The Harvard Medical School Portable Guide to Stress Relief, a free guide offered by Harvard Health Publications, provides helpful tips on how to relieve stress during the holidays.
Boston (Vocus) December 9, 2008 -- Lately, every day seems to bring a new cause for worry--the mortgage crisis, the struggling economy, rising unemployment. And on top of all that, the holiday season (a recurring source of stress) is about to begin. This constant barrage of disturbing news and emotional hurdles can have a big impact on health.
Although you won't find the word "stress" anywhere on the list of the 10 leading causes of death in America, many highly-regarded studies link chronic stress to ailments such as heart disease, stroke, and a weakened immune system.
"Stress doesn't just make you feel tense and edgy, it can actually impair your health," says Dr. Michael Miller, editor in chief of the Harvard Mental Health Letter. "Thankfully, there's plenty we can do on our own to reduce stress in our lives." The Harvard Medical School Portable Guide to Stress Relief, a free guide offered by Harvard Health Publications, provides helpful tips on how to start.
Of course, sometimes just thinking about embarking on such a program can feel overwhelming. Don't freeze in your tracks. Instead, follow Dr. Miller's suggestion to start small.
One stress-management technique that may work for you is a form of deep breathing known as the relaxation response. Another useful approach, known as cognitive restructuring, aims to change patterns of negative thinking. Not only will these strategies help you feel calmer, they may also reduce your blood pressure.
The free guide from Harvard Health Publications, culled from the pages of the special health report, Stress Management: Approaches for Preventing and Reducing Stress, provides detailed suggestions
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