Stress-busting tips

January 30, 2017
Credit: George Hodan/public domain

(HealthDay)—Lying around your home watching TV isn't always the best way to unwind. Police dramas, the news—even sports programming—can be stress-inducing. Plus, it's a passive activity, and mildly addictive, and nowhere near as relaxing as many other options you can choose.

Here are five ways to relax at home that are truly therapeutic:

1. Listen more than you talk. "Feel good" chemicals like dopamine and oxytocin are released in the brain when you really connect with another human being. And when you really listen, your blood pressure actually goes down, according to Dr. James Lynch, an expert in mind/body medicine and a retired professor of psychiatry at the University of Maryland.

2. Take three deep breaths. Dr. Herbert Benson, professor of mind/body medicine at Harvard Medical School and co-author of The Relaxation Response, says deep breathing is a great way to deactivate the stress response.

3. Meditate. New research out of Harvard shows that just eight weeks of regular meditation shrinks a tiny section of the brain known as the amygdala, where the is activated. "The smaller the amygdala became, the less stress subjects reported having," according to psychologist Sara Lazar.

4. Call up an old friend. According to the American Psychological Association, "emotional support is an important protective factor for dealing with life's difficulties." In addition: "Loneliness has been associated with a wide variety of health problems, including high , diminished immunity, cardiovascular disease and cognitive decline." So calling up a friend isn't only relaxing, it's good for your health.

5. Take an . The Mayo Clinic says a short nap in mid-afternoon can promote relaxation, reduce fatigue and increase alertness.

Explore further: Chill therapy: Benson touts treatment potential of stress-control methods

Related Stories

Chill therapy: Benson touts treatment potential of stress-control methods

April 10, 2012
In the 1970s, Herbert Benson’s book “The Relaxation Response” described a method for easing moments of great stress — the opposite of the “fight or flight” mechanism that causes panic when it ...

Managing stress with mindful breathing

January 6, 2017
Stress is an inevitable part of life, but it can affect every organ system and cause negative impacts to your health. While we can't always eliminate our problems, we can learn to manage and relate to stress so that it doesn't ...

Relaxation response-based program may reduce participants' future use of health services

October 13, 2015
Many studies have showed that eliciting the relaxation response - a physiologic state of deep rest induced by practices such as meditation, yoga and prayer - not only relieves feelings of stress and anxiety but also affects ...

Forget dieting—retrain your brain to beat stress and lose weight

December 8, 2016
A QUT neuroscientist internationally acclaimed for her research on alcohol and sugar addiction claims brainpower rather than willpower is the key to living healthily.

Elders' stress response may worsen depression's impact

January 17, 2017
UConn Health psychiatry researchers have found that vulnerability to stress increases the likelihood that elderly adults with major depression will experience cognitive decline in the future, and they recommend tailoring ...

Stress-busting tips from experts

October 19, 2013
(HealthDay)—Nobody is immune from the negative health effects of stress. The good news is that staying active is a natural and effective way to reduce stress and avoid related issues like weight fluctuations, nausea and ...

Recommended for you

Study links brain inflammation to suicidal thinking in depression

September 21, 2017
Patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) have increased brain levels of a marker of microglial activation, a sign of inflammation, according to a new study in Biological Psychiatry by researchers at the University of ...

Oxytocin turns up the volume of your social environment

September 20, 2017
Before you shop for the "cuddle" hormone oxytocin to relieve stress and enhance your social life, read this: a new study from the University of California, Davis, suggests that sometimes, blocking the action of oxytocin in ...

Self-control may not diminish throughout the day

September 20, 2017
After a long day of work and carefully watching what you eat, you might expect your self-control to slip a little by kicking back and cracking open a bag of potato chips.

Researchers develop new tool to assess individual's level of wisdom

September 20, 2017
Researchers at University of San Diego School of Medicine have developed a new tool called the San Diego Wisdom Scale (SD-WISE) to assess an individual's level of wisdom, based upon a conceptualization of wisdom as a trait ...

Alcohol use affects levels of cholesterol regulator through epigenetics

September 20, 2017
In an analysis of the epigenomes of people and mice, researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine and the National Institutes of Health report that drinking alcohol may induce changes to a cholesterol-regulating gene.

One in four girls is depressed at age 14, new study reveals

September 20, 2017
New research shows a quarter of girls (24%) and one in 10 boys (9%) are depressed at age 14.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.