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Health Benefits of Relaxation 

By Lisa Zartman RNC-MNN

In this fast-paced, rat-race society we live in, we are constantly judged on our success by our productivity. How much money do we make? How new is our car? How big is our house? This can put a lot of unnecessary stress on us. But what if we were judged on our happiness level? How happy are we? Wouldn't that be a happier society to live in? I want to live there! If we don't start to take time for ourselves to unwind and relax, on a regular basis, we cannot expect to be happy. 

That's not even the worst part of living a constantly busy life. It's making us sick as a society! The signs of stress are everywhere with heart disease as our leading cause of death in the US. This includes high blood pressure, heart attacks, high cholesterol, and obesity caused by inactivity and overly processed, fatty, and unhealthy foods that we eat on the run. We don't have the time or take the time to relax!

 If we choose to be healthier and happier, we can start with just one change that would  make an enormous difference in the way we feel. The first change we can work on is to take some time every single day to relax. This does not mean run around like the Energizer bunny all day long, never stopping until you fall into bed exhausted each night! To get started, you may have to begin slowly, so even a ten minutes each day will help. You can work up to more time every day as you see what a difference it makes in your happiness and general feeling of well being.

 How do we do this? Just stop! Put your phone down, turn off your computer, turn off your TV, turn off the news (especially the news). Sit down or lay down. Turn off your mind. This is the hardest part. The mind is racing and the thoughts are swirling. This takes time and practice, so just keep at it. Relax! 

You will start to look forward to your “relaxation sessions” and your body will thank you for these benefits you will receive:

  • Healthier Immune System

  • Better Sleep

  • Less Aches and Pain (due to relaxed muscles)

  • Better Blood Sugar Control (for diabetics)

  • Lower Blood Pressure

  • Improved Digestion


What are you waiting for? Get started today!

Sources:

WebMD What Happens To Your Body When You Relax

Self-Care Strategies That Work (webmd.com)

CDC Leading Causes of Death

FastStats - Leading Causes of Death (cdc.gov)

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