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Breathing Quiz
Which of the following health conditions is not directly benefited by breathing exercises?
 
 
 
 
I
ntegrative Medicine
 
Relaxation Techniques for Relief of Anxiety & Stress

© Susan M. Lark MD
 (Excerpted from The Menopause Self Help Book)

  • I think thoughts that uplift and nurture me.

  • I enjoy thinking positive thoughts that make me feel good about myself and my life.

  • I deserve to feel good right now.

  • I feel peaceful and calm.

  • My breathing is slow and calm.

  • My muscles are relaxed and comfortable.

  • I feel grounded and fully present.

  • I can effectively handle any situation that comes my way.

  • I think through the solutions to my emotional issues slowly and peacefully.

  • I am thankful for all the positive things in my life.

  • I practice the relaxation methods that I enjoy.

  • My body is healthy and strong.

  • I eat a well balanced and nutritious diet.

  • I enjoy eating delicious and healthful food.

  • My body wants food that is easy to digest and high in vitamins and minerals.

  • I do regular exercise in a relaxed and enjoyable manner. Exercise 14: Self-Esteem Affirmations
    • I am filled with energy, vitality, and self-confidence.

    • I am pleased with how I handle my emotional needs.

    • I know exactly how to manage my daily schedule to promote my emotional and physical well-being.

    • I listen to my body's needs and regulate my activity level to take care of those needs.

    • I love and honor my body.

    • I fill my mind with positive and self-nourishing thoughts.

    • I am a wonderful and worthy person.

    • I deserve health, vitality, and peace of mind.

    • I have total confidence in my ability to heal myself.

    • I feel radiant with abundant energy and vitality.

    • The world around me is full of radiant beauty and abundance.

    • I am attracted only to those people and situations that support and nurture me.

    • I appreciate the positive people and situations that are currently in my life.

    • I love and honor myself.

    • I enjoy my positive thoughts and feelings.
    More Stress-Reduction Techniques for Anxiety
    The rest of this chapter contains additional techniques useful for relief of anxiety and relaxation of tight and tense muscles. These methods induce deep emotional relaxation. Try them for a delightful experience.

    Hydrotherapy
    For centuries, people have used warm water as a way to calm moods and relax muscles. You can have your own "spa" at home by adding relaxing ingredients to the bath water. I have found the following formula to be extremely useful in relieving muscle pain and tension.

    Alkaline Bath. Run a tub of warm water. Heat will increase your menstrual flow, so keep the water a little cooler if heavy flow is a problem. Add one cup of sea salt and one cup of bicarbonate of soda to the tub. This is a highly alkaline mixture and I recommend using it only once or twice a month. I've found it very helpful in reducing cramps and calming anxiety and irritability. Soak for 20 minutes. You will probably feel very relaxed and sleepy after this bath; use it at night before going to sleep. You will probably wake up feeling refreshed and energized the following day. Heat of any kind helps to release muscle tension. Many women find that saunas and baths also help to calm their moods.

    Sound
    Music can have a tremendously relaxing effect on our minds and bodies. For women with anxiety and nervous tension, I recommend slow, quiet music classical music is particularly good. This type of music can have a pronounced beneficial effect on your physiological functions. It can slow your pulse and heart rate, lower your blood pressure, and decrease your levels of stress hormones. It promotes peace and relaxation and helps to induce sleep. Nature sounds, such as ocean waves and rainfall, can also induce a sense of peace and relaxation. I have patients who keep tapes of nature sounds in their cars and at home for use when they feel more stressed. Play relaxing music often when you are aware of increased emotional and physical tension.

    Massage
    Massage can be extremely therapeutic for women who feel anxious. Gentle touching either by a trained massage therapist, your relationship partner, or even yourself can be very relaxing. Tension usually fades away relatively quickly with gentle, relaxed touching. The kneading and stroking movement of a good massage relaxes tight muscles and improves circulation. If you can afford to do so, I recommend treating yourself to a professional massage during times of stress. Otherwise, trade with a friend or partner. There are also many books available that instruct people how to massage themselves.

    Putting Your Stress-Reduction Program Together
    This chapter has introduced you to many different ways to reduce anxiety and stress and make each day calm and peaceful. Try each exercise at least once. Then find the combination that works for you. Doing the exercise you most enjoy should take no longer than 20 to 30 minutes, depending on how much time you wish to spend. Ideally, you should do the exercises daily. Over time, they will help you gain insight into your negative feelings and beliefs while changing them into positive, self nurturing new ones. Your ability to cope with stress should improve tremendously.

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    About The Author
    Dr. Susan M. Lark is one of the foremost authorities on women's health issues and is the author of nine books. She has served on the faculty of Stanford University Medical School...more
     
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    Aniseo wrote
    2/3/2010 11:45:00 PM
    Great tips for keeping healthy. All the exercises and other tips are definitely useful for me. Thanks for sharing.

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