Some people live off stress and feel that the adrenaline that comes along with it can help one power through a long day at work, these “stressaholics” even claim that it helps boost their workouts! While it is important to remain active and its good for us all to keep our minds busy, it is imperative to relax too! Not making time to relax more often than not leaves you stressing and STRESS has been linked to many dangerous health complications, namely; heart problems and dementia. Yes, we do need to learn how to cope with life’s inevitable stresses and move on to the next issue without blinking an eyelid but relaxing at some point in the day is key for your health and longevity!
What are the health benefits of relaxation?
- Relaxing more will help you to sleep better and sleeping helps our bodies function at their optimum level, it’s all part of a very significant cycle. Lose the one and the rest will follow, a kind of domino effect!
- Relaxing will help improve your mood. Feeling stressed and unrested can leave you feeling grumpy and cause you to be short tempered with the people around you.
- Your memory will improve and you’ll find it easier to concentrate because you would have given your mind to “detox” and sort through everything properly.
- You will reduce your risk of overall physical illness. Being stressed for long periods of time puts plenty of stress on our bodies, causing us to develop colds, flus and sometimes worse!
- Lowers your risk of stroke. A study done in 2007 at the University of Cambridge found that people who coped the best with stressful life events had a 24% lower risk of stroke! Now if that isn’t reason enough to take time to relax, we don’t know what will be! Take a look at some activities you can do to relax, below…
- CHEW GUM…the flavour is immaterial but chewing a piece of gum, believe it or not, is a quick and easy way to beat stress and reduce anxiety, it has also been proven to reduce cortisol levels (a stress hormone).
- Although a cabin in the Drakensberg would be great, sometime 5 minutes alone time just has to suffice! This will help you collect your thoughts and clear your head.
- Put your feet up against the wall, the Vipariti Kirani Yoga pose involves lying on the floor and resting the legs up against a wall. This move gives your body a good stretch and helps you to relax!
- Your partner is hopefully not as “fluffy” as your pet and there is definitely something about cuddling a fluffy pet that brings instant relaxation, smiles and happiness to our souls.
- Try a cup of green tea, this source of L-Theanine, a chemical that helps relieve anger will also help you to relax. Take slow sips and drink as much as you like (Its calorie free!).
- Take a long hot bubble bath with a good book and a glass of your favourite wine – an old fashioned method, but still one of the best!
- If all else fails, start planning your next holiday, once its pencilled into your calendar (and by pencilled we mean permanent markered!), there is then a fixed time solely dedicated to your relaxation in the near future!