Feeling keyed-up and stressed unfortunately is a common problem and can be the source of many health problems. Viruses in particular frequently are linked to stress in research studies. Experts say that stress directly affects the immune system, causing it to weaken and causing a greater vulnerability to colds and many other diseases.
There are several methods to help keep your mind and body strong. Physical exercise can help, as can simple, common sense steps like taking plenty of breaks and vacations. There are also more formal methods that may be helpful.
Guided relaxation lowers blood pressure and reduces anxiety. During guided relaxation you sit or lie down in a quiet place and close your eyes. Then a relaxation expert, or a DVD or CD helps you to unwind by tensing and relaxing each major muscle group in turn. You are encouraged to breathe slowly and steadily through the nose.
This technique uses deliberate visualization of scenes or actions. There are at least two ways of using visualization.
At home during a quiet time, imagine stressful situations and picture yourself reacting in a calm, rational way. This can help develop strategies to react differently in the future.
Visualization also can be used in the middle of a stressful situation. Take a moment to concentrate on a very relaxing experience such as an afternoon on a quiet beach, or a long candle-lit bath. Picture it in detail and you will be able to take a step back from what’s currently happening and lower your anxiety.