A consistent message from all Experts on HealthCentral.com is the very positive effects to be gained from rest and relaxation. In our pack-it-all-in society the idea of simply doing nothing is losing ground. Doing nothing all day every day is as bad as doing everything and never stopping. So, it's all about striking a balance and using methods proven to counter-balance the effects of overwork and stress.
Did you know that massage is proven to reduce symptoms of anxiety, depression and insomnia, as well as reducing cortisol levels? In most places these days we're spoilt for choice. Whether it's yoga, hypnosis, meditation or something else, there's probably a practitioner or class not far from you. The question is, do you use them?
To those who don't suffer with anxiety it may seem odd that relaxation is the last thing some people want. Many people with anxiety truly do benefit from relaxation but not all. Give some anxious people room to sit and do nothing and their head very quickly starts to fill with worries and concerns. This type of person is much more likely to benefit from a relaxing and distracting activity like gardening, reading, art or solving the crossword puzzle.
What's really important is finding some way to offset the things that make you stressed, so whether this is a stroll around the park, or watching the world from a coffee shop it's hugely beneficial to build this into your life. Ideally, a full day of relaxation is best, but if that isn't practical at least try to power down a good couple of hours before going to bed. Good sleep is one of the most essential ways of restoring and maintaining health.
My own preference for a good sleep is to read for about an hour before switching off the light. I prefer a really dark room so heavy curtains are a must. Unless the weather is very cold the window is always open. I also recently invested in a new bed as I began to find myself waking with back ache; turns out it was a sound investment. As a gentleman of a certain age I find I sometimes wake at odd hours. Last week 3 a.m. was the hour of choice. There was a time when I'd lie in bed trying, and failing, to will myself back to sleep. Now, I accept it for what it is, I get up, get a drink and just potter about for half an hour, then return to bed. Usually works a treat.
But enough about me. Have you found simple solutions to things that used to keep you stressed or keep you awake? You know we want to hear about them!
Published On: July 12, 2011