Princeton Lifestyle Medicine

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Home > Your Health > Stress > How to Manage Stress

Managing Stress

Many activities can reduce  tension and foster feeling of calmness. Common  healthy  calming  activities can include  physical  activity, listening to music, walking  with a friend, reading, or practicing a repetitive leisure  activity such as gardening, pottery, or woodwork. More formal types of calming  activities that  involve inducing a relaxation response, such as meditation, yoga, or Tai Chi, have been studied  and often  show an accompanying decrease in heart rate, breathing rate, blood pressure, and a metabolic slowing  coupled  with feelings  of peace and relaxation. The concept of a physiological relaxation response  was developed over years of clinical  research  into traditional yogic and meditative techniques among  other  relaxation methods.

Relaxation therapy  is often effective in lowering heart rate, respiratory rate, and blood pressure  and achieving feelings  of relaxtion  and a reduction in anxiety  if practiced  regularly. This only need be done 20 minutes/day to elicit  the many  beneficial  effects. Simple, concise details  for eliciting the relaxation response is available on-line at Relaxation Response.org and in my separate  Relaxation Response handout.

If interested one could perform it daily at work  (for  work related stresses) for 15 minutes  while sitting at his/her desk with the office door shut. Significant self-reported improvement in performance including efficiency, handling of problems, and strength of concentration have been reported in an occupational setting when using this technique during  one to two 15-minute breaks  while at work

 

 

 

Exercise benefit:

Regular aerobic exercise  has been shown to improve mood and reduce anxiety  and stress. Moderate exercise  is associated  with improving immediate mood and energy  and can also improve long-term sleep quality.

 

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