August 15th is fast approaching and that means one thing: we’re getting closer to National Relaxation day! Here, at truMedic, we love all things relaxation. We know the importance of taking some ‘me-time’ away from the daily grind. With so many health benefits, relaxation is something we should all incorporate into our daily lives. Whether you’re reading, wandering, soaking in a hot tub or getting a decadent massage, relaxation is the easiest and best way to improve your health.
In honor of this very special day, we’ve put together a list of our top nine health benefits of relaxing. You may just be surprised by how many pros there are to just sitting back and taking the weight off.
1. It Keeps Your Heart Happy
Have you ever felt that tensing of your heart when you’re stressed, when its rhythm becomes irregular and you feel like your heart is about to burst? Or have you experienced a bad break up or the loss of a loved one and felt as though your heart was actually breaking? Stress takes its toll on the heart. In periods of intense stress, your body triggers a boost of adrenaline that prevents the heart from functioning normally. It’s this rush of adrenaline that causes heart failure and heart attacks.
Relaxation is the other side of the coin. Studies have unanimously concluded that relaxation helps keep your heart happy. A happy heart means a healthy body, so the more you invest in relaxation, the less likely you’ll experience high blood pressure, heart attacks and a whole host of other nasty heart-related health problems.
2. Relaxation Lowers Your Risk of Stroke
A stroke is an attack on the brain. It occurs when the blood flow to a specific area of the brain is cut off, depriving it of oxygen. Your brain cells die and the abilities controlled by that part of the brain, such as memory and muscle control, are lost. The scariest thing is that it can happen to anyone.
But relaxation is proven to reduce the risk of stroke by 24%. Isn’t that reason enough to start investing in relaxation?
3. It Stops Your Sniffles and Tackles the Common Cold
There’s nothing worse than getting a cold. Of course, it’s not the most devastating health problem going, but a sore throat, red-raw nose and headache is energy-draining and, frankly, frustrating, especially when you lead a busy life. But did you know that stress can double your risk of catching a cold? Stress interferes with your body’s ability to switch off its inflammation response, so just by being stressed, you’re putting yourself at risk.
You might think that stress is near-impossible to avoid, but there’s plenty you can do. The next time you’re feeling a little run down, rather than pushing yourself to keep going, settle into one of our massage chairs and let relaxation work its wonders.
4. Relaxing Keeps Your Head in the Game
Many of us still think that stress helps to keep our mind’s engaged, that pressure keeps us focused. This creates an attitude that you can only create your best work when you’re under pressure to deliver to a last-minute deadline. As it turns out, it’s far from true. On the contrary, stress actually kills the brain cells in the hippocampus — the area of the brain linked to complex thinking and problem-solving. This means that, when we’re stressed, our judgment is clouded and we fail to effectively weigh up risk versus reward.
While it may seem counter-intuitive, especially if you’re facing a tight deadline, grabbing a nap or taking some time out to relax can actually improve your productivity — just don’t get caught napping in the office.
5. It Reduces Your Risk of Breast Cancer
Breast cancer is one of our biggest killers. Sadly, the majority of us have an experience with cancer, either personally or through someone we’re close to. With so many women — and men — affected, fighting this aggressive strain of cancer can feel like a losing battle.
However, there is some hope. Again, relaxation may be the key. Research suggests a link between stress and the level of aggression of breast cancer. In fact, studies show that women who are routinely stressed out double their chances of developing breast cancer. Therefore, it makes sense that relaxation can not only delay the progression of breast cancer, but also aid recovery and decrease the chance of developing it in the first place.
6. It Improves Your Memory
Have you ever noticed how, when you’re relaxed, you can suddenly recall a distant memory or remember that thing you needed to do? On the flip side, have you ever forgotten to pick something up or failed to complete a task fully because you were running around like a headless chicken? It probably comes as no surprise that stress impairs our memory. When we’re stressed, our prefrontal cortex — the part of the brain responsible for cognitive analysis and memory — isn’t able to function at its optimal capacity. This means we forget things more easily and fail to learn from our mistakes.
To keep your memory in tip-top shape, relaxation is key. Taking the time to slow down and reflect allows us to tap into our memory palace. Slipping into a deep state of calm, such as by putting on a personal massager will have you relaxing in no time — and there’s every chance you won’t forget your shopping list the next time you go out.
7. It Tackles the Sinking Feeling of Depression
Depression can leave us feeling heavy, desperate and alone. It’s the number one cause of disability in the U.S. for people between 15 and 44, affecting more than 16 million American adults. More tragically, fighting depression can feel impossible because of the feelings of hopelessness and helplessness it perpetuates.
Relaxation is a non-invasive and completely natural way to fight the symptoms of depression. When we’re stressed, cortisol — the stress hormone — levels increase, reducing our levels of serotonin and dopamine — the happy hormones. By indulging in some relaxation, you can restore your hormone balance and keep the blues at bay.
8. It Regulates Your Appetite
We’ve all been there. We’re stressed, tired and completely worn out, so what do we do? We reach for whatever snacks or treats are within arm’s length. It’s that same pesky stress hormone, cortisol, that increases your appetite, making you crave all of the sugary, salty junk food you know you shouldn’t eat.
Whether you’re trying to shed some pounds or are just looking to live a healthier lifestyle, ditch the binge-eating in favor of some good old-fashioned you-time. Your waistline will thank you for it!
9. Relaxation Keeps Your Skin Glowing
It’s a vicious cycle: you’re stressed; you break out, so you stress out more, only to suffer further breakouts. Our skin is super susceptible to stress. When we’re stressed, we produce more oil in the skin, which clogs the pores and leads to the resurgence of the spotty teenage-skin we’ve all tried to put behind us. Likewise, if you suffer from a skin condition, such as psoriasis, the more stressed you feel, the worse the flare up.
To get your glow back, fight stress with some guided meditation or take a relaxing walk. Keeping a clear head can result in clear skin too — who knew?
Now you know the health benefits of relaxation, isn’t it time to invest in it? Check out our full range of home massagers and get spa-like relaxation from the comfort of your own home. Buy today and be ready for National Relaxation Day!