New research has shown that stress during the holidays is at an all-time high. We’ve talked before about the harmful effects of stress on the mind and body, so what can we do to keep stress levels in check during the holiday season?

Scientists have been searching for the best way to manage stress. Recently, they’ve seen great results in using mindfulness techniques to reduce stress.

What are mindfulness techniques? Mindfulness techniques are techniques that induce a relaxation response in the body and mind. There are many ways to induce a relaxation response, and we explore some of them below.

Deep breathing. This simple technique is easy and can be done anywhere, anytime. The idea is to get as much fresh air into your lungs as possible. The more oxygen exchange happening in your body, the less anxiety you feel.

Meditation. Purposeful focus on the current moment is what motivates this technique. You can be engage mediation by utilizing repetitive sound, breathing, light, aromatherapy, and more. This technique can take some practice but there are some great apps and youtube videos that help you get started.

Yoga. By focusing on our body’s movements, muscles, and strength, we can relieve the physiological holds of stress and anxiety. By reduced the physiological symptoms we can impact the mental symptoms of stress and anxiety as well.

When the relaxation response is successfully activated, the heart rates slows down, breathing becomes slowed, blood pressure lowers, muscles relax, and blood flow circulation increases. All of these physiological mechanisms work to reduce stress levels both short and long-term. Now get to enjoying your holidays!