37 Stress Management Tips from the Experts

Being overly anxious is not just a mental hazard; it's a physical one too. For your emotional and bodily benefit, we've consulted experts and come up with 37 easy, natural stress management alternatives to anxiety.

By Michael Castleman

16. Warm Up
Try this tip from David Sobel, M.D., in San Jose, CA, author of The Healthy Mind, Healthy Body Handbook (I S H K Book Service, 1997) : Rub your hands together vigorously until they feel warm. Then cup them over your closed eyes for five seconds while you breathe deeply. The warmth and darkness are comforting.

17. Say Yes to Pressure
Acupressure stimulates the same points as acupuncture, but with fingers instead of needles. Michael Reed Gach, Ph.D., director of the Acupressure Institute in Berkeley, CA, recommends pressing on the following three points:

  • The Third Eye, located between the eyebrows, in the indentation where the bridge of the nose meets the forehead.
  • The Heavenly Pillar, on the back of the neck slightly below the base of the skull, about half an inch to the left or right of the spine.
  • The Heavenly Rejuvenation, half an inch below the top of each shoulder, midway between the base of the neck and the outside of the shoulder blade.
  • Breathe deeply and apply firm, steady pressure on each point for two to three minutes. The pressure should cause a mild aching sensation, but not pain.

18. Schedule Worry Time
Some stressors demand immediate attention — a smoke alarm siren or a police car’s whirling red light. But many low-grade stressors can be dealt with at a later time, when it’s more convenient. “File them away in a little mental compartment, or make a note,” Dr. Elkin says, “then deal with them when the time is right. Don’t let them control you.”

19. Shake It Up
This quick exercise helps loosen the muscles in your neck and upper back, says Dr. Sobel: Stand or sit, stretch your arms out from your sides and shake your hands vigorously for about 10 seconds. Combine this with a little deep breathing, Dr. Sobel says, and you’ll do yourself twice as much good.

20. Munch Some Snacks
Foods that are high in carbohydrates stimulate the release of serotonin, feel-good brain chemicals that help induce calm, says Dr. Cooper. Crackers, pretzels, or a bagel should do the trick.

Next: More stress management tips »

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