Almost anyone with Parkinson’s disease is aware that stress and PD are not a good match. Stress can exacerbate Parkinson’s symptoms, causing a person to move even slower or cause an increase in tremors. Some people with Parkinson’s find they get easily confused during stressful events, making it more difficult to complete even simple tasks.
Yes, stress is a part of everyday life, and some level of stress is healthy and normal. But what can you do when it all gets to be too much? Here’s just a few suggestions you may find helpful.
1. Breathe deeply. Slowly raise your arms above your head, slowly taking in as much air as you can. Hold this pose for a few seconds, then slowly lower your arms while slowly exhaling. Do this a couple of times until you start to feel yourself relax.
2. Relieve the tension in your neck. Many people carry stress in their neck and upper body. Raise your shoulders up as closely to your ears as you are comfortably able to. Hold this stretch for 5 seconds and slowly release. Repeat 3 to 5 times until some or all of the tension is released. (Also great if you have been working in front of a computer or driving for several hours.)
3. Find a quiet corner. Noise can make situations even more stressful by adding an additional element of confusion. Peace and quiet can really help to diminish stress (even if you have to go in the bathroom to find it.)
4. Exercise can help both prevent and relieve stress. Take a few minutes and take a quick walk around the block, down the hall or wherever it is convenient. If you can, take a minute to stop and smell the roses.
5. Explore meditation techniques. To start, sit somewhere quiet, close your eyes and visualize yourself someplace you consider to be relaxing (the beach, the mountains the moon.) Take several deep breathes and imagine how that place feels, smells, looks. Realx and open your eyes.
These are just a few examples to give you some ideas of how simple things can help relieve stress. Please feel free to share any suggestions you may have as well.