Relaxation can be defined as a state of calm. For most people calm is being able to manage day-to-day life, though if you have a busy or overwhelming day a state of relaxation can be hard to maintain or achieve. Relaxation has many mental and physical health benefits as it teaches you how to manage your stress or anxiety.
Stress is the bodies response to demand or pressure, also known as the ‘fight or flight’ response. This can often occur in everyday situations, not just major events. The feeling of stress occurs due to the hypothalamus releasing stress hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol which prepares your body to react to any situation.
So, what causes stress? Everybody responds to situations differently so stress levels can vary per person and also triggers can be different for each person. What one person finds stressful, could be consider completely normal for another.
Stress can present as a wide range of symptoms, as it depends on the person and how they manage their stress. Stress can present as lack of motivation, fatigue, over sleeping, moodiness, headaches, poor concentration, racing thoughts, anxiousness, and dependence on other things such as alcohol or food.
As stated before, the best thing for stress is relaxation. This may sound silly, but sometimes people forget to just take a moment to take a breath and step back to recentre. Relaxation not only recentres us but it has also shown to:
- Lower your heart rate, blood pressure and breathing rate.
- Reduce muscle tension and assist with some chronic pain.
- Improve concentration and mood.
- Increase energy, which may help reduce fatigue.
- Elevates mood.
- Gives us the ability to handle problems with more ease.
- Assists digestion.
- Reduces activity of stress hormones.
Relaxation can be accomplished in many ways. As each person is different and you need to find what works for you and what you enjoy. Some relaxation activities to look at include:
- Breathing techniques
- Music and art therapy
- Spending time enjoying things like hobbies, friends and nature
This information does not take into account your personal situation and is general in nature. You should consider whether the information is appropriate for your needs and seek professional medical advice.
Always consult your healthcare professional before taking any supplements or if any concerns arise.