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Stress can wear down your immune system, giving that dormant cold sore a chance to launch a sneak attack. Instead, breathe deeply and relax. While there are a variety of relaxation techniques, here are two to get you started:

1. Breathe deeply through your abdomen

Woman with outstretched arms and looking away

Take a five-minute break and sit in a comfortable position with your back straight. Place one hand on your belly and the other on your chest, then slowly breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. When you exhale, push out as much air as you can. Your belly should rise, while your chest moves minimally.

2. Do a mental body scan

Woman sitting and dreaming with eyes closed

With your eyes open or closed, sit with your feet on the floor or lie on your back with your legs uncrossed and your arms by your side. Breathe deeply for two minutes in this position or until you feel relaxed. Then begin focusing on the toes of your right foot. Notice how they feel, and breathe into them by imagining you are sending oxygen to them. Continue this process with your left toes, working your way up from your toes to the top of your head. After you have scanned your whole body, spend a minute or two in your relaxed state.

The key to relaxation techniques is finding ones that fit your lifestyle. Sometimes, it works best to combine or alternate the methods that work for you to keep you motivated.