PeopleImages It sounds New Age-y, but at least one study, done at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, has found that it’s highly effective in reducing stress. Dr. Cooper recommends imagining you’re in a hot shower and a wave of relaxation is washing your stress down the drain. Gerald Epstein, MD, author of Healing Visualizations, suggests the following routine: Close your eyes; take three long, slow breaths; and spend a few seconds picturing a relaxing scene, such as walking in a meadow, kneeling by a brook, or lying on the beach. Focus on the details—the sights, the sounds, the smells.
Make time for a mini self-massage
PeopleImages Maria Hernandez-Reif, PhD, of the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami School of Medicine, recommends simply massaging the palm of one hand by making a circular motion with the thumb of the other. Or use a massage gadget. The SelfCare catalog offers several, such as the S-shaped Tamm unit, that allows you to massage hard-to-reach spots on your back. Work in these self-massage tricks for soothing full-body relaxation and help with stress management.
Try a tonic
londoneye A study at Duke University found homeopathy effective in quelling anxiety disorders. Look for stress formulas such as Nerve Tonic or Sedalia in your health food store, or consult a licensed homeopath. To find one near you, contact the National Center for Homeopathy. If you haven’t been diagnosed, watch for these signs you might have an anxiety disorder.