Monday, November 20, 2000

Healthy Eating

Techniques can de-stress your holidays

        Managing stress this time of year may be difficult. We have so many demands on our time that our regular schedules are hard to follow.

        This may be the best time of year to begin using the relaxation response (described below) to help manage stress.

        1. Sit quietly in a comfortable position.

        2. Close your eyes.

        3. Breathe through your nose. Become aware of your breathing. Each time you breathe out, say the word “one” or “relax” to yourself, or use a special word of your own choice.

        4. Deeply relax all of your muscles, beginning at your forehead and progressing down to your feet. Keep them deeply relaxed.

        5. Don't worry whether you are successful in achieving a deep level of relaxation. Maintain a passive attitude and permit relaxation to occur at its own pace.

        6. Expect distracting thoughts and images to occur, but when they do, ignore them and continue concentrating on the word “one” or the word of your choice.

        7. When you are relaxed, visualize yourself in a pleasant setting, perhaps at the beach, in the mountains, or in a cool forest. Involve all your senses in the images you create. Memorize this setting and recall it at other times when you want to relax.

        8. Continue relaxing for 20 minutes.

        When practiced every other day, the relaxation response reduces the state of physical arousal associated with stress, such as: heart rate, blood pressure and breathing.

        In addition, it allows you to “turn off” your concerns and worries. It interrupts the sequence of stressful thoughts that may replay endlessly in your mind. Thus, the relaxation response quiets your mind as it quiets your body.

        Healthy Eating is provided by staff members at Jewish Hospital Weight Management Center (, Evendale.


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- Techniques can de-stress your holidays