Navigation Links
Free Guide to Remaining Calm During Stressful Times from Harvard Medical School

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 for soothing anxiety and worry. Whether you have one minute or half an hour, The Harvard Medical School Portable Guide to Stress Relief will teach you ways to manage the strains of your day. It describes 10 common stressors and how to defuse their impact and offers information on how to use meditation to lower stress levels. You will also find step-by-step instructions for "mini-relaxation" routines, organized according to how much free time you have available.

To begin, try the sample mini-relaxations that follow:

De-stressing when you've got 1 minute
Place your hand just beneath your navel so you can feel the gentle rise and fall of your belly as you breathe. Breathe in slowly. Pause for a count of three. Breathe out. Pause for a count of three.

Continue to breathe deeply for one minute, pausing for a count of three after each inhalation and exhalation.

Or alternatively, while sitting comfortably, take a few slow deep breaths and quietly repeat to yourself "I am" as you breathe in and "at peace" as you breathe out. Repeat slowly two or three times. Then feel your entire body relax into the support of the chair.

When you've got 2 minutes
Count down slowly from 10 to zero. With each number, take one complete breath, inhaling and exhaling. For example, breathe in deeply saying "10" to yourself. Breathe out slowly. On your next breath, say "nine," and so on. If you feel lightheaded, count down more slowly to space your breaths further apart. When you reach zero, you should feel more relaxed. If not, go through the exercise again.

Also in this guide:

  • Using a gratitude journal to turn your focus away from negative thoughts and feelings
  • Learning to straighten out cognitive distortions
  • Helping your children--or yourself--reduce stress with a "worry box."
The Harvard Medical School Portable Guide to Stress Relief is available to download for free from Harvard Health Publications, the publishing division of Harvard Medical School, at to

Go to to find information on other Harvard Health Publications, including:

Stress Management: Approaches for preventing and reducing stress

Coping with Anxiety and Phobias

Alcohol Use and Abuse

Understanding Depression

Media Contact:
Harvard Health Publications
Contact: Raquel Schott

Release may be used in whole or part with attribution. Media inquiries welcome.


Read the full story at

Source: PRWeb
Copyright©2008 Vocus, Inc.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Womens Health The Daily Fix Your Guide to Healthy Habits for Good Nutrition
2. Cleveland Clinic Issues New Guide for Chronic Hip Pain
3. Exceeding the Government's Minimum Health Guidelines with a Treadmill Desk
4. Almost Two-Thirds of Americans Meet Exercise Guidelines
5. Doctors Issue New Neuropathy Test Guidelines
6. LSUHSCs England leads development of new testing guidelines for common nerve disorder
7. Launches "Lose the Weight this Year: A Common Sense Dieter's Guide"
8. Health Level Seven and The Health Story Project Announce Publication of Diagnostic Imaging Report Guide at Annual RSNA Meeting : HL7 Clinical Document Architecture (CDA) Implementation Guide Enhances Radiology Reporting
9. Top Experts Create the Ultimate Lifestyle Guide
10. MEDai Evidence-Based Guideline Reporting Provides Decision Support at Point of Care
11. Guideline Urges HIV Tests for All Patients 13 and Older
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Free Guide to Remaining Calm During Stressful Times from Harvard Medical School
(Date:12/1/2015)... , ... December 01, 2015 , ... ... leadless pacemakers in the U.S. and is the only hospital in the region ... largest clinical data presentation of transcatheter pacing patients were revealed recently at a ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... Growth in medical payments per workers’ compensation claim ... of hospital and nonhospital care, according to a recent study by the Workers Compensation ... Edition , found medical payments per claim with more than seven days of lost ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... 01, 2015 , ... It’s official: Tattoo taboo is a thing of the ... among Millennials (a whopping one in three aged 18 to 25 is inked). As ... with their ink. In fact, RealSelf , the world’s largest community for learning ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... For many X-rays taken at ... accurate interpretation by the radiologist. The marking utensils are so small, however, they ... found a way to alleviate this problem. , He developed the patent-pending MARK ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... ... been selected as a finalist in this year’s Fierce Innovation Awards: Healthcare Edition, ... Healthcare was recognized as a finalist in the category of Digital Solutions for ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/1/2015)... Breg, Inc ., a premier provider ... it has been awarded three contracts by Novation, a ... will have access to improved pricing for Breg,s portfolio ... goods dedicated to advancing orthopedic care.  ... population, rising prevalence of chronic conditions and the health ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... 2015 During the recent 2015 Transcatheter ... Francisco, CA , Medinol Ltd. continued to ... During a satellite symposium, "The BioNIR eDES: The ... Restenosis", a renowned physician panel discussed the key ... Coronary Stent System and the Medinol eDES Coronary ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... 2015 ... of the "2016 Europe Enteric ... Coli, Enterovirus, Rhinovirus, Rotavirus, Salmonella, Shigella, ... offering. --> ) ... "2016 Europe Enteric Disease Testing ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: