There’s nothing like that feeling of deep relaxation to promote a sensation of calm, contentment and peace. But did you know there are a myriad of other benefits? Here are ten of the best
We all know that Guided Relaxation feels great – but we often have this sense that because we are not being active or “doing” then we are not achieving – but in fact the opposite true.
Deep, conscious relaxation is one of the BEST things we can do for ourselves physically, energetically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually!
And if you’re still not convinced then here’s 10 reasons why you have to have a regular Guided Relaxation practice!
#1: It lowers blood pressure
Guided Relaxation is one of the best ways to lower your systolic blood pressure (the top number of your bp result). Which also means associated issues from high blood pressure such as headaches, heart issues and insomnia. By practising Guided Relaxation in Restorative Yoga poses you can calm the mind, release stress and ease hypertension (high blood pressure).
#2 – It helps you lose weight!
That’s right – a study by Maria Araneta of the University of California (published in the AJMC – American Journal of Managed Care) found that students lost weight after practising restorative yoga (which induces deep relaxation). This is thought to be because cortisol rises during time of stress and increases abdominal fat.
#3 – Aids and stimulates digestion
#4: It improves your relationships!
So perhaps it comes as no surprise that meditation has been shown to improve relationships in a number of different ways. First off, it has been shown to better regulate moods. It’s also been shown to bring about increased feelings of empathy. Perhaps most powerfully, it’s been shown to increase levels of acceptance.
#5: it encourages deep, restful sleep
Now this is a biggie – did you know that according to the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) between 33-45 per cent of adults experience inadequate sleep. And a study by Deloitte estimated that 39.8 per cent of Australian adults experienced some form of inadequate sleep.
Regular Guided Relaxation is similar to meditation in that it helps to quieten the mind and of course induces the Relaxation Response which can lead to a deeper, more restful sleep and can also help you get back to sleep if you wake in the night.
And we all know just how beneficial a good eight hours of shut-eye can do for you physically, mentally, emotionally and energetically.
#6: Guided Relaxation helps to reduce muscle tension
Guided Relaxation helps to naturally soften the muscles so you can enjoy that ripple effect of tension dissolving in to the earth (this helps to ease muscular tension associated with stress and stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol.
#7 Makes you smarter!
Ok so revision is good, but so is relaxation! A study A study led by Dr Herbert Benson et al at the Mind/Body Medical Institute/Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School found that students who had more than two sessions with teachers trained in Benson’s Relaxation Response technique had higher grade averages and better work habits than students who hadn’t. Plus these students also showed an improvement in their academic results over the course of the next two years! Check out the study here at Yoga Calm.
#8 Protects against burn out
This phenomenon (not formally recognised in the medical industry) but widely accepted in our fast-paced world as a barrier to mental health and wellbeing is believed to be increasingly common. It’s when you have too much on and feel overwhelmed and undervalued!
#9 Regular relaxation – helps you become more efficient!
If you are always on the go without taking a break then you are more likely to rush and make mistakes. If you have a regular guided relaxation practice then you become more mindful – paying attention to detail, giving your full focus to tasks at hand and making less mistakes. You are also likely to enjoy the job more!
As Lao Tzu, the Chinese philosopher said:
“Nature does not hurry, yet everything gets accomplished.”
#10: Guided Relaxation is good for your heart!
Did you know that relaxation helps to lower your heart rate – which is believed to be better for your cardiovascular health and a more restful state for the heart.
Create your regular Guided Relaxation practice by:
Lying in Savasana or with your legs up the wall (in Viparita Karani).
Make yourself as comfortable as possible – use cushions and blankets. Listen to one of my relaxations in the Guided Relaxation audiobook, or simply notice your breath, become aware of your body on the earth, the weight of your body, observe sensations within the body… when you lose focus or become caught up in your thoughts then return to breath awareness. Flowing in and out.
When you return to your day, you’ll feel so much clearer, calmer and energised – and not nearly so burnt out!
If you liked this and want to find out more about Guided Relaxation then you’ll love my book: Guided Relaxation – your essential guide to creating calm