaching your arms overhead every time you inhale. When you sit for too long, your diaphragm isn’t moving either, which can trick your body into believing you’re stressed and producing a reaction. Find out where your breathing is coming from, the chest or abdomen. You can change your breathing to come from lower and deeper from within your body to reduce the automatic stress response.
To achieve this, place one hand on your chest and the other on your lower abdominal area. Next, take four to five deep breaths in and out from your nose only. You may want to sit or lay down during this process to improve the outcome.
Hopefully, these few techniques will put you on the right path towards working with less stress.