Spring Has Sprung: Relaxation Guidelines to a New You

Do you feel as if the world is spinning out of control and that you have little time to devote to yourself? Have you been neglecting your health and wellbeing? If so, new beginnings are in the air. Spring is upon us and it’s time to explore how to relax and gain a different perspective. 

Why Relaxation Is Important for Good Health

Before we take a look at some helpful relaxation techniques, it is important that you understand how your mind and body are connected. There is no doubt that feelings of anxiety, stress and depression can impactour outlook on life as close friends and colleagues are always discussing it. Research conducted by Harvard Medical School found links between a positive attitude and fewer instances of severe health conditions such as strokes and heart attacks. In fact, even short-term techniques such as the practice of Yoga, hasbeen shown to be highly effectivein reducing stress, as reported in the journal of “Complementary Therapies in Medicine” by Caroline Smith. A paper by King’s College Hospital, London found an inextricable link between the body and the mind. This shows that health of the mind cannot improve without a positive change in physical health and vice versa. This is why learning how to relax can contribute to wellbeing.

Working Towards Self-Realisation

"Who you are is always right."

- Ming-Dao Deng, Zen philosopher 

One of the fundamental principles of Zen is to become at peace with the exterior world. However, this can be difficult to achieve in modern society. Tight deadlines, strict schedules, a lack of sleep and professional obligations serve to cloud judgement and to place "blinders" around the mind's eye. Over time, these habits will become ingrained to such a point that the individual becomes unaware of the fact that he or she is stuck in a self-fulfilling cycle of stress and negativity. 

This is why we believe it is important to take a step back and allow yourself some downtime every day. Of course, it is often unrealistic to devote an hour or more each day to meditation or chi gong. Setting aside just ten minutes to enjoy a favourite personal activity or simply to focus on breath work can produce effective results for reducing stress if practised regularly finds WedMD.

The Power of Physical Exercise

Most of you will be aware of the physical benefits of regular physical exercise. Some believe that the positive psychological feelings we experience during and after exercise are nothing more than a placebo effect — we believe exercising will make us feel better, so we do feel better. However, certain physical activities can actually change the chemistry of the brain. For example, studies have found that exercises such as jogging reduce certain hormones in the brain that are precursors to stress. These activities also cause the body to release certain "feel-good" hormones such as serotonin and norepinephrine. These are the very same chemicals associated with feelings of elation and lower resting heart rates.

The good news is that there is a broad range of activities you can do for "exercise". If you’re not a fitness fan and don’t feel thrilled at the prospect of enduring a rigorous spinning class or hitting the weights, you can still enjoy the benefits of exercise through gentler activities. Why not try:

According to findings by WedMD, exercise is considered a “drug-free approach”to loweringblood pressure. Additionally, the Healthline reports that exercise can reduce inflammations in the body, allowing the body to focus on performing more complex bodily functions such as detoxification and strengthening theimmune system. Rounding these findings together,it is no surprise both papers recommend exercise to promote health benefits. However,the benefits experiencedwill depend on the length of exercise and other factors in our lifestyles such as healthy eating and sleep routine.

Getting Back to Natural Roots

One of the consequences of modern technology is that people spend less time interacting with the natural world. How many of you take the time to walk in the mountains or to meditate in natural surroundings? Our minds and bodies are hardwired to crave this tranquillity and peace. If you’re feeling unsatisfied and restless despite having the latest smartphone and 50-inch wide-screen HD TV, your body may be sending you signals about what it really needs. Exposure to nature is often lacking in our daily lives and as a result, it affects wellbeing and health as discussed in a journal by the Department of Psychology at University of Montana

These are some of the reasons why walking and activity retreats provided by Balance Holidays can provide the perfect escape. Not only are there a host of five-star resorts to choose from. These properties are located in some of the most stunning natural regions in the world. The result of this unique synergy is that individuals can recharge their emotional batteries while keeping the worries of the outside world at bay. Guests are provided with long-term self-care tools to take away with them, ensuring that the benefits of a relaxing retreat are extended into their daily lives at home.

Yoga Retreats

The mental and emotional benefits of yoga have been reported since ancient times. Existing somewhere between an art form and a science, modern society is only now beginning to rediscover how such activities benefit the mind, body and spirit. Participating in a luxurious yoga retreat will provide the body and mind with the necessary "breathing room" to re-establish their personal connection and to find their centre.

These retreats have been specifically selected for their pristine natural surroundings. This encourages retreat guests to spend time in nature and draw energy from their surroundings. There are many different forms of yoga and in the same respect, the positive results are just as varied. 

Wellness Retreats: A Personal Home Away from Home

Contemporary spiritual teachers such as Eckhart Tolle have emphasised the effect of mindfulness upon mental and emotional health. Stemming from Buddhist and Zen roots, this sense of acute and yet relaxed awareness helps the body to return to its natural state. Those who practice yoga have also stated thatfeelings of stress and negativity evaporating like a puddle of water exposed to the sun. This is why the selection of mindfulness retreats offered by Balanced Holidays can help those who have been run ragged by the modern world in which they live.

Forest bathing tree-house retreats, Ayurvedic holidays and cleansing meditative sessions in luxurious surroundings are a handful of the options you can choose. Regardless of the location, you will learn valuable skills and techniques, which you can take with you at the end of the holiday. Take time out at one of our retreats and learn how to relax in a beautiful, tranquil setting. Continue these practices when you return to your daily life to feel centred and calm when you need to.