Relaxation is one of the most important things we can do for ourselves. The right levels of relaxation in our lives is what keeps us healthy, both mentally and physically, and ensures that we are better able to cope with whatever comes our way. There are many different reasons to ensure that we make time for real relaxation, and they will all lead to a more comfortable, productive life. Read on to find out why relaxation is just so important in each and very life.
Think More Clearly
When there is a lot happening our lives, it can feel overwhelming and stressful, and proper relaxation can stop our thoughts from getting confused and our perspectives from getting narrowed and skewed. When we relax, our minds are cleared of clutter and any distractions that might have been worrying us can be put to one side. It means that the mind is clearer and more focused. When this happens, it is easier to make decisions that make sense and will help rather than hinder us.
Using meditation and mindfulness techniques can allow the brain to relax enough to become more focused on the issues that you need to deal with. Your problems will be put into perspective, and you can prioritize whatever you need to think about.
Better For Your Heart
When you are stressed, your heart can be in danger. Stress increases your blood pressure, which puts a strain on your heart and can lead to heart disease and heart attacks. Therefore, relaxing as much as possible, reducing your stress levels at the same time, can help to protect your heart and keep you healthier for longer.
There are other problems with being too stressed for too long a period of time as well. When you are suffering from stress, hormones are released into the body to help with the ‘fight or flight’ response. This is a positive thing; it means you are more able and ready to protect yourself. However, when the stress you are suffering from is chronic, those hormones are flooding your system, and the level never diminishes. It puts a strain on your heart and makes it work harder than it normally would, potentially causing damage.
Catch Fewer Colds
You will most likely know that when you are feeling run down, and you are exhausted, you will be more open to catching colds, bugs, coughs, sore throats, and other similar ailments. When you are stressed, you are even more run down, and therefore will even more easily succumb to catching these sicknesses.
By relaxing more, you can keep yourself healthier, renewing your immune system and keeping up a better barrier between you and the germs, bacteria, and viruses that are all around.
If you are starting to feel run down, you can do all kinds of things to make yourself more relaxed and therefore healthier including:
- Taking a nap
- Enjoying a soak in the tub
- Heading to the beach after buying some new beachwear; find out more here about the joy of shopping for a good day out
- Reading a book
- Have a massage
Any of these things – and many more – will relax you and stop you from getting sick. Not only will this allow you to feel better, but it will also mean you have to take less time off work and you’ll miss out on fewer days out with friends and family too.
Protect Your Mental Health
Not relaxing and constantly being on the move, doing anything and everything to keep yourself busy and therefore never truly relaxing might seem like what we are all meant to do – it has almost become a competition as to who is the busiest and has the most hectic life – but it is bad for our health. Although there will always be things that we do have to do and responsibilities that need to be addressed, trying to do too much just to keep up with some idea of what life is meant to be like will only damage us.
Not only will it damage us physically as noted above, but it will damage us mentally too. Being too stressed and not taking a moment to relax (just 10 minutes can be enough to re-set re-energize each day) can lead to depression and anxiety, for example. These mental health issues can be devastating, causing us to lose time from work, to be out on family time, even to try to harm ourselves when things get too overwhelming.
Although relaxation alone won’t completely put us back on the right track if we are very unwell indeed (only a doctor’s help will do that), it can stop the problem from getting any worse.
Help To Lose Weight
There is an issue across the western world in that many people are overweight, or even dangerously obese. Of course, eating a poor diet and not exercising enough (or at all) will cause much of these problems, but not taking any time to relax can also lead to weight gain, as strange as it may seem.
Weight gain can be directly linked to health issues, and health issues – in varying forms – can be directly linked with stress, which can be reduced through relaxation. Therefore, the more you can relax, the less likely you are to get sick and the less likely you are to put on weight and put yourself in even more danger (as long as you eat well and exercise).
The hormone cortisol, the ‘stress hormone,’ has the effect of increasing the appetite, which is why so many of us ‘comfort eat.’ Our bodies are literally telling us to eat more, and usually what we are craving will contain a lot of fat and sugar. Taking the time to relax means that cortisol won’t have so much pull, and we won’t crave such bad foods in such large quantities. As an additional benefit, when our minds are clearer – which is what happens when we relax more – we will be able to make better choices with regards to what we eat and even plan a menu to suit us.