In the chaos and craziness of the modern world, it has never been more important to find the time to look after yourself and relax. Relaxation has many benefits that help your mind and body to restore and become healthier. And when you practise relaxation in the right way, the greater the benefits you can achieve.
Benefits of Regular Relaxation
Fights Anxiety and Depression
Anxiety and depression manifest through mental and physical symptoms, such as feeling of restlessness, tense muscles and trouble with concentration. Relaxation techniques help reduce the tension in your muscles, slow down your breathing and clear your mind, this way lowering the state of anxiety or depression.
Improves Working Memory
Regular relaxation improves your working memory and its components. It increases your capacity to store and process information, which can lead to improved concentration, memory and even academic achievement.
Makes You Feel Happier
Relaxation techniques lower the level of cortisol, your body’s stress hormone, which in turn boosts the production of endorphins – the same hormone you produce when you exercise, get a massage or eat chocolate. Endorphins improve your mood and make you feel happier.
Reduces Heart Rate and Blood Pressure
The core of many relaxation techniques is a steady and controlled breath, which slows down your heart rate and reduces blood pressure. As a result, there is less strain on your heart and your body, which improves your health and combats the effects of stress.
Increases the Performance of the Immune System
Relaxation improves the brain’s natural pathways, meaning that the more relaxed you are, the clearer your mind. When your mind is relaxed, it can communicate more effectively with your immune system, which means it is free to do its job and protect you from disease.
Makes You Aware of Your Body
The more you practise relaxation, the more your body becomes accustomed to the state of being relaxed. You will become more aware and notice tension in your body earlier making it easier to manage. Ultimately, you become more resilient towards stress and emotionally challenging situations.
Relaxation: Doing it the Right Way
For relaxation to be effective, it is essential to practise it in the right way. Follow these tips to ensure that you are using your time for relaxation efficiently:
1. Find yourself a quiet space, where you know you won’t be disturbed. Or create it by asking people around not to disturb you for a while.
2. It is best if you are wearing loose clothing and find a comfortable position, either lying down or sitting comfortably.
3. Begin each relaxation with a few controlled and steady breaths. Repeat several times until you are feeling calm and relaxed, ready for your practice.
4. If you feel overwhelmed, tired or too stressed, you may find relaxation challenging at that moment; try not to force anything. Practise your controlled breathing if you can and come back to your relaxation later.
5. Be mindful and focus on your senses; it will help you feel less tense.
6. Be consistent and persistent in your practice. Consistency means you will commit to your practice and ensure that you set aside designated time.