“The time to relax is when you don’t have time for it.” -Sydney J. Harris
“Busy” has become a much more common word in our vocabulary as we shuffle to fit so much more into our lives, and it is costing us our lives. Most of us know we would be healthier if we minimized or eliminated some stress, but we may not know why this is true or how to go about doing so.
According to Dr. Susan Blum, MD, MPH, Founder and Director of the Blum Center for Health, our bodies have stress responses to benefit us when needed in emergency situations; the “adrenaline rush and cortisol boost from our adrenal glands” helps us when we’re in fight-or-flight mode, but “worrying about the future or replaying the past” will keep them “stuck in the ‘on’ position.” By learning to “turn the switch off,” our bodies find balance. We can learn to control our stress so we can benefit from the boost when we need it without letting it hurt us when we don’t. Through proper techniques, we can “change our body chemistry, relieve pain, decrease blood pressure, and even boost immune response” as well as other health benefits.
Dr. Blum has a “Learn to Relax Tool Kit,” and it includes information and resources designed to put your body into a healthier state. Who ever thought we’d need to learn to relax? But we do. There is a lot of uncommon knowledge on the subject. The fight-or-flight response is part of the sympathetic nervous system, and we can turn it off by stimulating a large vagus nerve, which is part of the parasympathetic nervous system responsible for relaxation. This nerve runs from the brain through the lungs and into abdominal organs. We can learn deep breathing techniques to accomplish this. Additionally, there are mind-body connections; your mind’s focus directly affects your body’s health. It’s amazing how many needless, harmful thoughts we generate; we wouldn’t verbalize many of them because they’d sound foolish, but we permit them to wreak havoc on our bodies. Our imaginations are a fabulous thing; they allow us to explore and discover beyond what we’ve personally experienced. But we need to learn to recognize and direct our thoughts and imaginations for mind-body health. Dr. Blum’s Learn to Relax Tool Kit guides participants through physical techniques, environment planning, routine/behavior modifications, and very insightful instructions on meditation. By “insightful,” she explains how our minds tend to focus on the past or plan for the future, and they need to be trained to experience more of the “now.” We tend to miss much more than the smell of roses as we stress over our lives.
We at Cypress Systems Inc. have a passion for health, and we want you to be healthy from the inside so you can enjoy a fabulous life on the inside and the outside. We hope you’ll use August 15th –National Relaxation Day—to pursue superior mind-body health.