Relax! It's Important
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Life is fast paced and stressful, and sometimes it can leave you feeling like you have no time to stop, think and reflect on the bigger picture. Relax. Seriously, the mental, physical and financial benefits of indulging in a little "me time" every now and again are vast. Focusing on yourself is not about shutting out the world, it's about getting back in tune with it. It is not about ignoring all your responsibilities and hiding in your bed for days it's about stepping back, gaining perspective and restoring your vitality.
Stress, Relaxation and Health
When you are stressed you are much more likely to become sick. This is because stress hormones suppress the immune response and its ability to fight germs these hormones can also make gastrointestinal symptoms worse, cause over-reactive airways in asthma patients, cause blood pressure spikes, damage your arteries, promote high cholesterol and lead to other health related conditions, such as anxiety, depression, even and addictions and obesity. In addition, stress induced depression may lead to self-destructive behavior, such as neglecting medications. Fortunately, research has shown that deep relaxation can have tremendous health benefits and reverse stress induced ailments. People who suffer from asthma can sometimes widen their restricted respiratory passages through deep relaxation and sometimes diabetics can even reduce their need for insulin through the same techniques. Deep relaxation, however, does require a little more effort than sitting and reading a magazine but even a small amount of regular relaxation time can have long standing benefits including energy, improved cardiovascular performance and life longevity.
Recognize When you Need to Relax
Stress is good for us at manageable levels. It motivates and provokes us, it also helps us keep our lives in order. Too much stress, however, is destructive to our bodies, lives and minds. It can cause us to overlook details, forget facts, dates and to skate through projects we're too stressed to finish. Unfortunately, far too many people do not recognize unhealthy stress and confuse it with ambition, dedication, industriousness or responsibility. Recognizing when you need to relax is the key to begin doing so. If you have noticed that you are suffering from constant body aches, tension, irritability, irregular sleep patterns or even a lacking sense of humor you may be under too much stress. Also pay attention to the remarks of close friends and family - if they are suggesting that you may be stressed or in need of relaxing, then you probably are.
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