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Stress Management: Relaxing Your Mind and Body


Table of Contents


Actionsets help people take an active role in managing a health condition.   Stress Management: Relaxing Your Mind and Body

Take a deep breath. Hold it for a moment, and then exhale. Feel more relaxed? Breathing exercises are one way to relax. Here you will learn about different ways to relax your mind and body. Being relaxed can help ease stress. It can also relieve anxiety, depression, and sleep problems.

Actionsets help people take an active role in managing a health condition.  What does it mean to relax the mind and body?
Actionsets help people take an active role in managing a health condition.  Why relax?
Actionsets help people take an active role in managing a health condition.  How can you relax your mind and body?
Actionsets help people take an active role in managing a health condition.  Where to go from here

What? - What is the medical information or key concepts related to the action?  What does it mean to relax the mind and body?

Many methods of relaxation work on both the mind and the body at the same time. Other ways to relax focus on just one or the other.

Test Your Knowledge

  1. Progressive muscle relaxation is one way to relax the body.

    1. True

      This answer is correct.

      Your muscles may get tight when you are stressed. Progressive muscle relaxation is one way to relax your body and relieve muscle tension.

    2. False

      This answer is incorrect.

      Your muscles may get tight when you are stressed. Progressive muscle relaxation is one way to relax your body and relieve muscle tension.


Why? - Why the action is important?  Why relax?

Relaxing your mind and body can make you feel calm and peaceful. It can help relieve stress as well as anxiety, depression, and sleep problems.

Stress is a physical or emotional response to life's changes and challenges. When you are under stress or feel anxious, your body reacts as if it is under attack. This is called the fight-or-flight stress response. Your body releases hormones that speed up your heart rate and breathing and make your muscles tense. Stress also affects your emotions, making you feel moody, tense, upset, or depressed. Over time, stress can affect your health in other ways too. For example, stress has been linked to high blood pressure, headaches, and low back pain.

When you are able to relax your mind and body, your body makes less of the hormones that create stress. The feelings of stress ease, and you return to a state of calm, both physically and mentally.

Test Your Knowledge

  1. Relaxing your mind and body can have a positive effect on your health.

    1. True

      This answer is correct.

      As you relax, your body makes less of the hormones that create stress. So your heart rate slows, and your muscle tension eases. Relaxing may even lower your blood pressure.

    2. False

      This answer is incorrect.

      As you relax, your body makes less of the hormones that create stress. So your heart rate slows, and your muscle tension eases. Relaxing may even lower your blood pressure.


How? - Learn the steps involved in taking action.  How can you relax your mind and body?

There are lots of ways to relax. Some ways are designed to relax your mind and some to relax your body. But because of the way the mind and body are connected, many relaxation methods work on both the mind and the body.

You may want to try one or more of the following relaxation tips to see what works best for you.

Relaxing the mind

Relaxing the body

Test Your Knowledge

  1. When you work to relax your mind, you may also relax your body.

    1. True

      This answer is correct.

      Because of the way the mind and body are connected, some things you do to relax your mind may also work to relax your body. For example, doing slow, deep breathing can help relax your mind and body. Progressive muscle relaxation not only relaxes the muscles, but also may reduce anxiety and calm your mind so you can sleep.

    2. False

      This answer is incorrect.

      Because of the way the mind and body are connected, some things you do to relax your mind may also work to relax your body. For example, doing slow, deep breathing can help relax your mind and body. Progressive muscle relaxation not only relaxes the muscles, but also may reduce anxiety and calm your mind so you can sleep.


Where? - Other resources and organizations that can help you take action.  Where to go from here

Now that you have read this information, you are ready to relax your mind and body. You may try one or more of the relaxation methods we've mentioned. Use the ones that have the best results for you.

If you would like more information on how to relax your mind and body, the following resource is available:

Organization

National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), National Institutes of Health
9000 Rockville Pike
Bethesda, MD  20892
Phone: 1-888-644-6226
Fax: 1-866-464-3616 toll-free
TDD: 1-866-464-3615 toll-free
Email: info@nccam.nih.gov
Web Address: www.nccam.nih.gov
 

The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) explores complementary and alternative healing practices in the context of rigorous science, trains complementary and alternative medicine researchers, and gives out authoritative information.


References

Other Works Consulted

Credits for Stress Management: Relaxing Your Mind and Body

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

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