Creativity and innovation are essential to success in business and marketing today. But creativity can never be an endless flow of ideas and outputs. We get tired. We need time to recharge. We need to switch off. And in doing that, counter-intuitively, the creative process actually works during this ‘hibernation’ period. Continually stimulated with meetings, traffic, news and social media, December is a good time to wind down and allow relaxation to engulf our beings.
As the year bids farewell, we have to push through to the holidays, and if you are anything like me you find this merry season stressful too!
It’s all too easy to have a runaway a mind or have it so full of thoughts that you feel like you’re herding goats! There are definitely days when it’s going a million miles per minute in all different directions. Those days make it nearly impossible to shut down the mental chatter or focus on anything. Stress and worry clog up your mental processes.
Many of us are working longer hours for less money and facing all kinds of stress, so it’s no wonder that we find it hard to unwind and relax when this time of the year comes around. Use your holidays to distress As well as getting enough sleep, working out and eating well , spending quality time with the family and yourself .
What the Science Says: why is distressing important to us and our daily living?
One of the most powerful tools a psychologist can use is actually nothing new, said Herbert Benson, MD, at APA’s Annual Convention. In fact, it’s an approach that’s been around for millennia, yet its full potential remains untapped.
Benson was referring to the relaxation response, a physical state of deep rest that changes a person’s physical and emotional responses to stress.
Benson, of Harvard Medical School and the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital, discovered the relaxation response’s power to reduce stress in the 1960s. But his subsequent research found that the approach is really no different from what people have done for centuries through prayer, chanting and repetitive motion.
Today, scientists have shown that such practices lower heart rates, blood pressure and oxygen consumption, and they alleviate the symptoms associated with a vast array of conditions, including hypertension, arthritis, insomnia, depression, infertility, cancer, anxiety, even aging.
His latest research, published in the online journal Public Library of Science ONE (July 2), suggests that practicing the relaxation response can actually lead to genomic activity changes. In the study, his team of researchers looked at how the relaxation response affected each of the body’s 40,000 genes and found that, compared with a control group; those who regularly used the relaxation response induced anti-oxidation and anti-inflammatory changes that counteracted the effects of stress on the body.
In general, studies show that with consistent practice, relaxation techniques can potentially reduce symptoms or improve outcomes in the following conditions:
- Premenstrual syndrome
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Panic disorders
- Chronic tension headaches
- Labor and child birth
It is extremely important that usual medical care and advice be followed for these conditions as well. Relaxation techniques are meant to complement usual medical
So let me share with you how to distress and relax so that you can start 2018 refreshed and rejuvenated. Here’s 10 tips that are essential to have a relaxed and fulfilling holiday and 2018.
I can’t emphasize enough how important it is. No matter how many pleasant things you do, if you don’t learn to be grateful you will always see things negatively.
2. SLOW DOWN
Life has a lot of simple things you can enjoy. But if you move too fast you will overlook most of them. So don’t be in a hurry. Don’t move too quick. Slow down and pay attention to the world around you. Most of the ways I’m about to share will work well only if you slow down.
When you’re feeling sad, angry, hurt or upset, physical activity can help relax both your mind and your body. Use physical activities like walking, hiking, stretching, jogging, running, meditation or riding a bicycle to release the pressure. Even a five- or ten-minute movement break can go a long way toward helping your body manage the symptoms of stress.
4. LEARN TIME MANAGEMENT TECHNIQUES
Like many people, you may get stressed out when you feel like you don’t have enough time to accomplish what you need to accomplish in a given day. But you can “make” more time for yourself by managing your time better. Time management means different things to different people. For some, it may be as simple as jotting down a “to do” list. For others, it involves using daily planners and organizers to schedule their day. Sometimes you just need to learn how to handle interruptions that tend to devour your time.
5. DELEGATE RESPONSIBILITIES
Are you a perfectionist like me, who doesn’t believe that anyone else could possibly complete a task as well as you do? People with perfectionist tendencies have trouble delegating work, usually because they subscribe to the old adage “If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself.” Perhaps you’re afraid that you’ll lose control of the situation if you let someone else help you. To be able to delegate responsibility, you need to accept that “my way” of doing things is not the only effective one. Besides being a great way to reduce stress, delegating responsibility will help you build more trusting relationships.
6. LISTEN TO YOUR BODY
When you’re tense, your body lets you know. Your heart beats faster, your muscles tighten, your breathing becomes shallow, and you experience any of a number of other familiar symptoms, such as a headache or queasy stomach. Start noticing your body’s signs of stress and slow down or take a break when your body is signaling you. You can also take steps to build your physical reserves, such as getting plenty of sleep and eating nutritious, balanced meals.
7. GET MORE SLEEP
Sleep improves your ability to handle stressful situations. Provide an environment that allows you to get enough peaceful sleep each night. If there is a problem that interferes with your sleep, find a way to eliminate it.
For example, if your partners snoring disturb you, either sleep in another room, wear ear plugs or find ways to eliminate or reduce the problem.
8. TAKE A BATH
Baths have been scientifically proven to relieve stress, aid in sleep as well as having numerous health benefits including reducing blood pressure, clearing toxins and relieving muscle and joint pain. Couple a warm bath with a handful Epsom salts, a few drops of essential oils, candles and a relaxation playlist for ultimate relaxation.
9. PRACTICE YOGA
Yoga has been practiced for thousands of years and is known for the numerous benefits it has on the mind and body. If you practice yoga regularly you will find it not only relieves stress but also prevents it as well as reducing depression and anxiety resulting in an overall better mood.
Evening yoga reduces mental and physical tension allowing you to unwind and drift off to sleep that much sooner.
10. LAUGH IT OFF
Laughter is one of the healthiest antidotes to stress. Researchers have discovered that exposure to humor causes a measurable decrease in stress hormones, including epinephrine and dopamine, and an increase in immune system activity. When we laugh, even smile, blood flow to the brain increases and endorphins (painkilling hormones that give us a sense of well-being) are released.
Switch Off For The Holidays
Emerge from your holiday fresh-faced and ready to rumble, by switching off from your online life. Even though you’re on holiday and sunning yourself somewhere beautiful, it can feel impossible to switch off from your work life completely. That’s where a ‘digital detox’ could be a good idea. While it can seem a little daunting at first, it can be done!
Living in the digital age we’re constantly connected whether that be to work or the media. We’re just one quick swipe, one email, one notification or one phone call away, never allowing us to switch off and unwind which is heavily impacting on our mental health. Since the digital age began there has been a dramatic rise in stress, anxiety and depression especially in the younger generations and the corporate world.
So from all of us at Prana have a wonderful and relaxing holiday season!