The three keys to wellness are nutrition, exercise and well-being. I focus mostly on nutrition and exercise, but with today’s guest post. I’m going to discuss well-being. Thanks to Jens Upton at The Relaxing Zone for contributing to this post.
If you’re alive chances are there is something that is stressing you out. Family, work, money, the economy… We can’t live a life without stress. Some stress is good. “Fight or flight” allows us to respond to stressors like a deadline at work or avoid a car accident. But then our body quickly “comes down” from the stress and all is well again. However, when stress is chronic and never seems to go away and you don’t get a chance to recover from never-ending stressors it can be an emotional nightmare. If you’re trying to manage your weight it can be a real problem because cortisol keeps your cravings for rich foods high
The stress hormone cortisol acts as its own shut-off signal. When it reaches the brain it commands the brain to cease the body’s production of the hormone. Chronic stress is another story completely, reports a team of researchers from the University of California at San Francisco. The system does not turn off. As the situations that give rise to stress endure, they keep ramping up production of cortisol.
High levels of cortisol can make it difficult to lose weight and can even be a sign of a more serious medical issue like Cushing’s syndrome. Read more about it at Web MD.
But for most people, you just need to “take a chill pill” – so to speak. You can help manage your stress levels through exercise, yoga, and meditation work like deep breathing. Learn how from a relaxing expert (details below). And don’t forget to “chill out”.
This is a powerful relaxation for quick use and learning. It has 10 stages which are useful as an introduction and can easily be abbreviated. It uses a person’s memory of relaxation which can be very recent or from a much earlier experience. Generally, people do not forget relaxation once they have experienced it. They can be reminded to feel how good it is again, so it becomes natural to them once more.
I recommend a person repeating it regularly so it’s familiar and feels even more natural. I recommend people to read this with a voice tonality that is calm, soothing and warm. Few people relax to a voice that sounds like a parade ground Sergeant or the wicked witch of the west. The same is true for our own inner dialogue. Make it a voice to soften the hardest heart and relax the most tense muscles. Enjoy!
1. Remember a time you felt relaxed.
2. Remember that time in clear detail. See yourself doing whatever it was that makes you relaxed.
3. Close your eyes and savour every relaxing detail. Where you were, how good it sounded, how wonderful it felt.
4. Really feel everything that is most relaxing now.
5. If you haven’t already, move into that moment, being in the experience as if it’s happening now.
6. Notice which direction relaxation moves in and gently move it all over your body.
7. Feel what area is most relaxed.
8. Make the feelings deeper in your body from the top of your head to the tips of your toes.
9. Double these wonderful sensations.
10. Sit and enjoy for as long as you like.
The style of this is based upon a Meditation technique and an NLP technique I was taught many years ago.
Links to relaxation studies you may find useful:
University of Otago researchers have found that non-dieting interventions to improve overweight and obese women’s health and well-being have a longer-lasting effect if they include relaxation training.
Relaxation training may improve control of hard-to-treat systolic hypertension
Don’t Wanna Be Sedated?