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Mind/Body Basics
 
"Over time, chronic excessive exposure to stress can lead to physical symptoms and exacerbate many illnesses. Just as stress affects our body, so too it affects the ways we feel, think, and act...By using stress reducing strategies, you can enjoy life's challenges without burning out."The Wellness Book
by Benson, Stuart and M/BMI Staff
FOR THE BOSTON SPORTS FAN
Whether it's the Red Sox' exciting comeback against the Yankees in 2004, or the last minutes of Superbowl XXXIX, following Boston sports teams can be a stressful endeavor.

Try a few of the established relaxation tips below when the tension starts to take its toll:

Don't forget to breathe! It sounds simple, but when we're on edge, we hold our breath or breathe in shallow spurts. Try this: Breathe deeply, from the belly. Take breath in through the nose, hold it for four seconds, and then count backwards four, three, two, one as you exhale through the mouth. Repeat five times.
Many of us hold tension in our neck and shoulders. To relax these muscles, drop your chin to your chest. Feel the weight of your head stretch out the back of your neck (hold). Then bring both shoulders up toward your ears, tense, and then drop your shoulders down as you exhale (3X).
Don't wait for the 7th inning or half-time - stretch throughout the game! Periodically, get up and move your feet. Shake your arms and legs around. Lift your arms up in the air. Turn your head as far to the left as you can - hold - and then turn to the right and hold.
When nervous, it's easy to eat and drink compulsively. If you do need to pop something into your mouth, why not try a bowl of grapes or low fat popcorn? And drink a glass of water in between each beer or cocktail to battle dehydration.
A negative attitude affects stress levels too. Try to visualize Brady throwing a touchdown and Ortiz hitting a walk-off homerun. Banish the words "choke" and "Buckner" from your lexicon.

More Information
To register for stress management programs and services, contact Becky Grassi at 617.991.0102 X214 or bgrassi@mbmi.org

To book speakers on stress management and related topics, contact Marilyn Wilcher at 617.991.0102 X208 or mwilcher@mbmi.org
Relaxation CDs

Herbert Benson, MD President,
Mind Body Medical Institute and
Mind Body Medical Institute Associate Professor of Medicine,
Harvard Medical School.