It Just Takes a Few Minutes
Many of us have no problem relaxing when we are officially on vacation, or on weekends, but what about the other 250 or so days out of the year? With the busy lives women lead, it is often difficult to have time to relax each day. But there are ways to enjoy the benefits of relaxation even if you only have a few spare minutes.
“It’s amazing how just taking a few minutes a day can make all the difference in the world,” says Psychic Jacqueline ext. 9472. “When in balance, everything in your life just flows.”
Drink, Sniff or Eat Your Way to Relaxation
Consider this calming nightcap: hot cocoa. According to Joseph C. Maroon, M.D., a neurologist at University of Pittsburgh, drinking hot chocolate before bed increases serotonin, a soothing hormone, for seven hours or more. The trick is the combination of antioxidants in the cocoa and calcium in the milk.
If you would rather not drink anything before bed, dab a couple drops of sandalwood essential oil on your wrists to ease anxiety. A Japanese study shows that sandalwood will help you sleep better because a molecule in the oil called santalol has sedative powers.
Start your day with a hearty breakfast of oatmeal with banana slices. According to UCLA researchers, oatmeal contains tryptophan, and bananas have vitamin B6, which helps convert tryptophan into serotonin.
Something to Read and a Cup of Tea
Reading about other people’s lives for as few as six minutes reduces stress by 68 percent. According to British research, it doesn’t matter if the people you’re reading about are real or fictional. It simply takes your mind off of your own problems, which in turn brings down your heart rate and eases muscle tension. The same research also found that sipping tea reduces stress 54 percent. So go ahead and drink a cup of tea while reading the latest issue of People magazine… just for the health of it.
If the thought of reading or even lifting a cup sounds like too much work after a long day, simply pampering yourself at home with soft music and dim lighting slows the release of cortisol, a stress hormone, and can help you feel peaceful for up to 24 hours.
“Getting the mind to be quiet can be a difficult task,” Psychic Karmystic ext. 9457 admits. “One technique I use is a visual image of the beach and creating a sanctuary of peace and serenity around me.”
Put Pen to Paper
If you tend to keep your negative emotions to yourself, you might be flooding your body with stress hormones. It’s better to vent and let it go. But if you don’t want to burden your friends with your problems, you can still experience the relaxing effect of releasing your emotions by writing in a journal. Many studies have shown that 15 minutes of journal writing a day relieves anxiety, lowers blood pressure, and improves the immune system.
Stretch and Take Deep Breaths
Spend 10 minutes a day stretching and breathing slow, deep breaths. It doesn’t have to be formal yoga. Simply breathing deeply raises a brain chemical called GABA, which has a calming effect. Doing this during a break at work can decrease stress by 10 percent.
Boost the relaxing benefits of conscious breathing by having the scent of lavender or chamomile nearby. Or if you want to increase your empathy by as much as 22 percent, keep some eucalyptus within breathing distance.
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