Ways To Reduce Stress

Topic Overview

In addition to meditation, progressive muscle relaxation, and breathing exercises to relieve stress, you might try these other therapies.

Ways to relax your mind

  • Self-hypnosis can open your mind to suggestions that can relieve stress or change the way you respond to stress.
  • Autogenic training includes six exercises that make the body relax. Each exercise helps you relax your body in a different way.
  • Music therapy can relax your body, improve your mood, and change the pace of your day.
  • Humor therapy may reduce stress and boost your immune system.

Ways to relax your body

  • Massage, such as a shoulder and neck massage, uses touch to relieve tension. You can see a massage therapist or have a friend or family member give you a massage. You can even give yourself a massage.
  • Aromatherapy uses the aroma-producing oils from plants to help you relax.
  • Biofeedback teaches you how to use your mind to control skin temperature, muscle tension, heart rate, or blood pressure. All of these things can be affected by stress.

Herbal supplements

Some people use herbal supplements such as valerian, kava, gingko, St. John's Wort, and chamomile to relieve stress symptoms such as anxiety and insomnia. But supplements like these can be sold with limited or no research on how well they work. Talk with your doctor if you are taking supplements, especially if you have another health condition.

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Patrice Burgess, MD - Family Medicine
Steven Locke, MD - Psychiatry
Last Revised May 15, 2012

Last Revised: May 15, 2012

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