Stressing & Relaxing

How Relaxation Techniques
Impact Your Health

 

In contrast to the body’s stress response, the relaxation response slows your heart rate, lowers blood pressure and decreases oxygen consumption and levels of stress hormones.

Because relaxation is the opposite of stress, you may be able to create a relaxation response through relaxation techniques and counteract the negative effects of stress, both emotional and physical.

The goal of every technique is to consciously produce the body’s natural relaxation response—slower breathing, lower blood pressure and a feeling of calm and well-being.

Relaxation techniques have been studied for their ability to ease many health conditions, but often these studies have been small and at times results are conflicting. Still, relaxing might fit into an overall management plan for heart disease and stopping smoking, two of the challenges we’ve talked about on the site.

According to the Helpguide.org, most relaxation techniques can be self-taught and practiced, often with a book or DVD.

Resources: National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health