Can Relaxation Actually Energize Me?

Most people don’t understand the benefits of true relaxation or just what relaxation is. It’s the opposite of the fight-or-flight response both mentally and physically. If you’ve had a long day and lean back in your chair to relax, but your mind is going a hundred miles an hour trying to solve a work problem, you’re not relaxing. Your body and brain relax right before you fall asleep. It’s the first stage of sleeping. However, relaxation doesn’t always end in sleep. It sometimes just energizes your body.

The flight-or-fight response triggers hormones—chemicals—to prepare you to do both.

Relaxation also begins with a chemical reaction. The hormones relax muscles, lower the levels of stress hormones, lower blood pressure and blood sugar, reduce heart rate, reduce inflammation, lower breathing rate, and increase the immune response. Using mental techniques to relax starts the physical response. You can also relax by lying down for a half hour, just sitting and staring, enjoying the company of friends, doing activities you enjoy, or listening to relaxing music.

Taking a quick nap not only helps you relax but also reduces sleep debt.

If you sleep enough, you can feel exhausted halfway through the day. Taking a nap helps. A short nap helps energize you even if you don’t lack sleep. You’ll experience the relaxation right before you relax and total relaxation after ten minutes of sleep. One study showed that just ten minutes of napping could revitalize you and improve physical and mental performance for up to two and a half hours. If your nap is longer, such as 30 minutes or more, it can leave you with a groggy feeling called sleep inertia, when you first wake up.

Relaxation creates deeper breathing.

When you breathe deeper, you intake more oxygen which can boost your energy level. Just taking a few minutes to relax and do deep breathing helps provide that. Other techniques include sitting in a quiet area and clearing your mind. Both divert your focus from the day’s stress and help you relax. That relief from stress can give you an energy boost.

  • Relaxation combats stress that makes you feel like you’re constantly carrying a hundred-pound weight on your back. Relaxation helps you reduce stress and lift the weight off your shoulders.
  • If you don’t have time to take ten minutes and want a boost of energy, drink a cold glass of water. Even mild dehydration can cause you to feel exhausted. The coldness of the water also helps boost your energy.
  • Several relaxation techniques don’t require much time. Progressive relaxation is completed by tensing different muscles throughout the body and then relaxing that tension. Guided imagery and self-hypnosis are two other relaxation methods.
  • Exercising or going for a walk is another way to de-stress and relax. When you exercise or walk, you divert your attention to the activity. The activity burns off the stress hormones and relaxes you.

For more information, contact us today at Wellness On A Dime Coaching

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