The Importance of Relaxation

The Importance of Relaxation

Is relaxation at the bottom of your list of priorities?
It is for many people. To boost our health and wellness, we need to value relaxation more and carve out time to unwind amidst our busy schedules.
When we relax enhance the function of your parasympathetic nervous system.
When the parasympathetic nervous system is activated, it slows our heart and breathing rates, lowers blood pressure and promotes digestion.

The parasympathetic nervous system turns on the state of relaxation. Relaxation breeds recovery, healing, mental and physical calm. It helps to promote peaceful neural pathways and the secretion of calming hormones into our blood stream. The more time we spend with our parasympathetic nervous system turned on, the healthier we are.
Many people run on overdrive with their sympathetic nervous system. This is where our flight and fight response come from.

Its role is to help us respond to stressful situations pumping adrenaline into the blood stream to keeping us on high alert. Our heart rate increases, blood pressure increases, muscles contract and our sweat glands activate. The body and mind are ready to face danger.
The increasing level of anxiousness that contributes towards a dominant sympathetic nervous system triggers its overdrive. Most often the underlying cause of anxiety is thinking or believing that you are not enough to handle a situation and thus it creates anxiety. 
If the sympathetic nervous system is over stimulated and becomes depleted, it will signal the rest of the body to slow down to maintain a “back up” energy supply in case it is required in an emergency.
This is where fatigue, lethargy and lack of vitality occur. In this state one may reach for some form of artificial stimulation such as caffeine, salt, energy drinks, sugar, alcohol, carbohydrates all of which stimulate a depleted nervous system.

This artificial stimulation “confuses” the nervous system as it is trying to slow the depleted body down to store energy, but the artificial stimulation is doing the opposite. This then creates a cascade of events which eventually causes more long-term health problems.
Without balancing this high alert state with practices that activate the parasympathetic nervous system we open ourselves up to myriad of health problems.

Practices that activate the parasympathetic nervous system are:
Conscious Relaxation
Yoga & Meditation
Deep Abdominal Breathing
Spending time in Nature
Playing with Animals and Children

So, remember to spend time relaxing. The benefits of relaxation are numerous. It improves the health of your heart, brain function and memory, combats stress, reduces muscle tension, activates your parasympathetic nervous system, and thereby boosts your immune system.
Remember to practice as often as you can.



Yoga, Meditation, Stretch