By doing a simple breathing technique or visualization whenever you experience stress, you can slow your breathing, decrease your blood pressure, and even lower your heart rate. Try this visualization from Tracy Gaudet, MD, director of the Duke Center for Integrative Medicine and author of Consciously Female (Bantam, 2004).

  • Find somewhere where you can be alone and undisturbed for five minutes.
  • Sit comfortably or lie down and close your eyes. Allow your breathing to deepen.
  • Imagine a place you'd love to be in, and notice as many details as you can about that place. Indulge in the sensations of that spot. What can you see, hear, smell, and feel?
  • As you head back into your day, carry with you the imagery and feelings your visualization elicited.