Because the symptoms of essential tremor worsen during times of stress/anxiety, it is important to find healthy methods of combating anxiety. One way to alleviate anxiety is to become a pet owner.
Studies have found:
-People with pets have lower blood pressure in stressful situations than those without pets.
-Playing with a pet can elevate levels of serotonin and dopamine, which calm and relax.
-Pet owners over age 65 make 30% fewer visits to their doctors than those without pets.
Also, pets add structure and routine to your day. Regardless of how depressed or anxious you feel, your pet will require daily feedings, exercise and affection. Pets offer the opportunity to put your anxiety aside and focus on providing a loving, comfortable home for your four-legged friend.
Shelters throughout the country are always full of wonderful cats and dogs in need of a forever home. If a pet would fit into your lifestyle, do yourself and a lucky animal a favor-Adopt a pet!
Read stories of IETF members who are proud pet owners here.
I watched a program on The Science Channel the other night: Through the Wormhole: Mysteries of the Subconscious. Part of the program discussed the work being done at The Benson-Henry Institute of Mind Body Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital. With more than 35 years of research and clinical practice, Herbert Benson, MD and his colleagues at the Institute have proven the effectiveness of mind/body medicine in helping thousands of men and women reduce the stress that can cause or exacerbate their medical conditions. And as any ET patient will tell you, stress and anxiety do exacerbate essential tremor.
Mind/body medicine takes into account that physical health is influenced by thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, and conversely, thoughts, feelings, and behaviors can be influenced by physical symptoms. It teaches individuals how to take control of their lives, use their own power to reduce stress and other negative behaviors and thoughts, and thus maintain or regain health.
Dr. Benson found that there is a counter-mechanism to stress which he calls the “relaxation response.” The relaxation response is a physical state of deep rest that changes ?normal? physical and emotional responses to stress (e.g., decreases in heart rate, blood pressure, rate of breathing, and muscle tension). If practiced regularly, it can have lasting effects.
For more information on how to elicit the relaxation response in you, visit The Benson-Henry Institute of Mind Body Medicine website for the basics.
Do you meditate? What technique works for you? What other strategies or Coping Tips do you use to manage stress and anxiety?