It’s Mental Health Awareness Month

National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, a good time to think about ways in which you can protect your mental health, including taking steps to manage stress.

Long-term stress can contribute to or worsen many mental and physical health problems. But fortunately, there are ways to counteract its effects. We have access to a built-in “stress reset button” that acts as an antidote to stress. It’s called the relaxation response. It’s the opposite of your body’s response to stress. The relaxation response slows your heart rate, lowers your blood pressure, and decreases oxygen consumption and levels of stress hormones.

By learning simple techniques that produce the relaxation response—such as progressive muscle relaxation, simple mindfulness exercises, and slow, deep breathing—you can help prevent stress from building up. That’s good for both your mind and your body.

Learn More About Stress