Coping With Stress Through Relaxation

I hope that the holidays aren’t stressing you out. Whether they are or not, here’s something that can help.

In my blog entry last week ("Reducing Stress"), I wrote about reducing and avoiding sources of stress. That’s the best way to deal with stress—but sometimes you can’t eliminate the sources of stress from your life. So what can you do then? Here are some ideas:

Breathe. Focused, deep breathing is the best relaxer there is. Just stop and take a couple of deep breaths, paying attention to how the breath feels moving through your nose, throat, and chest. This is the basic idea behind meditation[1]. Or you can do more formal breathing exercises if you have two minutes. Here are two of the simplest:

For more breathing exercises, click here[2] or look up “pranayama” in a Google search.

Turn down your mind. Try any of the following practices to quiet your mind.

Feel good. Here are a few more ideas that can help boost your general well-being.

Slow down. Try some of these ideas to keep your life from getting too crazed.

What works for you?

What methods have you tried to help yourself relax? Have they worked for you? What else can you tell us about dealing with stress? Share your comment below.

If you want more ideas or more reasons to relax, I’ve got a whole chapter on the subject in my book The Art of Getting Well[12].

A longer version of this blog entry will appear on a new Web site I’m helping write called New Health Partnerships. It’s for patients, families, and health-care providers. We’re trying to teach all three groups better ways to work together for health. It’s partially up now—check it out at[13].

  1. meditation:
  2. click here:
  3. Progressive muscle relaxation:
  4. University of Texas at Austin:
  5. Learning Meditation:
  6. Meditate:
  7. pray:
  8. health benefits of having pets:
  9. triglycerides:
  10. Hug someone.:
  11. garden:
  12. The Art of Getting Well:

Source URL:

David Spero: David Spero has been a nurse for 40 years and has lived with multiple sclerosis for 30 years. He is the author of four books: The Art of Getting Well: Maximizing Health When You Have a Chronic Illness (Hunter House 2002), Diabetes: Sugar-coated Crisis — Who Gets It, Who Profits, and How to Stop It (New Society 2006, Diabetes Heroes (Jim Healthy 2014), and The Inn by the Healing Path: Stories on the road to wellness (Smashwords 2015.) He writes for Diabetes Self-Management and Pain-Free Living (formerly Arthritis Self-Management) magazines. His website is His blog is

Disclaimer of Medical Advice: Statements and opinions expressed on this Web site are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the publishers or advertisers. The information, which comes from qualified medical writers, does not constitute medical advice or recommendation of any kind, and you should not rely on any information contained in such posts or comments to replace consultations with your qualified health care professionals to meet your individual needs.