Monday, October 12, 2009

Power of Peace: The True Health Benefits of Relaxation Part II

Part II: In Part I, I wrote to you about the health benefits of daily, meaningful relaxation. This type of relaxation doesn’t just come from plopping down in front of the television or flipping through a magazine; it’s a relaxation that is purposeful and comes from within. It is stimulating and stress-free.

Here is a list of relaxation techniques or relaxing activities that can have a healthy impact on your life, large and small:

1) Yoga
2) Stretching
3) Meditation
4) Prayer
5) Deep breathing techniques
6) Think positively and visualize your goals being achieved
7) Keep a journal
8) Read a book or poetry for pleasure
9) Get some fresh air and take in the outdoors
10) Listen to classical or soundscape music
11) Take a long, thoughtful walk or bike ride
12) Sit in the sun and/or go for a peaceful swim
13) Get a massage, give a massage
14) Go to the sauna or spa
15) Take a day off work or reserve one day a week for rest
16) Write a loving letter or thank you note
17) Cook or share a healthy meal with a loved one
18) Drink more water and tea, while cutting down on sugars
19) Take naps and sleep appropriate amounts at night (7 hours)
20) Focus on the task at hand rather than stressing over multitasking
21) Designate a night to turn off the television and computer
22) Paint, draw, make music, create art
23) Take a long, hot shower or bath
24) Do things ahead of time, so you have time later to relax
25) Light candles or incense

In Part III, the relaxation techniques that I would like focus on are yoga and meditation, as there is substantial research that proves these practices, when implemented properly and frequently, can dramatically improve your health and life.


Sources:

Health Benefits of Yoga: http://www.abc-of-yoga.com/beginnersguide/yogabenefits.asp and http://www.webmd.com/balance/the-health-benefits-of-yoga

Yoga and Relaxation: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/yoga/CM00004

100 Ways to Relax: http://www.thedailymind.com/stress/100-ways-to-relax-unwind-and-loosen-up/

Relaxation and Your Immune System: http://www.thevegetariansite.com/health_stress.htm

8 Simple Ways to Relax: http://yourtotalhealth.ivillage.com/8-simple-ways-relax.html

Photograph is courtesy of Jessica Kuhn Melton. Please see her photography here: http://meltonphotography.wordpress.com/

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