It’s true! As a country, as a generation and as a species we have forgotten how to relax and it’s SOOO important! We’ve all been told at some point or another that we’re “running around like headless chickens” or we’re “burning the candle at both ends” but yet we fail to do anything about it, and soon enough it catches up with us and what happens? We get sick!
But why do we let it get to that point? We all know that when you do too much something has to give and sadly we can be resigned for that to be our health, whether it’s mental or physical… something will give. Research shows that an hour long massage is worth up to 8 hours of sleep! Now I’m not saying to replace sleep (that wouldn’t work) but this is just one thing we can do to try and save ourselves because the benefits are amazing and here are just a few.
Thinking more clearly and making the right decisions
Being constantly stressed does some horrible things to our mind. Science has proven that these horrible diseases are damaging and fraying our nerves. Being stressed can also lead to paranoia, anxiety, depression as well as many other mental health illnesses, it can also cause you to not think straight and to make bad decisions. I know that for me when I try to do too much nothing will be as good as it could be, this is because my brain is over loaded with information and it gets muddled in my head, causing me to feel extremely stressed out and overwhelmed by it all. By taking 5 minutes to breathe and relax I can then return to my task with a clear head and really give it 110%.
I have noticed that when people get sick with flu or a cold they are quick to call in sick to work and take to their beds. So why don’t we do this with stress? By taking time to relax and put your troubles aside, you are allowing your mind to recover, just as we allow our bodies to recover from flu.
Becoming more balanced
Have you ever been so angry that you’ve cried? Well most of us have. Usually crying is associated with being upset yet it happens when we’re angry too. When you’re tired or stressed out your emotions become heightened and can cause you to lose control. Now I don’t think that anyone reading this can honestly say that this has never happened to them. Nor do I think that after loosing control you felt good. But we can take comfort in the fact that we’ve ALL been there.
Relaxing allows you to have more control over your emotions giving you a calm mind and allowing you to think clearly. With this you can examine your emotions before they explode out of you, ensuring the reaction fits the situation. However I still stand by crying on the floor while screaming is an acceptable response to eating the last slice of pizza.
Increasing your productivity
Staying relaxed at work can sometimes seem impossible! Annoying co-workers, demanding customers, dreaded deadlines and… bosses, can make it extremely difficult to keep a cool head. This can also cause you to become one of those annoying co-workers yourself and then the cycle continues.
We spend so much time at work that I believe it is really important to enjoy it. It is easy to see that when doing something we enjoy we’re instantly more at peace and less stressed. If you can replicate this in your work place you will not only reduce your own stress but help others around you. Taking time to relax and collect your thoughts will help reduce stress, and make space in your brain to think clearly. This can also result in having more energy and leads to you being more productive.
Being the daughter of Royal Marine and the girlfriend of an Army Commando I hear the word ‘morale’ used a lot. But it isn’t only important in the military. We all know a Debbie Downer, someone who can bring anyone’s mood down with just a look or some negative comment. This is not who we want to be around. Stress is exactly the same, I remember being at school, waiting in a room before an exam and the phrase ‘you could cut the tension in here with a knife’ springs to mind. Every child in there was feeling stressed out and it was spreading like wild fire. We had one teacher who was amazing, she would come in just before and tell us we were talented, smart and that we had it in the bag. This alone would boost our morale and reduce our stress before the exam, causing us to think clearly and to achieve better results. Maybe next time you’re at an interview or waiting to go into an exam you could try it. A reassuring word or even a smile can do the world for people’s confidence and to reduce their stress.
Your body will thank you
Stress causes a never ending list of issues for your body such as; high blood pressure, headaches, migraines, lowered immune system, muscle tension, increased heart rate to name but a few.
Relaxation works like an antibiotic to all of this and gives your body a chance to take a break and recover. It also enables you to have a better night’s sleep and we all know from being a poorly child that “sleep is the best medicine”. I know that I carry stress in my muscles, for me when I’m stressed I rub my temples, this is a natural reaction that I have always done but I now know that its the touch of the massage that releases tension.
Sadly stress is something that we will all have to deal with for most of our lives. There will always be something or someone that will lead us to feel stressed, but don’t forget that the feeling won’t last forever. It is very easy to be consumed by stress and to struggle to see a way out, but there is ALWAYS a way out. It is just up to us to adjust our mind set to help us get there.