3. Take a deep breath
A steady barrage of unrelenting stress causes inflammation that weakens cells, says Woodson Merrell, MD, chair of the department of integrative medicine at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York, and a long-time advocate of daily meditation. “Stress hasn’t been shown to cause cancer, but it impairs the body’s ability to heal,” Dr. Merrell explains. A University of Calgary faculty of medicine study found that mindful relaxation caused beneficial changes to immune cells in cancer patients.
Try this: Make time for a two-minute “breathing break” every hour. Inhale for a count of four, pause, then exhale for six. Fifteen minutes twice a day of conscious relaxation with slow, deep breaths has been found to lower heart rate and blood pressure, decrease stress hormones and soothe the nervous system.