With increased stress and accompanying decrease in relaxation time, come raised levels of stress hormones within your body – hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol. Blood pressure rises. Your brain behaves differently affecting your memory and healing processes. Stress hormones are extremely useful in the short-term – say if you are attacked, but they are toxic in the long-term. They suppress your immune system function making us susceptible to disease illness and interfere with your sleep quality.
It has known for centuries that relaxation is possibly the single most important key to health and well-being. It is known antidote to stress which many doctors are starting to recognize and accept that stress is known to contribute to the development of disease When we relax, we enable our bodies the opportunity to unwind. The benefits of relaxation have been well researched and studied and some of the main benefits are outlined here.
- Decrease muscle tension
- Gives the heart a rest by slowing down the heart rate.
- Increase the flow of blood pressure.
- By slowing down the rate of breathing, which can reduce the need for oxygen.
As a result of relaxation, many people experience:
- Enhanced immunity
- Greater efficiency
- Better problem solving abilities and increased concentration
- Smoother emotions i.e. less crying, frustration, anger, anxiety
- Less pain and headaches
- As the brain has a regular need for more pronounced right-hemispheric activity. Relaxation helps meet this need.
- Relaxation is known to lower blood pressure and so decreased the likelihood of heart attack or stroke.
- It is known that the stress hormones suppress the immune response; so relaxation allows the immune system to recover so that it can function more efficiently.
- Relaxation gives a "break" from things and lowers activity within the limbic system of the brain, which is the emotional centre.
Numerous studies have shown that using some form of relaxation technique on a regular basis can in fact:
- Decrease the likelihood of heart attack and stroke, and can significantly reduce the incidence of a 2nd heart attack
- Protects you from mental health problems
- Improves your immune system function
- Aids memory and learning
- Improves your coping skills and make you feel better!