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The Effect of Breathing Exercise on Stress Hormones



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Cyprus J Med Sci 2021;6(Suppl 1):22-27
DOI: 10.4274/cjms.2021.2020.2390
The Effect of Breathing Exercise on Stress Hormones
Deniz Örün1, Selma Karaca2, Şükran Arıkan2
1Ladik Ahmet Hüdai Imam Hatip Secondary School, Konya, Turkey
2Department of Coaching Education, Selçuk University Faculty of Sport Sciences, Konya, Turkey
ORCID iDs of the authors: D.Ö. 0000-0003-0537-9788; S.K. 0000-0002-0897-6900; Ş.A. 0000-0002-2625-0898.
Address for Correspondence: Şükran Arıkan
E-mail :
ORCID ID: 0000-0002-2625-0898
*This research is summarised from Deniz Örün’s master’s thesis.
Life is the period between the first breath and the last one. While
breathing is behavioral and respiration is reflexive; therefore,
breathing and respiration are not the same phenomenon.1
Breathing is based on the energy flow by moving downward/
upward, expanding/narrowing of the chest and abdomen area
in the physical body, and how this flow affects our bodies
physically, mentally and spiritually.2
According to Greek mythology” PNEUMA,” (i.e., breath, is our
primary activity that accompanies us in every aspect of our lives
and enables us to survive healthily for quality life).3 Behavioral
or voluntary control of breathing is located on the cerebral
cortex. While voluntary breathing requires the amount of focus,
attention is not necessary to maintain an automatic (metabolic)
breathing.4 While breathing regulates pH, electrolyte balance,
blood flow, hemoglobin chemistry, and kidney function, it also
has a significant effect on other behaviors such as motivation,
strength, emotion, focus, perception, and memory role.5
Breathing techniques, which are expressed as pranayama applied
in different variations in the form of conscious, intermittent,
nasal, and abdominal breathing where upper, middle, and
Received: 01.07.2020
Accepted: 30.11.2020
BACKGROUND/AIMS: The aim is to determine the acute effects of breathing exercise on stress hormones in young women.
MATERIALS and METHODS: The study was conducted with the voluntary participation of 15 healthy young women who were working as
coaches in the fitness and swimming branches. At the beginning of the study, the body compositions of the participants were determined, and
45-minute natural and connected breathing exercise was applied under the supervision of a breathing coach after having a standard breakfast.
Cortisol and epinephrine hormone analyses from the serums was obtained from the blood samples taken before and after the breathing
exercise were determined through a Chemiluminescence measurement method. Whether the data showed a normal distribution was analyzed
through Kolmogorov-Smirnov test and paired t-test, since parametric test conditions were fulfilled. The relationship between the variables were
determined with a Pearson correlation analysis.
RESULTS: At the end of an acute breathing exercise, a significant decrease was determined in the mean cortisol hormone levels of the participants
(p <0.05). A decrease was observed in the epinephrine hormone levels; however, this change was not found to be statistically significant (p
>0.05). In addition, it was determined that there was a positive and considerably weak insignificant relationship between the mean cortisol and
epinephrine of the participants following the breathing exercise (r=0.039; p >0.05).
CONCLUSION: It could be stated that natural and connected breathing exercise has a reducing effect on stress hormones, and accordingly,
breathing exercises could be used as a relaxation technique.
Keywords: Breathing exercise; cortisol; epinephrine
To cite this article: Örün D, Karaca S, Arıkan Ş. The Effect of Breathing Exercise on Stress Hormones. Cyprus J Med Sci 2021;6(Suppl 1):22-27
Örün et al. The Effect of Breathing Exercise on Stress HormonesCyprus J Med Sci 2021;6(Suppl 1):22-27
lower parts of the lung are used.6 Breathing techniques are
regularly applied for relaxation, stress management, control
of psycho-physiological states, and to improve the organ
functions.7 Although there are many sources for stress, it also
varies from individual to individual.8 Psychological studies
revealed breathing practice as an effective non-pharmacological
intervention for emotional improvement including anxiety,
depression, and stress.9 In addition, breathing practices are also
commonly applied in the clinical treatments for mental disorders
such as post-traumatic stress disorder,10 movement disorders,11
phobias, and other stress-related emotional disorders.
Prana is particularly associated with an energy production
processes in the body. There is a direct connection between the
breathing energy and energy release from the body.12 With a
proper breathing, improvements could be experienced in energy
centers of the body. The first energy center is located below the
abdomen near the center of the gravity, and this center controls
vital energy and certain hormones. The proper functioning of
this center strengthens the immune system and increases the
overall life energy.13 Scientists have been reported that the daily
energy needs could be met by taking the deep breaths for 15
mins. However, most people use energy potential in a limited
way because they do not know use the power of breath that will
enable them to achieve these benefits.14 Studies report that slow
and rapid breathing types have different physiological effects in
the healthy subjects.15
Epinephrine and cortisol hormones known as stress hormones,
are secreted by the adrenal glands. Epinephrine hormone
alerts the body by being secreted in the dangerous situations
such as exercise, lack of oxygen, excitement, fear, excessive heat
decrease, anger, and sudden decrease in the blood sugar levels.
The roles of epinephrine are to increase the blood pressure,
heart rate and the blood circulation, depth of respiration,
and blood glucose level. Cortisol hormone, which belongs to
the glucocorticoid class, increases the blood glucose level by
accelerating the synthesis of glucose from the protein and fat in
the liver. It accelerates the burning of triglycerides and causes an
increase in the concentration of free fatty acids in the blood, and
it also has anti-inflammatory effects.16
Stress caused by the physiological or psychological conditions
could be expressed as the sum of reactions of a person to
the various mental and physical difficulties.8 Nervousness,
impatience, anger, hostility, anxiety, panic, restlessness, sadness,
tension, poor memory, difficulty in taking the decisions,
hypersensitivity, change in the sexual life, frequent daydreaming,
frequent repetitions of death and suicidal thoughts, sleep
disorders, depression, increase in the alcohol intake and
substance use, decrease in the self-esteem and productivity are
the psychological symptoms of the stress.17
Stress may have many psychological and physiological causes.
The environment in which we live, our body and even our world
of thoughts could be a trigger factor for stress. However, people
physiologically tend to cope up with the stress and react to it. In
this context, the cortisol hormone plays a very important role
in a stress response. One of the important hormone response
systems to stress is cortisol -hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal
(HPA) axis, especially the glucocorticoids.18 Within this context,
stressors stimulate cortisol secretion from the adrenal gland by
affecting the hypothalamus. With the mixing of cortisol into the
blood, a stress response occurs in the body.19 Stressors have a
huge impact on the mood, sense of well-being, behavior, and
health. In the presence of a physical or psychological threat,
cortisol levels fluctuate to provide the energy needed to cope up
with the stress-inducing stimuli or escape danger.20
Stress in daily life could cause physical, emotional, behavioral,
and psychological problems as well as chronic illness. Therefore,
it is very important for individuals to learn how to live with stress,
and to know how to manage the stress to minimize its negative
effects. In the study, answers to the questions such as “what
is the effect of breathing exercise on stress hormones,” “Does
the stress hormone level decrease with breathing exercise?”
were sought. The limited number of studies in the literature
conducted on how breathing exercises affect the stress hormone
levels motivated us to carry out this study. This research aimed
to determine the acute effects of breathing exercises applied to
young women on epinephrine and cortisol hormones.
Research Group
A total of 15 healthy and voluntary young women aged between
20−35 and working as coaches in the different branches
in Konya province, Selçuklu Municipality Social Facilities
participated in this research. Prior to the study, the subjects were
informed about the study and their written informed consents
to participate in the research were obtained. The questionnaire
prepared by the researcher was applied to determine the
demographic characteristics, physical activity levels, and general
health conditions of the participants. For this study, approval
was obtained from Selçuk University Faculty of Sports Sciences
Non-Interventional Clinical Research Ethics Committee on
December 20, 2018.
Inclusion criteria: Having no health problems that would
prevent the participant from doing breathing exercises. Being
in the age range of 20−35. Exclusion criteria: Having a systemic
pathology. Using medication/drugs that may affect the hormone
General Design of the Research
All measurements and breathing exercise were made on January
23, 2019 at the Selçuklu Municipality Gazalya Hatun Social
Facility. Body composition measurements of the subjects were
performed after a standard breakfast while the blood samples
Örün et al. The Effect of Breathing Exercise on Stress Hormones Cyprus J Med Sci 2021;6(Suppl 1):22-27
were taken before and after the acute exercise under the equal
conditions. To reveal the effect of an exercise on biochemical
variables, subjects were warned not to perform heavy physical
activities at least 48 hours before, and not to use any drug or
liquid food that could affect the values.
Determination of Body Composition
The body weights (kg) of the subjects were measured with Tanita
device and their heights (cm) were measured with a metal meter
with 0.01 cm precision. Participants’ body mass index (BMI)
was calculated by dividing the body weight (kg) in the square
of height (m).21 Participants’ fat mass, lean body mass, and fat
percentage values were measured with BC-418 MA model Tanita
device (1-14-2, Maeno-cho, İtabashi-ku, Tokyo, Japan) through
the bio-electrical impedance analyzer technique.
Breathing Exercise
One week before the acute breathing exercise planned for
the research, the participants were informed by a breathing
coach who had received the training on natural and connected
breathing, and a practice session was performed to apply the
technique correctly. One week after this application, all the
participants were subjected to a breathing session on the same
day and at the same time. Breathing session was started after
the participants were in the sitting position with their soles on
the grounds, knees bent, and bodies back at a 45º angle. With
the guidance of the coach, the participants were enabled to
stay in a natural and connected breathing without a break in
an uninterrupted and continuous way. The participants were
enabled to breathe through the mouth for 45 mins by using the
diaphragm and chest, respectively.
Biochemical Blood Analyses
All participants of the research were asked to have a light
standard breakfast at least 2 hours before coming for the exercise.
Blood samples were taken from the forearm elbow vein into the
vacutainer blood collection tubes with a gel and anticoagulant
(6 cc) by the health personnel at 08:00 a.m. before and after the
breathing exercise. Blood samples were centrifuged at + 4ºC and
4,000 rpm for 10 mins and their serums were obtained, and they
were frozen at -20 ºC until the analyses is being done. From the
serum samples, cortisol and epinephrine hormone levels were
determined with Chemiluminescence measurement method in
Abbott Architect I2000 analyzer (Abbott Labs, Chicago, Illinois,
USA) and epinephrine hormone levels were determined with the
same method but in Shimadzu LC-20A HPLC device (Shimadzu
Corp, Kyoto, Japan).
Statistical Analysis
SPSS 22.0 (SPSS Inc., Chicago, IL, USA) packaged program was used
in the analysis of the data. Arithmetic means and standard error
mean of all the variables obtained in the study were calculated.
Kolmogorov-Simirnov test was used to determine whether the
data showed a normal distribution. As a result of the test, it was
determined that the data showed a normal distribution and
paired t-test was applied to reveal the differences between the
measurements performed on the same group at two different times.
The relationship between the variables was determined through
Pearson correlation analysis and the results were evaluated at 95%
confidence interval and p <0.05 significance level.
The mean age of the participants was found to be 29.06±4.26
years, height 163.66±3.81 cm, body weight 54.98±4.97 kg,
fat percentage 24.20±4.23, and mean BMI 20.55±1.78 kg/m²
(Table 1).
A significant decrease was observed in the mean cortisol
hormone levels of the participants before and after the
breathing exercise (p <0.05). When the responses of epinephrine
hormone were examined, it was seen that there was a decrease
in the hormone levels, but this decrease was not found to be
statistically significant (p >0.05) (Table 2).
A positive and considerably weak insignificant relationship was
determined between the mean cortisol and epinephrine of the
participants following the breathing exercise (r=0.039; p >0.05).
Table 1. Results related to the participants’ mean age,
height, body weight, and body mass index
Variables n Min Max SD
Age (year) 15 24.00 35.00 29.06 4.26
Height (cm) 15 159.00 171.00 163.66 3.81
Body weight (kg) 15 47.60 62.50 54.98 4.97
Fat (%) 15 16.70 31.20 24.20 4.23
BMI (kg/m²) 15 17.00 23.50 20.55 1.78
Min, Minimum; Max, Maksimum; SD, Standard deviation; n, Number.
Figure 1. Breathing exercise.
Örün et al. The Effect of Breathing Exercise on Stress HormonesCyprus J Med Sci 2021;6(Suppl 1):22-27
The most important finding of this study conducted to determine
the effects of the breathing exercises on some stress hormones,
is that epinephrine and cortisol hormone levels decreased after
an acute breathing exercise; however, while this change was
significant in cortisol hormone, it was not found in epinephrine
hormone. Moreover, there was a positive and highly weak
insignificant relationship between the stress hormones.
The control mechanisms of the body are the nervous system
and endocrine system. These two systems are responsible for
the regulation of the body’s physiological and psychological
processes. Like the increase in the happiness hormone levels
when feeling happy and stress hormone levels when feeling
stressed and nervous, mood state may also change with the effect
of hormones psychologically. Stress is accepted as a condition in
which emotional and psychological components are no longer
in harmony with the physical components of health. If this
condition is perceived and evaluated by the brain as danger, stress
reaction begins to function. Some subcortical areas are activated
in the brain, and they try to regulate the normal function of
the body. The first activated system is the hypothalamus, and
it immediately begins to secrete hormones. The effects of stress
are not only limited to psychological components; stress also
changes the levels of various hormones.22
Cortisol hormone is a reliable indicator stress.23 In addition,
cortisol is a hormone that could involuntarily control some
of the mental processes including metabolism, immunity,
memory, and emotional evaluation, and is easily affected from
the breathing excercises.24 The second system is the secretion
of epinephrine hormone from the adrenal medulla through
the sympathetic nervous system. Both systems are useful in
managing the temporary stress, protective and supportive in the
Janakiramaiah et al.25 interpreted that the plasma cortisol level
remained stable after the first yoga breathing session applied
to the dysthymic patients, and the breathing experience was
not stressful. It is foreseen that sudarshan kriya yoga, which is
a special series of respiration techniques, may relieve anxiety,
depression, daily stress, post-traumatic stress, and stress-
related medical diseases, and may be a useful, low-risk, and
low-cost supplementary treatment for substance abuse and the
rehabilitation of the criminals (26). Evidence obtained from the
randomized controlled study shows that a seven-day intensive
yoga program with pranayama, (i.e., breathing exercises), reduces
anxiety and depression in patients with a chronic low back
pain.27 Like this study, Kharya et al.28 concluded that controlled
breathing exercises, including the Sudarshan Kriya and Prana-
Yoga, positively changed stress coping with the behavior and
initiated an appropriate balance in the cardiac autonomic tone.
Veerabhadrappa et al.29 detected a significant decrease
in the Beck Depression Inventory score after a two-week
breathing exercise to determine the antidepressant efficiency
and hormonal effects of the yogic breathing technique on
alcohol addicts. As a result of this study, it was stated that this
improvement in the psychological condition may have been
caused by the significant decrease in the cortisol levels. In
another study, it was reported that a breathing exercise of five
minutes and 30 sessions per day could significantly reduce the
anxiety in pregnant women who experienced preterm labor.30
Salyers et al.31 emphasized that a one-day breathing exercise
relieved an emotional exhaustion, and depersonalization caused
by occupational burnout. In a study conducted to determine the
effects of the diaphragmatic respiration on exercise-induced
oxidative stress and the potential role of the cortisol hormone
in this stress condition, it was found that diaphragm breathing
applied after an intensive training increased the antioxidant
defense status, and this situation resulted from the decrease
in the cortisol level.32 Naik et al.22 reported that there was a
significant decrease in the resting heartbeat rate, systolic and
diastolic blood pressure, and perceived stress conditions of
100 male volunteers who performed slow and deep breathing
exercise for 30 minutes 5-times a week for 12 weeks, and it was
effective in the improvement of the cardiovascular parameters.
It is emphasized that a rhythmic and controlled breathing
type, which includes cyclic breathing where medium and short
breath followed by a long breath, may play an important role
in promoting the healthy lifestyle by improving the immune
system, antioxidant condition, hormonal condition, and the
brain function.33 The mechanism through which breathing
exercises are thought to reduce stress is a decrease in the serum
cortisol levels as well as a direct decrease in the sympathetic
Table 2. T-test result of the mean 1st and 2nd measurements of cortisol and epinephrine hormones of the participants
Variable Test n Min Max SD t p-value
1 15 5.70 15.91 9.48 2.91 4.609 0.000*
2 15 3.25 13.09 6.28 2.20
1 15 11.06 179.30 115.79 53.43 0.524 0.608
2 15 45.29 175.51 109.55 40.83
*p <0.05; Min, Minimum; Max, Maksimum; SD, Standard deviation; n, Number.
Örün et al. The Effect of Breathing Exercise on Stress Hormones Cyprus J Med Sci 2021;6(Suppl 1):22-27
activity which enables the domination of a parasympathetic
tone. Decreased cortisol levels are related with an increased sense
of happiness, decreased anxiety, and an increased threshold for
stress perception.34
When the above-mentioned studies are examined, it is observed
that the studies examining the responses of the breathing
exercises to stress hormones mostly include special yoga breathing
sessions for psychological and therapeutic purposes.15,25,27,28,30 In
the present study, unlike the other studies, an acute effect of
a breathing exercise performed by the healthy individuals on
epinephrine and cortisol hormones was examined. Our study
differs from other studies in this respect.
Limitations of the Study
This research has some limitations; all female participants
included in this research were examined in terms of stress
hormones because of only one breathing exercise; however,
the effects of the age groups, gender, and different breathing
exercises could not be examined. The absence of a control
group is one of the limitations of this study, as there were not
enough participants with the same conditions in the study, and
therefore, it was not possible to compare the breathing exercise
group with a control group. The pre-exercise values of the
experimental group were accepted as the basic values by making
a comparison within the group. In the new studies to be carried
out, experiment and control groups could be formed and the
difference between the groups may be evaluated. Furthermore,
blood samples were taken as a single sample before and after
the exercise at the morning hours. However, since the day and
night rhythms of the hormones differ during the day, not taking
samples at certain intervals may have been affected the results
of the study.
Cortisol is secreted in a pulsatile manner. In humans,
cortisol secretion has a circadian rhythm, and the cortisol
concentration reaches its peak level during the morning
hours.35 Later, cortisol gradually declines in the body during the
day until evening. Since our research aim was to determine the
effect of an acute breathing exercise on the stress hormones,
cortisol levels during the day could not be measured. This is
one of the limitations of the research. Therefore, considering
this limitation, the morning hour, which is stated to have a
high cortisol secretion, was preferred to see the effect of the
breathing exercise. The significant decrease in the cortisol
levels after 45 mins of breathing exercise is thought to have
stemmed from breathing exercise. As a matter of fact, cortisol
is a hormone that is easily affected by breathing.24 In other
studies, indicating that breathing exercises reduces the cortisol
levels, there have been references supporting our study
As a result, it was determined that an acute breathing exercise
decreased stress hormone levels. Considering the long-term
effects of breathing exercise, it could be stated that it has healing
effects in non-pharmacological areas in terms of balancing the
emotions and managing stress.
Main Points
Breathing is based on an energy flow that is much more
than moving downward/upward, expanding/narrowing of the
chest and abdomen area in the physical body and how this
flow affects our bodies physically, mentally, and spiritually.
As a vital function, respiration is not regulated by the certain
hormones but is affected by a wide variety of hormones.
Breathing techniques are regularly applied for relaxation, stress
management, control of psycho-physiological states and to
improve the organ function.
The aim of this study is to determine the acute effects of
breathing exercise on stress hormones in young women.
It could be stated that natural and connected breathing
exercise has a reducing effect on stress hormones, and
accordingly, breathing exercises could be used as a relaxation
Ethics Committee Approval: For this study, approval was
obtained from Selçuk University Faculty of Sports Sciences
Non-Interventional Clinical Researches Ethics Committee on
20.12.2018 with the decision number of 65.
Informed Consent: All subjects gave their informed consent for
inclusion before they participated in the study.
Peer-review: Externally peer-reviewed.
Authorship Contributions
Concept: D.Ö., S.K., Ş.A; Design: D.Ö., S.K., Ş.A.; Supervision:
D.Ö., S.K.; Fundings: S.K.; Materials: D.Ö.; Data Collection and/or
Processing: D.Ö.; Analysis and/or Interpretation: S.K.; Literature
Search: D., S.K., Ş.A.; Writing: D.Ö., S.K., Ş.A.; Critical Review: Ş.A.
Financial Disclosure: This study was supported by the Selçuk
University Scientific Research Projects (S.U. BAP, Konya, Turkey)
(project no: 19401116).
Conflict of Interest: The authors declare no conflict of interest.
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Full-text available
Background: Aerobic exercise combined with breathing exercise can be an integral part of diabetes mellitus treatment. This single-center, randomized, parallel-group study investigated the effect of the combination of aerobic exercise with slow deep breathing and mindfulness meditation on the glucose and cortisol levels of women with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Materials and Methods: Fifty-eight middle-aged women with T2DM (mean age: 45.67 ± 2.92 years) were randomly assigned to either the aerobic training group (AT: n = 29; mean age [46.1 ± 2.7 years]) or the aerobic exercise combined with slow deep breathing and mindfulness meditation (AT + DMM: n = 29; mean age [45.24 ± 3.14 years]). Aerobic exercise was performed at 60%–75% of the maximum heart rate. The women in each group were asked to perform the training three times weekly over a 6-week period. The duration of each session was 40 min for the AT group and 60 min for the AT + DMM group. The two groups were asked to perform aerobic exercise at 60%–75% of the maximum heart rate. Their fasting blood glucose (FBG) and serum cortisol levels were measured at the baseline and after the 6 weeks. Results: Compared with the AT group, the group undertaking 6 weeks of aerobic training combined with slow, deep breathing exercises and mindfulness meditation showed significantly lower levels of FBG ( p = 0.001) and cortisol levels ( p = 0.01) than the AT group. Conclusion: The addition of slow deep breathing and mindfulness meditation to aerobic exercise can better control the glucose and cortisol levels of women with T2DM and thereby improve their outcomes and decrease their cardiometabolic risk.
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Normal aging results in subtle changes both in ACTH and cortisol secretion. Most notable is the general increase in mean daily serum cortisol levels in the elderly, without a noteworthy alteration in the normal circadian rhythm pattern. Glucocorticoid excess seen in the elderly population can have serious consequences in both the structural and functional integrity of various key areas in the brain, including the hippocampus, amygdala, prefrontal cortex, with consequent impairment in normal memory, cognitive function, and sleep cycles. The chronically elevated glucocorticoid levels also impinge on the normal stress response in the elderly, leading to an impaired ability to recover from stressful stimuli. In addition to the effects on the brain, glucocorticoid excess is associated with other age-related changes, including loss of muscle mass, hypertension, osteopenia, visceral obesity, and diabetes, among others. In contrast to the increase in glucocorticoid levels, other adrenocortical hormones, particularly serum aldosterone and DHEA (the precursor to androgens and estrogens) show significant decreases in the elderly. The underlying mechanisms for their decrease remain unclear. While the adrenomedullary hormone, norephinephrine, shows an increase in plasma levels, associated with a decrease in clearance, no notable changes observed in plasma epinephrine levels in the elderly. The multiplicity and complexity of the adrenal hormone changes observed throughout the normal aging process, suggests that age-related alterations in cellular growth, differentiation, and senescence specific to the adrenal gland must also be considered
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Z Stres, insanların yaşamına olumsuz yönde etki eden bir faktör olmakla birlikte günlük yaşamın vazgeçilmez bir parçasıdır. İnsan gelişen, değişen ve gün geçtikçe daha karmaşık bir hal alan yaşam şartlarına uyum sağlarken stresle karşı karşıya kalmakta ve karşılaştığı stresi önlemesi ise neredeyse imkansız hale gelmektedir. Günlük yaşamda maruz kalınan stres durumu kişinin hem fiziksel, duygusal, davranışsal ve ruhsal sorun yaşamasına hem de kalıcı bir hastalığa yakalanmasına neden olabilmektedir. Bunun yanı sıra maruz kalınan strese verilen tepkiler ise bazı zamanlarda bireyin yaşamını tamamen zorlaştırabilmektedir. Son yıllarda sosyal bir sorun haline gelen stres, yaşamın her alanında ve ayrıntısında ortaya çıkabilmesinden ötürü stresin yok olması, yaşamın son bulması anlamına da gelmektedir. Bu nedenle, bireylerin stresle yaşamayı öğrenmeleri ve olumsuz etkilerini en aza indirmeleri için nasıl yöneteceklerini bilmeleri büyük önem arz etmektedir. Stresin yönetilebilmesi için ise, stresin ne anlama geldiğinin, nasıl ortaya çıktığının, belirtilerinin ve sonuçlarının neler olabileceğinin, stresle baş etmek için neler yapılması gerektiğinin bilinmesi de oldukça önemlidir. Etkili bir stres yönetimi, bireyin fiziksel ve ruhsal dengesini korumasına yardımcı olurken; problem çözme ve karar verme yeteneğinin artmasına ve günlük yaşamda verimliliğinin yükselmesine olanak sağlamaktadır. Bu nedenle bu derleme, stres, stresin oluşum mekanizması, belirtileri ve etkili stres yönetimi konularının önemine vurgu yapmak amacıyla yazılmıştır. ABSTRACT Stress is an indispensable part of everyday life as well as being a factor affecting people's life negatively. As people adapt to the developing, changing, and increasingly complex living conditions of life, they are faced with stress and it is almost impossible to prevent the stress they are facing. The stress situation experienced in everyday life can cause a person to suffer both a physical, emotional, behavioral and psychological problem and a permanent disease. Moreover, the reactions that are exposed to the stress can sometimes make the whole life of the individual difficult. The stress that has become a social problem in the last years means that stress can disappear because life can come out in every area and detail, and that life ends. For this reason, individuals need to learn how to live with stress and how to manage their negative impacts in the least. In order to be able to manage the stress, it is very important to know what meaning of stress, how it occurs, what the symptoms are, what the consequences may be, and what needs to be done to cope with stress. Effective stress management helps to protect one's physical and mental balance, it increases the ability of problem solving and decision-making and increases the efficiency of daily life. For this reason, compilation is written to emphasize the importance of stress, formation mechanism, statements and effective stress management.
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Context: Different types of breathing exercises have varied effects on cardiovascular parameters and the stress levels in an individual. Aim: The aim of this study was to assess the effect of a modified form of isolated alternate nostril, slow breathing exercise on perceived stress, and cardiovascular parameters in young, male volunteers. Settings and design: This was a randomized control study carried out at Advanced Centre for Yoga Therapy Education and Research, Department of Physiology, Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research, Puducherry in 2014. Subjects and methods: Hundred healthy male volunteers were randomized into control group, n = 50 and slow breathing group (study), n = 50. Slow breathing exercise training was given to study group for 30 min a day, 5 times/week for 12 weeks, under the supervision of certified yoga trainers. Perceived Stress Scale (PSS) using Cohen's questionnaire, anthropometric parameters such as body mass index (BMI), waist-hip ratio (WHR), and cardiovascular parameters such as heart rate (HR), systolic blood pressure (SBP), and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) were recorded at baseline and after 12 weeks. The control group did not receive any intervention. Slow breathing exercise training was provided for the study group. During the study period, one volunteer opted out of the study group due to personal reasons. Results: HR, SBP, DBP, and PSS decreased significantly (P < 0.05) in the study group following 12 weeks slow breathing exercise training, while no significant change (P > 0.05) was observed in BMI and WHR. There was no significant change in the control group. Conclusion: Twelve weeks of modified slow breathing exercise reduced perceived stress and improved the cardiovascular parameters. The above results indicate that our modified slow breathing exercise is effective in reducing stress and improving the cardiovascular parameters.
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The objective of the study was to observe the effect of controlled breathing exercises including Sudarshan Kriya (SK) and Prana-Yoga (PY) on the psycho-physiological status. The study group included 60 healthy volunteers (M:30, F:30) in the age group of 18 to 30 years (21.3 ± 3.2 yrs), randomly divided in to three groups of 20 subjects each--(1) The SK group (2) the PY group and the (3) Control group. The psycho-physiological data was collected at the following four time interventions: Baseline, 6th, 60th and the 150th day. Psychological assessment was done using questionnaires and for the autonomic tone quantification Heart Rate Variability (HRV) analysis was done using the standard lead II electrocardiogram recordings. In a post-hoc analysis each group was further sub divided in to the following two patterns, based on the baseline values of normalized Low Frequency (LF) power (cutoff 64 ms2): (i) Pattern A-Subjects with low level LF power, and (ii) Pattern B- subjects with high level LF power. The stress management skills have shown significant increase in SK group but not in PY and Control group. Subjects of SK, PY, and control group showed significant increase in LF value and LF:HF ratio for pattern A and significant decrease for pattern B. Plotted LF value for pattern A & B in SK and PY practitioners showed convergence, coming to a mean value over the period of 150 days. The LF:HF ratio curve plotted over time for pattern A & B showed convergence in SK group only. No such convergence in LF value & LF/HF ratio for pattern A & B was seen in control group. In conclusion, Sudarshan Kriya positively modifies stress coping behavior and initiates appropriate balance in cardiac autonomic tone.
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Yoga and breathing techniques have become increasingly popular in recent decades. Sudarshan Kriya (SK) is a type of rhythmic and controlled breathing that involves cyclic breathing in which long breaths are followed by medium and short breaths. Scientific research has been conducted to study the effects of SK on different physiological parameters. Various studies have shown that the technique is simple and cost effective and can be used as a complementary therapy, together with ongoing conventional treatments, to help people suffering from extreme levels of stress, anxiety, and other physical problems. Studies have demonstrated that SK can play an important role in promoting a healthy lifestyle by improving immunity, antioxidant status, hormonal status, and brain functioning. Through available scientific evidence and research, the current article aims to review the complementary role of rhythmic breathing (ie, SK) as a practical and effective tool to alleviate stress, improve health, and increase wellness.
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Pain is a primary symptom driving patients to seek physical therapy and its attenuation commonly defines a successful outcome. A large body of evidence is dedicated to elucidating the relationship between chronic stress and pain. A physiologic stress response may be evoked by fear or perceived threat to safety, status, or well-being, and elicits the secretion of sympathetic catecholamines (epinephrine and norepinepherine) and neuroendocrine hormones (cortisol) to promote survival and motivate success. Cortisol is a potent anti-inflammatory that functions to mobilize glucose reserves for energy and modulate inflammation. Cortisol may also facilitate the consolidation of fear-based memories for future survival and avoidance of danger. While short-term stress may be adaptive, maladaptive responses (such as magnification, rumination, or helplessness) to pain or non-pain-related stressors may intensify cortisol secretion and condition a sensitized physiologic stress response that is readily recruited. Ultimately, a prolonged or exaggerated stress response may perpetuate cortisol dysfunction, widespread inflammation, and pain. While stress may be unavoidable in life and challenges are inherent to success, humans have the capability to modify what they perceive as stressful and how they respond to it. Exaggerated psychological responses (eg: catastrophizing) following maladaptive cognitive appraisals of potential stressors as threatening may exacerbate cortisol secretion by facilitating fear-based activation of the amygdala. Coping, cognitive re-appraisal, or confrontation of stressors may minimize cortisol secretion and prevent chronic, recurrent pain. Given the parallel mechanisms underlying the physiologic effects of a maladaptive response to pain and non-pain-related stressors, physical therapists should consider screening for non-pain-related stress to facilitate treatment, prevent chronic disability, and improve quality of life.
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Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis dysfunction has been found in a high proportion of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) patients and includes enhanced corticosteroid-induced negative feedback, basal hypocortisolism, attenuated diurnal variation, and a reduced responsivity to challenge. A putative causal role for genetic profile, childhood trauma, and oxidative stress has been considered. In addition, the impact of gender is demonstrated by the increased frequency of HPA axis dysregulation in females. Despite the temporal relationship, it is not yet established whether the endocrine dysregulation is causal, consequent, or an epiphenomenon of the disorder. Nonetheless, given the interindividual variation in the effectiveness of existing biological and psychological treatments, the need for novel treatment strategies such as those which target the HPA axis is clear.
The limitations of current methods of treatment for dysthymic disorder justify experimentation with new alternatives. Techniques of yoga hold promise. A brief package; Sudarshan Kriya exerts demonstrable effects on brain functioning and may have effects akin to ECT in depression. Sudarshan Kriya Yoga (SKY) was used to treat 46 hospital out-patients (22 males) of dysthymic disorder. Over 3 months, they had to practice it everyday for half-an hour and avoid any medication. They were assessed initially, at one and 3 months on interviews video-rated and self-report scales. In a subsample of mates (n=12), plasma prolactin and cortisol levels were obtained before and after the first full SKY session. 37 patients completed the treatment through three months and 25 (68%) of them remitted. A higher proportion of those practising SKY regularly remitted. Significant elevation of plasma prolactin, but not cortisol occurred after the first SKY session. SKY has demonstrable biological effects and is therapeutic in dysthymic disorder.
Motion sickness is an unpleasant physiological state that may be controlled via nonpharmacological methods. Controlled breathing has been shown to maximize parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) tone and may have the ability to decrease motion sickness symptoms. The effects of slow diaphragmatic breathing (DB) in a motion sickness-inducing environment were examined within motion sickness susceptible individuals. Subjects (N = 43) were assigned randomly to either an experimental group trained in slow DB or a control group breathing naturally at a normal pace. The experimental group was trained using a digital video that helped them pace their diaphragmatic breathing at six breaths/min. During the study, subjects viewed a virtual reality (VR) experience of a boat in rough seas for 10 min. Motion sickness ratings along with heart rate and respiration rate were collected before, during, and after the VR experience. Results indicated that the experimental group was able to decrease their breathing to eight breaths/min during the VR experience. This breathing rate was significantly slower than those in the control group. We found that DB subjects, compared to those in the control group, displayed significantly greater heart rate variability and reported feeling less motion sickness during exposure to the VR experience than those in the control group. Results indicate possible benefits of using slow DB techniques in a motion sickness inducing environment. Stromberg SE, Russell ME, Carlson CR. Diaphragmatic breathing and its effectiveness for the management of motion sickness. Aerosp Med Hum Perform. 2015; 86(5):452-457.