Relaxation. It’s the one activity that eludes most of us. We know we need to set aside time to relax and unwind, but most of us have trouble doing so. Even when we schedule in time for it, we may not be able to relax in the physical sense.
When the body is truly relaxed, it’s able to regulate the body’s stress hormones properly, which is so important in today’s fast-paced world. Low levels of stress, which is what most of us experience on a daily basis, causes the body to release adrenaline and cortisol. Experiencing this low-level stress everyday keeps you in constant survival mode, and eventually, can lead to abnormal weight gain, abnormalities in blood sugar levels, sleep issues and an immune system that’s constantly depressed.
How can you reduce the amount of stress hormones in your body and finally relax? Here are some tips:
Get a Massage
A good massage can help reduce your blood pressure and lower your heart rate. At the same time, it can also help increase the production of endorphins, or “feel good” chemicals, dopamine and serotonin.
The release of endorphins, serotonin and dopamine causes the body to feel relaxed and calm after a massage session. Regular massages can help you easily overcome the effects of short-term or acute stress.
Exercise is a great way to relieve stress, which is why most people feel calm, relaxed and centered after a great workout.
Similar to a massage, exercise causes the body to release endorphins, which make you feel good. Exercise will also help give your immune system a boost and use up any excess stress hormones left in your body.
Get Enough Sleep
If you’re sleep-deprived, your body will have a difficult time using up those stress hormones that have built up in your body.
Sleep is the one thing that most of us don’t get enough us. Generally, the body prefers to sleep in the dark, and stay awake when the sun is up. But most of us go to bed long after the sun has set, which throws off our natural rhythm. The optimal time for regeneration during sleep is between 10PM and 2AM.
If you typically go to bed after 10PM, you’re not giving your body the time it needs to regenerate, remove toxins and use up the built-up stress hormones in the body.
Learn When to Say “No”
Sometimes, we put unnecessary stress on ourselves by taking on more than we can truly handle. It’s okay to say “no” once in a while. In fact, you should.
When you take on more than you can handle, you add more stress. The longer your to-do list is, the less time you have to relax and unwind at the end of the day. Do yourself and your body a favor by carefully considering whether or not you can truly put more on your plate. It’s great to help others, but you need to take care of yourself, too.
Stress can be a silent killer, but you can take steps to reduce its effects. Get a massage to relax and melt away stress. Exercise several times a week to keep stress hormone levels under control. Make sure that you get enough sleep, and say “no” to things if you already have too much on your plate.