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Benefits of relaxation

The Mayo Clinic thinks ‘refueling through relaxation’ needs to be near the top of your to-do list. As far as the Mayo Clinic is concerned, relaxation is a vital process that decreases wear and tear on the mind and body.

Relaxation can reduce the heart rate, lower blood pressure, increase blood flow to major muscles, reduce muscle tension, reduce headache and back pain, improve concentration, and reduce emotional responses such as anger and frustration.

The question is how to relax. Everyone’s approach to relaxation is different and most often involves a change of pace from the daily grind.

Some people use relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing, meditation, visualization, or progressive muscle relaxation. Others prefer to relax by reading a good book, writing in a journal, taking a walk with a friend, or getting a massage.

Regardless of how you relax, what is important is that you make it a part of your regular routine. The goal is to refocus the mind and disregard extraneous thoughts and distractions.

Here are some tips on how to get the most benefit from relaxation:

  • Focus on positive rather than negative emotions. This can help you stay on a more even keel emotionally, and when time is available to relax, recovery is swifter.
  • Indulgence after a stressful day may bring temporary pleasure but undercut long-term well-being. For example, overeating while trying to lose weight. Relaxation time offers a good opportunity to create a list of constructive and relaxing activities to do when stress levels climb.
  • Mulling over issues that occurred earlier only increases stress. Moreover, it can lead to taking out anger on others. Instead, moving thoughts in another direction can allow irritation to fade away.