“I’m so used to being tense, when I’m calm, I get nervous.”
If this phrase resonates with you even just a little, then please read on. The ability to relax is a life skill that enriches our mental, emotional, and physical lives in numerous ways.
The benefits of regular relaxation include:
- Lowered blood pressure and risk of stroke
- Increased blood flow
- Improved your memory
- Decreased in anxiety and depression
- More relaxed muscles (therefore less pain and chance for injury)
- Reduced pain (long-term illnesses, chronic conditions)
- Lowered risk of catching a cold
- Increased energy and stamina
- Better/deeper sleep
- Improved overall confidence
- Better coping abilities
- Enhanced ability to make better decisions
With all these paybacks, why wouldn’t you want to include regular relaxation in your personal routine?
It’s not like you have to stick to one method to enhance your relaxation abilities. Check out the options below.
In this focused practice a person focuses their mind on a particular object, thought or activity to achieve mental clarity and emotional calm.
To meditate you sit up straight and place both feet on the floor. Then close your eyes and begin reciting a positive mantra and focus your attention solely on it. Sync the mantra with your breaths and repeat. Let any distracting thoughts just disappear.
Practising yoga is a great way to work on your flexibility and strength and there’s a type suitable for just about everyone.
Some types are about relaxation, while others demand more movement. Most types focus on learning and holding poses. They also usually include attention to and a focus on breathing.
This ancient art combine rhythmic breathing with a series of postures or flowing movements. The physical aspects of these poses offer a mental focus to distract you from racing thoughts, and they can also help enhance your balance and flexibility.
Mindfulness may be helpful for people with depression, anxiety and pain This relaxation practice involves sitting comfortably and focusing on your breathing while bringing your mind’s attention into the present moment and not thinking about what has happened in the past or what might happen in the future.
Take long, slow, deep breaths (also known as abdominal or belly breathing). As you breathe, you let go of distracting thoughts and sensations.
People are using hypnosis for therapeutic purposes for everything from quitting smoking to relaxation. In addition, Stage hypnosis and hypnotherapy may both use induction techniques (getting into a state of hypnosis) that resemble relaxation, or they may use relaxation techniques as part of the hypnosis process.
Relaxation is often the result of healthy interactions with others so talk to your friends and family and share what’s going on in your world.
Whether using a warm heat wrap, or just finding a comfortable position and and closing your eyes and relaxing your head, physical decompression can help you to relax. There are so many options from massage chairs, balls, and other devices for relieving head, back and shoulder tension.
A good belly laugh or a knee-slapping chortle doesn’t just lighten the load mentally; it lowers your body’s stress hormone and boosts brain chemicals called endorphins. All this is beneficial to your mood.
Lighten up by tuning in to your favourite sitcom or YouTube video, go to a comedy club, or just have a colourful chat with someone who makes you smile.
Research shows that listening to soothing music can lower blood pressure, heart rate, and anxiety. “Create relaxation playlists of songs, new age music, or nature sounds (storms, birds chirping, ocean waves), and allow your mind to focus on the soothing sounds and aid in your relaxation.
Why not keep a gratitude journal? Recording your gratitude helps you remember all the things that are good in your life. When you start feeling stressed, spend some time looking through your notes to remind yourself what’s important and how wonderful your life really is.
All forms of exercise can ease anxiety by helping the brain release feel-good chemicals that help in achieving relaxation. You can go for a walk around the block or along the beach, take the stairs up and down a few flights, or do some stretching exercises to get these relaxation juices flowing.
Regardless of your choice, the important thing is to pick something you can incorporate in your life.
Our retirement life should be a relaxing one. This is your time to slow down and think of yourself.
Do what’s best for you.
Given relaxation’s long list of benefits, it certainly looks like enhancing your retirement years through relaxation could be very beneficial.
Aren’t most of us looking for a low stress, fresh, happy and healthy retirement?
We wish you many happy days of relaxation.
Tell us about yours!
Your 4Retirees team