In spite of workplace health and safety practices, miners are exposed to sources of asthma on a daily basis. A University of Texas study* estimated the prevalence of asthma among working adults in the U.S. by industry and occupation and found that workers in mining (17%) have the highest prevalence of asthma. That may be true but individual members of the mining community can easily evaluate whether they are susceptible to asthma or not and, if yes, learn some basic breathing techniques to manage their condition.
Monday morning as you arrive at your office…
Your phone starts to ring at the same time as your computer freezes while logging in. You gasp loudly as a system error notification tells you of a last login attempt.
Your breathing becomes faster and louder as you try to reboot while checking your voicemail.
A colleague then rushes by asking you if you remembered there was a meeting first-thing. Open-mouthed you look around, chest heaving, wondering what just happened. Sound familiar?
All the symptoms of stress are present and accounted-for; mouth-breathing, a heaving chest, rapid inhales and spikes in blood-pressure and heart-rate.
So, what can be done to manage stress in this situation?
During the meeting if you were to use key exercise 3 your stress symptoms would rapidly become lower.
Your daily breathing metrics are vital in monitoring your health and stress daily.
For example, if your EBC (Exhale Block Count) was consistently 30+ and EBS (Exhale Block Steps) was 40+ for a number of weeks then an oncoming illness or accumulated fatigue can be prepared for when these numbers drop. Then Monday mornings are a piece of cake.
Asthma, anxiety and stress each have similar symptoms; a heightened heart-rate, high blood-pressure, a tight chest and panting, heavy breathing (or over-breathing). Hidden, this over-breathing with the mouth is characterised by continual sighing, sniffing, yawning as well as large gasps during talking.
In my experience, an adult with asthma will almost always have had a history of stress-related symptoms with an asthma attack usually coming on after a stressful period. These stressful periods could have been a time when a partner is away and meal-times have become irregular, a change of job or even an unexpected period of hot weather for example.
– Each of these stressors had been enough to elevate heart-rate, blood-pressure and breathing volume therefore bringing on an asthma attack.
To reduce the likelihood of an asthma attack and assess how stressed you may be (even unconsciously), firstly use Key exercises 1 and 2. To then reduce the stress on your mind and body practise the Long Exhale Count exercise. Easy to do on the plane, bus or in the hotel the effects are felt within minutes.