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

Novel intervention for anxiety symptoms among people with bipolar disorder

July 23, 2018
Psychologists at Lancaster University have devised a novel psychological intervention to address anxiety in bipolar disorder (AIBD).

New study questions use of talking therapy as a treatment for schizophrenia

July 20, 2018
The findings of the first meta-analysis examining the effectiveness of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for psychosis (CBTp) on improving the quality of life and functioning and reducing distress of people diagnosed with schizophrenia ...

Perfectionism in young children may indicate OCD risk

July 19, 2018
Studying young children, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis found that kids who possess tendencies toward perfectionism and excessive self-control are twice as likely as other children to ...

Younger children tend to make more informed decisions

July 19, 2018
A new study from the University of Waterloo has found that in some ways, the older you get the worse your decision making becomes.

Finding well-being through an aerial, as opposed to ground-level, view of time

July 19, 2018
Do today and yesterday and tomorrow loom large in your thinking, with the more distant past and future barely visible on the horizon? That's not unusual in today's time-pressed world—and it seems a recipe for angst.

Are you prone to feeling guilty? Then you're probably more trustworthy, study shows

July 19, 2018
It turns out your mother was right: guilt is a powerful motivator.

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.