If you are anything like me, you truly look forward to the moments where you are able to relax. It’s why we so anticipate our vacations or time off – sometimes relaxation days can be few and far between. Especially when our lives get hectic, taking time out to relax is often pushed to the side in order to fit in our additional activities.
But it should come as no surprise that having time to relax is very beneficial to our health –should pencil in both mental and physical. Oddly enough, though, what is considered relaxing can differ vastly from person to person. To help you to understand why you a bit of solitude and quiet, here are some interesting facts.
You may have heard that a little bit of stress is actually good for you. In the just-right amount, that adrenaline rush can power you through a long day at work, boost your workouts and more. But while it feels good to conquer the day, in the end, it just simply feels better — and is more beneficial to your health — to just relax.
When you are stressed, your breathing changes and restricts the amount of oxygen entering your body. This can create a number of problems, of course. Learning how to relax and, thus, allow more oxygen into your body can have many major health benefits.
Some would argue that stress is our biggest health concern, given that it has been linked to so many other complications, from heart problems to dementia. But i say learning helpful relaxation and coping techniques may be a better solution.
You may still end up racing to meet deadlines at work today, or handling a stressful personal crisis — life goes on, no matter what kind of day it is. But relaxing whenever possible, and in whatever way works for you (whether it’s reading a book, taking a walk, meditating, running, you name it!) is healthier for you than you might think.
Relaxing protects your heart
You’ve probably heard that stress can seriously up your risk of high blood pressure, heart attacks and other heart problems. While researchers aren’t sure exactly why the research is unanimously in favour of relaxation for your heart’s sake. “There are studies to show that stress is comparable to other risk factors that we traditionally think of as majors, like hypertension, poor diet and lack of exercise”.
Intense, sudden periods of stress or shock, like a breakup or even winning the lottery, can trigger such a rush of adrenaline that the heart can’t function properly, resulting in heart failure or heart attack-like symptoms. In the case of a breakup or death of a loved one, this has become known as broken heart syndrome.
Relaxation can reduce stress symptoms and help you enjoy a better quality of life, especially if you have an illness. Relaxation techniques are a great way to help with stress management. Relaxation isn’t just about peace of mind or enjoying a hobby. Relaxation is a process that decreases the effects of stress on your mind and body. Relaxation techniques can help you cope with everyday stress and with stress related to various health problems, such as cancer and pain.
Whether your stress is spiraling out of control or you’ve already got it tamed, you can benefit from learning relaxation techniques. Learning basic relaxation techniques is easy. Relaxation techniques also are often free or low cost, pose little risk and can be done just about anywhere.
Explore these simple relaxation techniques and get started on de-stressing your life and improving your health.
Relaxation Benefits and Tips
The benefits of using a relaxation technique are overwhelming. Regular practice of relaxation techniques will assist you in relieving muscle tension, reduce anxiety, and improve your overall wellbeing. Other physiological benefits include:
- Decrease in heart rate
- Decrease in respiration rate
- Decrease in blood pressure
- Decrease in muscle tension
- Decrease in metabolic rate and oxygen consumption
Practicing relaxation exercise on a daily basis can produce, over time, a general feeling of relaxation and increased well-being that benefits every area of your life. When you feel relaxed and at ease, you feel more in control which leads to calm, realistic responses.
Find a Quiet Environment
- Eliminate distractions
- Minimize noise, light, odor, movement, etc.
Adopt a Passive Attitude
- Empty your mind of any thoughts and distractions
- Allow your body to let go
- Don’t worry about how well you are doing
- You can best control the exercises by not controlling them
Use a Mental Device of Some Type to Dispel Distractions
- A word or phrase may be repeated over and over again to forget distractions
– “I feel calm and relaxed”
– Relax and let it go”
– Relax, recharge, rejuvenate”
- A visual device may be an object or a symbol to keep you focused and relaxed
Assume a Comfortable Position
- You will remain in this position for about 20 minutes, so make sure you are not sitting in a position where you are using your muscles because this could create tension and work against relaxation.
- Sitting or lying down is fine. If you are using a relaxation technique in the morning to get yourself going, lying down may not be best.
- Some relaxation techniques are portable, such as deep breathing. Once you feel comfortable and experienced with the technique you can use it while walking, sitting, or lying down.
Practice at Least Once a Day for 20-30 Minutes
- To incorporate relaxation into a stress management regimen, you need to schedule time for your relaxation. Make sure it is enough time!
- Work at our relaxation routinely. The more consistent you are with taking time for yourself to relax, the better you will be in facing the unexpected which tends to cause stress levels to rise.
- Expect to feel and see results in 2-4 weeks. Don’t go for the quick fix. Be sure to give a technique a good try before moving on to another choice.