The explosive growth of the ready-made coffee and energy drink industries is a sign of how important getting sped up so we can git r done has become to us lately.
Unfortunately, not even caffeine can keep human beings in perpetual motion.
Rest is a biological necessity. It is nature’s counterbalance to the demands we place on ourselves.
As we, a society, continue to focus on having, doing and being MORE, we may be losing sight of how to chillax, as a consequence.
So, here’s a little refresher on how to wind down and relax.
First, some tips for rejuvenating your body.
1. Breathe. By using two simple breath control techniques, you can activate your parasympathetic nervous system, which regulates your body's relaxation response. Here's how: Inhale using your diaphragm muscle at the bottom of your ribs to draw air all the way to the bottom of your lungs. Then elongate your exhalation relative to your inhalation; for instance, exhale twice as slowly as you inhaled. These two techniques combined will cause your muscles to relax, your pulse and respiratory rate to slow and your blood pressure and cortisol (stress hormone) levels to drop. You should notice these effects subtly within a few breaths and in a big way over five or ten minutes.
2. Get some bodywork. There is a broad spectrum of therapeutic options, ranging from traditional spa massage treatments, to acupuncture, steam and sauna rooms, self-massage and yoga stretching and breathing. Find the ones that suit you best and use them as often as needed to soothe your aches and pains.
3. Acquire a hammock and lie in it often. Seriously, because it’s more difficult to be stressed when you’re lying down (try it), and it's nearly impossible when you're lying in a hammock.
4. Tailor your sleep situation. Learn how to get the most restful sleep with this simple guide.
5. Dial back the stimulants. Cut your coffee with decaf (Sacrilege, I know.). Have the vodka without the Red Bull. Caffeine is a strong drug. It turns on your sympathetic nervous system, more commonly known as the fight-or-flight reflex (producing opposite effects of the relaxation response noted earlier), and it can take up to half a day to wear off.
And now here are a few tips on how to use the mind-body connection to relax.
1. Relax your attitude. Find something to be grateful for now. Anticipate good fortune tomorrow. And when life insists on giving you lemons get out the sugar, vodka and ice and make some hard lemonade.
2. Visualize relaxation. Take advantage of the fact that your mind can’t tell the difference between real experiences and those that you vividly imagined. Create a happy place in your mind where everything is wonderful and go there. It doesn't just work for kids.
3. Single-task. Find something that can fully absorb your attention and dive into it. The quality of the experience will often feel greater than if your attention had been divided. Single-pointed focus is the doorway through which meditators pass to reach the Source. You can approach the door by immersing yourself fully in your present experience.
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BODY – MIND – SPIRIT