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  • Michael Frey, MD

Relax Your Mind and Body

Stress Management: To truly relax is to calm BOTH the body and the mind.

  • Relaxing to quiet your mind and make you feel peaceful and calm.

  • Your body reacts when you relax, your muscles may be less tense and more flexible.

  • There are different ways to relax. You may find one or more ways help to calm you down and feel at peace.

Relaxing the mind

  • Take slow, deep breaths. Or try other breathing exercises for relaxation.

  • Listen to soothing music.

  • Practice mindful meditation. The goal of mindful meditation is to focus your attention on things that are happening right now in the present moment. For example, listen to your body. Is your breathing fast, slow, deep, or shallow? Do you hear noises, such as traffic, or do you hear only silence? The idea is just to note what is happening without trying to change it.

  • Write. Some people feel more relaxed after they write about their feelings. One way is to keep a journal.

  • Use guided imagery. With guided imagery, you imagine yourself in a certain setting that helps you feel calm and relaxed. You can use audiotapes, scripts, or a teacher to guide you through the process.

  • Take a 2-hour break from social media and emails.

Relaxing the body

  • Yoga. You can get books and videos to do at home or take a yoga class.

-Yogahaven: has a nice online library, also in person.

-Yoga Station: in Hartsdale.

  • Try progressive muscle relaxation. This process involves tensing and relaxing each muscle group. Progressive muscle relaxation can reduce anxiety and muscle tension. If you have trouble falling asleep, this method may also help with your sleep problems. When you relax your muscles, your body gets the signal that it is okay to fall asleep.

  • Soak in a hot bath, add Dr. Teal's Epsom Salt, light a candle and dim the lights. Add a bath pillow for extra comfort. Why not add bubbles? Good ole Mr. Bubble is cheap, paraben-free, and hypoallergenic. Or add your favorite essential oil to the tube.

  • Spend time in nature. Spending time in nature, some studies suggest, can reduce anxiety and repetitive negative thoughts.

  • Take a walk or do some other activity. Making time to do things you enjoy can also help you relax.

  • Get a massage or have someone give you a back rub. A 60-minute massage can lower cortisol, a hormone that’s produced in response to stress, by an average of 30 percent. And when cortisol levels decline, serotonin — one of the body’s anti-pain mechanisms — increases by an average of 28 percent after receiving a massage.

  • Have a warm drink that doesn't have alcohol or caffeine in it, such as herbal tea or warm milk.

  • Get QUALITY sleep. Skipping sleep causes confusion for your body and takes a major toll on hormones. Aim to be in bed for 8 hours or more nightly while you are dealing with stress. Try incorporating bedtime practices like dimming the lights a few hours before bed, turning off electronics an hour before bed, and avoiding stressors (like the news) in the evening.

  • Cuddle your dog, cat, or other furry friends.


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