Relax during stressful holiday season - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Relax during stressful holiday season

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Few things feel better than climbing into bed at the end of a long workweek, knowing you can sleep in the next morning. Wouldn't it be wonderful if you could mimic that tranquility amid the bustle of the holiday season?

These sure-fire techniques can help you relax:

  • Meditation. As stress levels go up, the mind goes into overdrive, creating superficial, often negative thoughts. Meditation helps focus the attention by concentrating on the present and letting go of thoughts about the past or future. That lets you get a grip on the racing thoughts generated by stressful times.
  • Biofeedback. This mind-body therapy uses the mind to favorably alter bodily functions such as heart rate, breathing, blood pressure, sweating and even brain activity. Stress causes a "fight or flight" response, and biofeedback can be used to disrupt those signals. However, the technique requires training from a biofeedback specialist (usually a psychologist) using equipment that monitors the body's response as a teaching tool for the individual.
  • Massage. Stress leads to muscle tension and tightness in the neck, shoulders and back. Massage therapists can help alleviate it by using their hands, fingers and even elbows to release tension from muscles, tendons and soft tissues.
  • Exercise. Whether it's taking a brisk walk, biking or swimming, few things break the stress cycle like physical activity. Apart from the health benefits, exercise also improves your mood. And some forms, such as tai chi and yoga, accentuate stress reduction.

For the Texas Tech Health Sciences Center, I'm Dr. Tedd Mitchell, and this is the President's Prescription.

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