The symptoms of some vestibular disorders can be distressing and upsetting, leading to stress and anxiety. It can be very helpful to practice relaxation techniques. Remember that psychological anxiety can stimulate the nervous system just as much as pain. Consider these tips before starting:
- Create a comfortable, quiet, stress-free environment, preferably with dim lighting.
- Wear comfortable clothes and take off your shoes and glasses.
- Don’t try too hard – if you worry about “doing it right” you will tense up even more.
- Practice on an empty stomach – food digestion after meals tends to disrupt deep relaxation.
- Aim for practicing at least 10-20 minutes a day, every day, preferably around the same time to establish a habit.
Be patient - relaxation skills take a while to learn. Over time, it will get easier to let go of tension and you will begin to feel more and more relaxed. There are a variety of techniques that work for people with anxiety, no matter what the cause, including diaphragmatic breathing, mindfulness meditation, progressive muscle relaxation and traditional Eastern practices such as yoga, tai chi and qigong. Try several and choose one or two that work best for you.
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