TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Stress can take a major toll on our minds and our bodies.

That’s why a class offered through Tampa General Hospital is teaching stress reduction techniques that can improve both your mental and physical health.

It’s called Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, or MBSR. The program uses techniques like meditation, stretching, and breath awareness to help manage a range of issues like stress, depression, and anxiety.

Doctors say the techniques used in MBSR can also help reduce some potentially harmful physical health issues.

“Our heart rate improves, our blood pressure improves, our stress hormones improve,” said Dr. Tanuja Sharma, Medical Director of Integrative Medicine at TGH.

Dr. Sharma points to published research that shows patients using MBSR techniques saw a 40% reduction in psychological symptoms and a 35% reduction in some medical symptoms.

“We see direct results and it’s been shown to help with chronic diseases like blood pressure, heart rate and chronic pain,” Sharma said.

The MBSR course is an eight-week commitment. Participants attend one class per week, followed by one day-long silent retreat at the end of the course. Classes are offered in-person or virtually.

You can register for the next MBSR course at TGH here: Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) – Tampa General Hospital (tgh.org)