Stress Management Related to Parkinson’s Disease

Stress can have a large influence on PD symptoms such as tremors, rigidity and balance difficulties. It is important to manage your stress during your daily activities in order to ensure most function and safety.  Listed below are several simple strategies on quick ways to manage your stress:

  1. Deep Breathing Strategies
    1. Diaphragmatic Breathing
      1. When breathing in through your nose, make sure you fill your diaphragm with air (stomach should move outwards).  When releasing the air, make sure your diaphragm releases the air (stomach collapses inward)
    2. Box Breathing
      1. Breathe in for 4 seconds (to full capacity), hold for 4 seconds, breathe out for 4 seconds (releasing full amount of air) and then hold for 4 seconds.  Repeat for up to 4 minutes
    3. Meditation, Yoga, Tai Chi

2. Environmental Changes

  1. Explore aromatherapy
    1. Calming scents include lavender, vanilla, etc.
  2. Decrease lighting in the room (Important to only do when seated, not when walking or moving about)
  3. Listen to soft, slow, rhythmic music

3. Follow up with your physician, psychiatrists, psychologists or rehab therapists for further stress management if necessary

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About the Author


Heather Simpson, OTR/L

Heather Simpson graduated with a B.S. in Exercise and Sport Science with a minor in Early Education from the University of Florida in 2007. Following…

Read all articles by Heather Simpson, OTR/L