Do you actually schedule time for relaxation into your day to day life? No? Then something seriously needs to change. If you view relaxation as something for when you finish everything else, you need to reverse your thinking.
Not only should relaxation be mandatory, but regularly scheduling breaks for yourself will improve your productivity and your health and wellbeing in the long run. If you find that symptoms of anxiety and sleeplessness have become normal features of your life, this is especially important.
Need to be sold to why you need relaxation in your life? Let me begin……..
Boosts your immune system
When you’re tearing around like a blue arsed fly, chances are, you’re not taking good care of your health. The result might end up leaving you feeling drained, run-down and prone to picking up illnesses. Luckily, some regularly scheduled time for relaxation can offset this. We all have hectic periods in our life, but the important thing is to tune out regularly.
A manic life can cause sleep deprivation and stress. Most people can manage this for a time but believe me, that brick wall is coming up fast and you’ll be slamming into it before you know it. Take the weekends off. If you can’t, try to sleep in at least one day a week. Your immune system will thank you.
Improves your working memory
The longer you work at a high intensity, the poorer your working memory becomes. You will make silly mistakes and become forgetful. Even short periods of intense stress affect the memory centres of the brain.
Relaxing lets cortisol levels return to their baseline since there is nothing vying for your attention and causing you stress. Chronically high levels of stress that result in constant streams of cortisol coursing through your body may also contribute to the development of Alzheimer’s disease over many years, as it is known to have a strong inflammatory component.
Restores the motivation centres of the brain
Do you ever notice how your motivation to work drops significantly after doing something repetitively for a period of time? When you’re under the prolonged influence of stress, the motivation centre of your brain becomes desensitised to dopamine, limiting your ability to feel motivated, or experience pleasure. Bummer.
A well-timed break for relaxation will recharge your batteries.
Keeps your heart healthy
We often underestimate the danger that running a hectic life can pose to our heart. Not taking time to relax increases your risk of high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke to name a few. Plus, cortisol results in greater retention of sodium and water, putting the heart and blood vessels under stress to pump and move blood.
Relaxation is a well established and evidenced-based way to reduce blood pressure, decrease your risk of stroke by promoting vasodilation, and decreasing inflammatory processes in blood vessels. Basically, all the good stuff for your vessels that will stop them from exploding and resulting in your death.
Keeps you young
Consistently burning the candle at both ends is a certain path to wrinkles. The greater the impact of the hormones cortisol and adrenalin, the harder and faster your body works to regenerate cells. This faster turnover of cells causes accelerated aging. Bad times.
Hopefully, that’s enough to make you realise how important it is to relax. What’s your favourite way to relax and do you need to be doing more of it? Let me know in the comments.
Hi, I'm Kerry,
I live in a teeny, beautiful hamlet in South West France after relocating from the North East of England. Now I’d love to tell you that I exercise every day, eat a vegan diet, recycle everything, have a minimalist home, meditate daily, blah, blah, you get the picture. However, that’s not me. I’m somewhere in the middle. I strive to do all of those things but I’m just a normal woman with an imperfect life where shit happens and I’m also navigating perimenopause.