The Need to Relax

The Need to Relax

I am almost always busy. I even found a way to keep busy while hanging out with friends or attending other functions or simply while out with the girls shopping. I’m even drafting this blog post while watching a movie with the girls. I’m always writing, always taking notes, always building some plan or drafting some merchandise. I am almost always busy.

But that’s not good.

Not at all.

Last week, up in the mountains taught me that. I need to relax, and in our fast-paced, high-stress modern world, it’s more important than ever to learn how to relax. Constant busyness, information overload, and the pressure to be productive can take a serious toll on both our mental and physical health, which is why it’s not just a luxury to unwind and recharge, but a necessity. But how do we do that?

First, reduce stress and anxiety. When we’re constantly in a state of stress, it puts a huge strain on our bodies—headaches, muscle tension, digestive issues, and difficulty sleeping—because of a hormone it produces—cortisol. In order to mitigate the damaging effects stress brings to our bodies, it’s imperative that we make a regular habit of relaxing.

Once we do, we’ll find our mental health has improved. Regularly practicing relaxation techniques like meditation, deep breathing, or gentle yoga helps reduce the symptoms of conditions like depression and anxiety. You’ll also discover a boost in your mood, increased focus and concentration, and a greater sense of calm and inner peace.

You’ll also enjoy better physical health as well. As I was looking into this topic, I discovered that chronic stress is linked to a wide range of health problems, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, and a weakened immune system. However, when we make time to relax, we give our bodies a chance to rest, recover, and recharge. The benefits, of course, are the opposite of those—lower blood pressure, improved cardiovascular health, and a stronger ability to fight off illness and infection. Makes sense, don’t you think?  Of course, it depends on what you choose for your relaxation. My dad can’t watch football because it causes his blood pressure and heart rate to rise. So, pick something calming.

A funny twist is that while I’m stressing about being productive and creative, one of the benefits of relaxing is an increased output of productivity and creativity. Who knew? By giving out minds a chance to rest and reset, we’re able to return to our work feeling refreshed, focused, and more creative. Relaxation can spark new ideas, improve our problem-solving abilities, and help us approach tasks with greater clarity and energy. So while we think relaxing is merely us being lazy, it’s actually helping us produce more work. Crazy, right?

The bottom line is that learning to relax is an essential skill in today's high-stress world, and one I’m still working on. Whether it's through meditation, gentle exercise, or simply unplugging and enjoying a relaxing activity, making time for relaxation is one of the best investments we can make in our overall health and wellbeing. It’s a habit that will pay dividends for years to come. As a matter of fact, it will add to those years so we can reap those dividends. So, I’m going to close my laptop now and go watch a little television. How are you planning to relax this week?

Back to blog

Leave a comment