by Cathy Clements, Nutritionist & Life Coach, NASM CNC, CPT, FNS, WFS
I remember hearing “just relax” when something went wrong. But lessening tension and stress can be challenging. It doesn’t matter your personality type either.
Stress comes in various forms: work, family, relationship, finances, health. Stressors in these areas are known for increasing our tension, which can increase our blood pressure, our cortisol levels and sometimes affect our sleep.
These are the stressors in life that are not good for us; the ones we need to relax from. So what is the best way to do that?
I would answer, it depends. It depends on you!
For some who are on the go all day every day, relaxation, decompressing or chilling out may look like reading a book, watching television or having a conversation with a best friend or partner. For others, relaxation is playing golf or pickleball or going for a hike. For me it is going for a run to clear my head and sweat.
It has been shown that getting into nature for most of us is one quick way to begin to relax. The activity is not as important as merely being outside breathing deeply and enjoying the views.
Being outside in nature can slow your heart rate and help clear your head.
However you choose to relax, it is best to start with something you truly enjoy and will do long term. Having more than one way to bring your stress down is great, as well, just in case the weather doesn’t cooperate with you getting outside.
It is also nice when it is a habit you can turn to in those times when you feel the tension rising. You quickly shift into an activity that reduces the stress and relaxes your body.
Relaxation looks different for us all, but for better sleep and overall health, we each need to find that one thing that can calm us.