Everyone loves a great Sunday afternoon doing nothing, or perhaps receiving a great massage, maybe getting lost in a mindless movie once in a while. It’s no wonder, as science has proven that there’s a legitimate health benefit to pushing that pause button on your busy life.
You may believe that you’ve become an expert in maintaining your high-intensity lifestyle, but it’s time to think twice before boasting about that accomplishment. Incorporating relaxation techniques into your routine are necessary to your health and longevity. Consider your body like a car engine. It can’t run at 5thgear 100% of the time or else it will simply burn up. Relaxation allows your body to recover from its “fight or flight” mode, which is what it lives within during your day-to-day pressure-filled routine. That “fight or flight” mode stimulates your wakefulness, alertness, arousal, and sympathetic tone. Those conditions in turn elevate your Cortisol, blood sugar, and catecholamine secretion. These stress hormones and nervous energy can lead to headaches, digestive issues, and overworking your internal organs. The results are not good. You’ll experience an elevated heart rate, blood pressure, respiration, and increased inflammation, and blood clotting. You’ll also become more prone to illness and diseases like obesity and diabetes.
Your body simply must reverse from a chronic “fight or flight” mode into a critically needed “rest and digest” mode. The ultimate example of this is sleep, which of course has multiple restorative properties, but sleep is not enough. Short periods of relaxation during the day allow the nervous and endocrine systems to slow down. Relaxation allows the body to experience a mental and physical tension release that fosters healing, cell reproduction and an increased blood flow to the brain.
The good news is that these purposeful relaxation breaks are both beneficial and fun. Here are a few suggestions to work relaxation techniques into your everyday routine.
- Meditation: This popular state of intention (focusing inward) instead of attention (focusing outward) is a practice that can be incorporated into your daily life wherever you are. No special equipment is required! Meditation is most common in eastern cultures but growing in popularity in western cultures. Try a website like Giaim.comto help you get started.
- Get in touch with your five senses:
- Auditory: soothing music, nature sounds, ASMR(Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response), binaural beats, chakra music, nature sounds
- Visual: stereograms, fractal videos, light displays
- Touch/Movement/Sexual Activity: ASMR, massage, acupuncture, acupressure, yoga, Pilates, Tai Chi, Qi Gong, martial arts, exercise, and sex (perhaps spiced with Tantrism or Kama Sutra)
- Smell: aromatherapy, essential oils
- Taste: essential oils– including Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO), Extra Virgin Pure Essential Coconut Oil (EVCO) Prebiotics (polyphenols and fiber), Probiotics, Omega-3 Fatty Acids (O3FA)
- Apps: Mobile phone apps like Calm, Headspace and Relax Melodies can hold you accountable to schedule in that much needed relaxation time
- Hypnosis: Can be accomplished with a live therapist, audio, or video recordings
- Electromagnetic Techniques: Pulsed electromagnetic field therapy (PEMF), transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), microcurrents, light, and high voltage tesla coil output, and grounding (see electromagnetic nutrition monograph). A few resources are:
Relaxation techniques allow your body to reduce and manage stress, cope with or alleviate health problems, and improve the quality of your life. Try it and let us know how you feel!