Stress Management Techniques

Sandi Anders, MDiv, RYT, CSC

Relaxation Helps to Neutralize Stress Symptoms

Allowing your body and mind to relax is a vital to counteract the harmful effects of chronic stress. When you regularly engage in relaxation with the use of stress management techniques, you can begin to reverse the damaging proceess of stress and engage the body's incredible capability for self-healing.

The Relaxation Response

Herbert Benson, M.D., Harvard Professor and stress reduction specialist, first created the phrase "Relaxation Response" in the early 1970s to describe the changes - physiological and mental - that take place when one consciously relaxes. In The Wellness Book, he writes that the relaxation response is "a physiological state characterized by a slower heart rate, metabolism, rate of breathing, lower blood pressure, and slower brain wave patterns."

Physical Changes Created with the Relaxation Response

Here are some of the beneficial changes that occur when your body is in the relaxation response:

  1. Heartbeat and respiration are slowed.
  2. Oxygen consumption is markedly reduced.
  3. The expiration of carbon dioxide drops.
  4. Blood pressure becomes stable.
  5. Blood lactate levels (which some researchers believe are associated with panic attacks) decline steeply.

Stress Management Techniques

There are many tested techniques which promote this state of profound rest and release. In this series of articles, we will describe the most valuable of these skills, and give you practical information and instruction on how to do them.

Stress Management Techniques Series of Articles:

Stress Management Technique: Diaphragmatic Breath »

Stress Management Technique: Body Scan »

Stress Management Technique: Meditation »

Stress Management Technique: Mindful Movement »

Stress Management Technique: Visualization »

Stress Management Technique: Mindful Movement »