When it comes to stress and anxiety, let’s face it, all of us have our fair share of it. Between taking care of ourselves and those around us (in a healthy way of course), little time is left to cultivate that ever important relationship with self. Unfortunately, by not nurturing this vital connection, not only do our minds and bodies suffer, but our spiritual lives are left high and dry. Practicing meditation for at least 10 minutes a day can help change all that. In order to do so, however, one must be committed to finding the time.
Dr. Bill Salt takes a look at the benefits of relaxation in this latest Self Care post. According to Salt, by not devoting time to relaxation, people rob themselves of the body’s natural ability to achieve a state of equilibrium. He outlines the short-term, long-term, and spiritual benefits of practicing relaxation.
- Immediate benefits — which occur as you focus upon a repetitive word, phrase, breath or action — include lowered blood pressure, heart rate, breathing rate and oxygen consumption (which means that your metabolic rate drops).
- Long-term benefits — which occur after practicing for at least a month — persist even when a person is not practicing the relaxation response, and appear to be due to an alteration of the body’s response to epinephrine (the stress hormone made by the adrenal gland). The regular elicitation of the relaxation response can result in a reduction in anxiety/depression and improvement in your ability to cope with stress.
- Spiritual benefits include a sense of increased spirituality. Harvard research has confirmed that people who elicited the relaxation response experienced the close presence of a higher power, force, energy or perception of God.
Read more on using a relaxation meditation to keep healthy here.