Relaxation is a state where you feel calm and able to manage your day to day life. If you have a hectic life, this can be difficult to experience. Relaxation has many physical and mental health benefits, and the techniques can be practised anywhere in the world.
What is relaxation?
Relaxation can be defined as a state where you feel calm and manage your anxiety, depression or stress.
How can relaxation improve your mental health?
Relaxation reduces stress as well as the symptoms of mental health conditions like, schizophrenia, depression and anxiety. Relaxation also has other related health benefits, which include:
- It reduces fatigue
- It improves good mood and concentration
- It reduces chronic pain and muscle tension
- It lowers your blood pressure, heart rate and breathing rate
- It reduces frustration and anger
- It enhances confidence to handle problems
Health benefits of relaxation
- It slows heart rate
- Stress is capable of increasing your risk of high blood pressure, heart attack and other heart issues. When you spend some time to relax, you are protecting your heart by slowing your heart rate
- It reduces fatigue
- Relaxation techniques, especially when it is combined with consistent sleep routine, reducing alcohol and caffeine can lead to getting a better night’s rest. By freeing your mind of stressors before you start sleeping, you may experience less restlessness
- It reduces inflammation
- Stress can affect your body’s ability to fight against illness, such as cold. Inflammation can pick up quickly when you are stressed, which could reduce your body’s immune response. The weaker your immune system, the higher the level of inflammation, and the more likely you are to get sick. With decent relaxation techniques, this experience could be avoided.
- It improves concentration
- Too much stress can overpower your ability to focus. When that happens, you may find it difficult to accomplish even small tasks. Relaxation can give you something else to focus on by allowing your mind to clear off
- It lessens anger and frustration
- Sometimes, your muscles tense up when you are angry or frustrated. This muscle tension is a sign of stress, and relaxation techniques can empower you to loosen those muscles and feel calmer
- It improves digestion
- According to research conducted by digestive experts, relaxation can help those with GI disorders by reducing pain and irritability management
- It increases blood flow
- Relaxation helps your arteries to widen slightly, which allows blood flow to increase. It also increases the amount of oxygen reaching your body tissues
- Lowers blood pressure
- A calm state of relaxation helps your breathing becomes slower and causes your body to slow down other functions. As your heart rates slows, your entire blood pressure lowers
- It lowers risk of stroke
- Recent studies revealed that people who cope more with stressful events have a 23.5% lower risk of stroke. Relaxation is the coping mechanism
- It promotes emotional wellbeing
- Studies have linked chronic stress to killing brain cells. When the hormone of stress called cortisol, is elevated that can lead to a reduced amount of dopamine and serotonin present, which has been linked to depression.
Relaxation techniques focus on breathing and muscle relaxation. A good example is a progressive muscle relaxation, where after you have tensed up, you still have the chance to relax different muscles groups.
Other relaxation techniques include:
- Deep breathing