4 Tips for Better Health in 2020
Who doesn't want to live a stress-free life? Go with the flow, easy breezy, nothing phasing you - sounds great right? But the problem is, that our world just keeps throwing things at us, some stressful, some unexpected, that we have to navigate, which can result in high levels of stress. However, there are tips that you can employ to help get you through the difficult periods and keep those stress levels under control!
Most of us, when we think about the things that keep us healthy, think primarily about diet, exercise and to a lesser extent sleep. And while all of these things are super important, we rarely think that relaxation is keeping us healthy. In fact, there can still be this negative association with relaxation, that we are in some way being lazy. In our super hyped-up busy world, busyness is almost a state that we aspire to, rather than just being an everyday part of life that should be balanced with periods of downtime. So if you are feeling the stress and want some tips or inspiration about why relaxing is good for you and why you should be doing more of it, read on!
"Sometimes, the most productive thing that you can do is to step outside and do nothing... relax and enjoy nature.” ― Melanie Charlene
Here are key tips on relaxation:
Watching TV/Netflix/Reading the internet/Playing video games are not relaxing activities. You are still using your mind and in many cases what we are looking at can cause us emotional responses, in a space where there is limited outlet for them. We are passively engaging in an activity where there is no interaction. Doing all of these activities is of course fun, but they have their place and better to do something that is really going to relax the body and mind to get the most benefit.
Getting outside somewhere in nature can be a very relaxing activity. Like it or not we are part of the natural world and engaging in that which we are a part of, helps bring us a sense of peace and connection. It also helps us understand the cyclical nature of life, of ebb and flow and peace and activity and provides important lessons on when we should engage in activity and when we should not. Seeds germinate in the ground, sometimes for many months, go through a period rapid of growth and when they have reached maturity, they just exist and blow with wind, before they end that life-cycle to begin the next. Some wisdom to be gained here!
Qi Gong, Meditation, Yoga, all have significant benefits for relaxing the body and mind. They are practices which were developed in order to strengthen the health of the person, through body-mind relaxation. Meditation in particular can be extremely beneficial at lowering the metabolic rate, lowering blood pressure and improving the heart rate. All things which are going to be beneficial for our health, plus benefits which extend far beyond the practice, leaving your stress levels lower in the rest of your life!
Listening to soothing music, can be not only a beautiful auditory experience, but it can also be deeply relaxing and healing. Listening to a favourite song while stuck in traffic can make that long, slow commute much more bearable. But on a more significant level, researchers have been looking into the benefits of sound and found that it can help reduce blood pressure, lower cholesterol, reduce pain, reduce anxiety and depression and reduce stress. So what are you waiting for, start cranking those tunes that make you feel, good, happy, relaxed and peaceful!
In my clinic, I love treating stress. It is one extremely beneficial 'side-effect' of acupuncture, that almost all clients get to experience after treatment. Acupuncture moves the Blood and Qi throughout the body and strives to bring the body back to a state of homeostasis. And in bringing the body back into balance or a homeostatic state, we are naturally bringing it back into a much more relaxed state. Something to think about!