Self-management

Lifestyle and home remedies

To reduce or relieve tremors:

  • Avoid caffeine. Caffeine and other stimulants can increase tremors.
  • Use alcohol sparingly, if at all. Some people notice that their tremors improve slightly after they drink alcohol, but drinking isn't a good solution. Tremors tend to worsen once the effects of alcohol wear off. Also, increasing amounts of alcohol eventually are needed to relieve tremors, which can lead to alcoholism.
  • Learn to relax. Stress and anxiety tend to make tremors worse, and being relaxed may improve tremors. Although you can't eliminate all stress from your life, you can change how you react to stressful situations using a range of relaxation techniques, such as massage or meditation.
  • Make lifestyle changes. Use the hand less affected by tremor more often. Find ways to avoid writing with the hand affected by tremor, such as using online banking and debit cards instead of writing checks.

    Try voice-activated dialing on your cellphone and speech-recognition software on your computer.

Coping and support

For many people, essential tremor can have serious social and psychological consequences. If the effects of essential tremor make it difficult to live your life as fully as you once did, consider joining a support group.

Support groups aren't for everyone, but you might find it helpful to have the encouragement of people who understand what you're going through. Or see a counselor or social worker who can help you meet the challenges of living with essential tremor.