Stress can trigger essential tremor symptoms, but taking time to relax can help calm them. However, it’s easy to do the opposite of what’s best for us when we’re frustrated. Instead of relaxing, it’s easy to tense up and make the tremor worse. Taking some quiet time to do a series of relaxing stretches can help to release some of the tension that’s aggravating your symptoms. Here are a few easy exercises to start with. Remember to breathe through each exercise—breathing is critical for getting the most out of these relaxation sessions.
Tighten and relax your hands
First, tighten your hands into a fist. Then, release that fist and give your hands a few moments to relax. Once you feel the tension release from your hands, repeat the exercise.
Rotate your wrists
After finding a comfortable position, rotate your wrists slowly in one direction and then reverse the motion. Remember to breathe as you rotate, and move slowest where you feel the most tension.
Rotate your shoulders
While your arms are at your sides, rotate your shoulders up, backward, down, and forward. Repeat this process until you feel less tense, again remembering to breathe and move slowly where there’s tension. Once you feel comfortable and relaxed, repeat the exercise in the reverse direction.
Stretch your neck and shoulders
While standing or sitting comfortably with your head facing forward, slowly let your head drop to one side while keeping your shoulders level. Breathe through the stretch, giving your body time to relax, then repeat the stretch on the other side.
Be sure to monitor your tremor before, during, and after each exercise. Is your tremor stressed by the exercise, or is it feeling more relaxed? Everyone reacts to exercise differently. You may need to slow down or do a specific exercise for less time. Or, if the tremor remains aggravated, you may need to stop that exercise altogether and try a different one.
If your essential tremor symptoms are too severe to manage, consider seeking treatment. The educators at the Essential Tremor Education Center are here to offer support and answer any questions you may have about treatment options that could be available to you. You can speak with one of our educators today by calling 1-800-NO-TREMOR.