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What do you think when I say the word 'RELAX' ?

Do you really know how to relax? Relaxation is important in our lives as it helps to keep our stress levels down, and consequently improves our health. Too much work and not enough time out for ourselves can result in anxiety, depression, stress and adrenal fatigue. So, its important everybody takes at least 10 minutes a day to wind down. Here are some simple tips for increasing relaxation Exercise has a number of positive factors as it improves blood flow to your brain. Exercise can release chemicals called endorphins into your blood stream. These give you a feeling of happiness and positively affect your overall sense of wellbeing. Going for a walk is one of the best relaxation techniques if you have at least 10 minutes to spare. Breathing exercises can also help if you have stress, anxiety, insomnia or chronic pain. Slowing down your breathing short circuits the stress response, giving your brain the message that all is well and your body can return to normal, for a while anyway. Take 5 deep breaths through the nose. Close your eyes and pay attention only to your breathing while doing this. Yoga. This is a great way to quiet your mind and relax your body. There are different ways to practice yoga – some vigorous and other relaxing. Pilates. While more vigorous than some types of Yoga, Pilates forces you to concentrate on what your body is doing while helping you work on core strength, stability and flexibility. Taking a bath can be a great stress relief. Warm water loosens up muscles, so it’s a great way to feel pampered! It will also deepen respiration and take any tension away from your body, pushing those stresses and strains straight down the plughole! Just a 30 minute soak in a warm bubble bath will help you to relax and lighten your mind. A warm bath can ease tension and make you feel relaxed before going to bed. Listen to relaxing music keep your favorite relaxation CD or an ipod for wherever you’ll need it most. Music is a great way of helping you to relax, relieve stress and any anxieties you may have. Drink herbal tea: A great way to end a stressful day is with a nice cup of hot herbal tea. Herbal tea is soothing and drinking herbal tea, especially before bedtime, can relax the mind and the body. Try teas such as chamomile, lavender, passionflower, withania and lemon balm. Lifestyle: Avoid the following foods during times of stress: Caffeine: Caffeinated teas and coffee Sugar – lollies, cakes, biscuits, soft drinks, etc Alcohol – Wine, beer, spirits (try aim for 3-4 alcohol free days per week) Cigarettes- Tobacco is a stimulant that has a strong influence on the nervous system. There is no situation where smoking is harmless. If you are still feeling stressed, anxious, depressed, moody or fatigued then come and visit Karina...

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