Ask Away Blog: If You've Forgotten What True Relaxation Feels Like, You Need To Read This

If You've Forgotten What True Relaxation Feels Like, You Need To Read This

Tuesday, April 21, 2020




The modern world is not kind to our bodies. Not only does it assault them with all manner of junk food and toxic chemicals, but it also deprives us of our ancient ability to relax.

For most of human history, people lived straightforward lives. They woke up when the sun rose, went to bed when it set, and lived in small communities, trying to eke out an existence. Many spent their days hunting and foraging for food. It was all so simple.

Fast forward a few ten thousand years, everything changed, and yet our biology hasn’t had the chance to catch up. We’re still mostly the same type of beings we were thousands of years ago, yet we’re forced to live in a radically different world. Being a hunter-gatherer and living off the fat of the land is no longer a viable option.

As a species, therefore, we need to rediscover what it means to relax. We’re not talking about fake relaxation where you’re still emailing your boss all night. We’re talking about genuine, biological relaxation.

Our bodies are fundamentally cyclical machines. They benefit from alternating periods of activity and rest. Fundamentally, that’s why we work in the daytime and sleep at night. It’s why it is better to work out three times a week with breaks in between than twice per day with no rest.

The so-called “rest” periods, however, is when the magic happens. These are your body’s chance to repair and undo the damage done throughout the day. They should have a high priority in our lives.

The problem, of course, is that it doesn’t. Many of us work weekends, spend all night responding to emails, and never take a break from our hectic lives. It is exhausting. After a while, you feel so burned out and stressed; you forget what genuine relaxation feels like.

Are you in that place right now? If so, you need to read this. We’re going to take a look at some of the things that you can do to push back against life’s trials and tribulations and get that deep rest you need. What’s more, it’s all backed up by science.

Let Go Of Your Notifications For A Couple Of Hours Before You Go To Bed

Our bodies begin winding down at around 4 pm in anticipation of the night ahead. A hormone called melatonin starts to rise, and by the time it gets to 9 pm, most of us are feeling a little sleepy - those of us with regular bedtimes anyway.

But there’s a problem. If something stresses you out, it can interrupt this process, releasing chemicals that keep you awake instead. For that reason, you can struggle to sleep, something the whole night through.

Notifications popping up on your phone can be a trigger for inadequate rest. Somebody can send you an email or message late at night, and all of a sudden you can find yourself worrying about that, preventing adequate sleep.

The trick here is to let it go. Switch off your phone in the evening as a rule. Don’t let messages take away from sleep - the thing that makes you productive and thriving in the day.

Create An Anti-Inflammatory Environment In Your Body

Inflammation is the immune response to a perceived threat. Most of the time, it is healthy, killing off pathogens that would otherwise cause sickness. But sometimes, just a poor diet and exercise can send it through the roof. When that happens, it can actually affect how we think, making us more prone to stress.

Fortunately, dealing with inflammation is easy. You can either choose anti-inflammatory items from a dispensary menu or just switch up your diet. The moment you douse those flames, you’ll notice that your base level of stress evaporates, and you feel so much better than you did.

Lie Down

Scientists have known for a while that something as simple as lying down can have a profound effect on your state of mind. Just five to ten minutes resting and relaxing all your muscles can make a big difference in how you feel.

Some yoga exercises take advantage of the back position to help achieve a greater sense of wellbeing. Yoga Nidra, for instance, bases an entire routine around movements you can do while on the floor.

Routines typically take in the region of five to thirty minutes. And once you get them out the way, you often feel much more able to get to sleep or rest. They undo a lot of the tension in your body.


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