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The Power of Relaxation

17 Oct 2013

One of the major benefits of a hot tub is that is a perfect aid to relaxation; there are few things in life as pleasurable as just relaxing while those jets of water massage your body and take all your cares away.

Not everyone understands the benefits of relaxation, and there are a good number of people who never seem to be able to properly relax; they are always on edge or always worrying about something they haven’t done and feel that they should have done.

Of course relaxation means many different things to different people, but psychologically it means simply being in a state of low tension when you are untroubled by feelings of anxiety or fear.

Relaxation is Crucial

The power of relaxation is often underestimated. It is crucial to health and well-being; it helps us deal with stress and allows both our minds and our bodies to unwind. Relaxation reduces the heart rate, blood pressure and muscle tension; it reduces our need for oxygen and reduces our rate of respiration. When we are able to relax we naturally recharge our batteries and increase our energy levels; our sleep patterns improve and we are able to concentrate better; we are more prepared to cope with the daily problems that life throws at us; we become more able to control our emotions and are less susceptible to feelings of anger, fear and frustration; and we recue our susceptibility to emotional and physical pain.

Getting relaxed

There are many ways of achieving that feeling of total relaxation. We have already mentioned one of them, viz. lying in a hot tub, but others include meditation, yoga, breathing exercises, progressive muscle relaxation, massage, biofeedback and autogenics; there are many more too.

While some of these can have a rapid effect, others take some time to perfect and involve a considerable amount of investment in terms of time and effort, not to mention money, before we can become sufficiently skilled at them to enjoy their major benefits. If you have the time and the motivation, then you might care to try some of them; never underestimate their power and the way in which techniques such as yoga can impact positively on many aspects of your life.

Control your breathing

The best way to start learning how to relax is to take control of your breathing. If you have ever experienced a feeling of extreme anxiety or even a panic attack you might have noticed that your breathing becomes erratic and you tend to take short rapid breaths. The effect of this is to increase the concentration of carbon dioxide in your blood which increases your heart and respiratory rates, thus exacerbating your feeling of panic; it is a kind of feedback loop which is likely to leave you feeling faint and dizzy; you might even think that you are having a heart attack.

The way out of this is to regain control of your breathing: breathe in slowly over four seconds, hold your breath for another four seconds, and then breathe out slowly.

Within a short time your feeling of panic will have subdued and you will feel back in control. You can apply the precisely the same technique to relaxing. Just keep it up for around five minutes a time and repeat it around four or five times a day and you will have taken your first steps to relaxation.