The Importance of Relaxing

Hi all! I am back from my ten days of holiday on a tropical island and it was lovely. The thing I always notice about island culture is how relaxed and carefree the people are and how simple and pleasant life is. Yes, they may not do much, yes they do things a bit slowly, but I don't see any of them dying from stress related heart attacks and the like.

We have long known the importance of work-life balance and relaxation or stress-relief. Lack of relaxation time or too much stress can cause a multitude of health problems including high blood-pressure, sleeping difficulties, raised cholesterol, weight gain (yes, gain!), anxiety, depression and bad eating habits. So finding time for your own personal relaxation should be near the very top of you priorities list. Relaxing is not being lazy, it is simply anything that reduces your stress levels and helps you to keep a calm and focussed outlook on life. For lots of people one of the greatest stress relief is exercise.

I am well aware that in this day and age it is pretty much impossible to live a stress-free life. With jobs, kids, money, technology, errands, commitments, social gatherings and so on time is a becoming a highly valued commodity. The trick is to FIND time for relaxing, whether it be daily meditation, or a weekend activity anything is better than nothing. One of the simplest ways to instantly reduce stress is to step outside and take a walk in the fresh air, this releases happy hormones into your brain providing a wonderful sense of calm, plus it gives you time to think about any problems or obstacles in your way. And of course regular positive affirmations work wonders for keeping you feeling in control and relaxed, something along the lines of "I am calm, I am in control, I am balanced".

Some periods in life are just outright stressful and also unavoidable such as having a new born baby or a big work commitment, exams, a family drama or a death. Sometimes you get the feeling that the pile of cards you have stacked so high is just one touch from crashing down. When this happens the important thing is to take a few deep breaths, remember to be positive and take time to relax :)

Keep happy :)