The pause that re­freshes

Reap the health ben­e­fits of re­lax­ation

The Community Connection - - LOCAL NEWS - By Mike Zielin­ski Colum­nist

Many of us, my­self in­cluded, don’t seem to live in the present any­more. That’s be­cause we never fully en­gage in a given mo­ment be­cause we’re al­ways in a hurry to move on to some­thing else.

We live in a state of con­stant over­drive, ca­reen­ing about with pulse-rac­ing di­men­sion. We have a rest­less en­ergy bub­bling in­side us, mak­ing it dif­fi­cult to pull the plug and just veg­e­tate.

Con­se­quently, we skim along the sur­face of life. We ex­ist in the top­soil of life and never seem to have the time to get to the root of the matter. I guess we’re all pris­on­ers of our hy­per­ki­netic ex­is­tence.

There is a scald­ing sad­ness to be­ing per­pet­u­ally un­der the gun. Our nev­erend­ing mythic ad­ven­tures have us in dire need of a men­tal re­lief con­voy.

Peo­ple with busy, stress­ful lives have the in­grained mind­set that they must con­quer the day. In­deed, a lit­tle bit of stress is ac­tu­ally good for you. That adren­a­line rush can power you through a long day at work, boost your work­outs and more.

But un­re­lent­ing stress does a num­ber on us. While it may feel good to con­quer the day, in the end it just sim­ply feels bet­ter – and is more ben­e­fi­cial to your health – to re­lax.

Some would ar­gue that stress is our big­gest health con­cern, given that it has been linked to many other com­pli­ca­tions, from heart prob­lems to de­men­tia.

Re­lax­ation coun­ters the dam­age stress in­flicts on

our bod­ies.

The laun­dry list of re­lax­ation’s health ben­e­fits is eye-pop­ping in di­men­sion.

Re­lax­ing pro­tects your heart, low­ers your risk of catch­ing a cold, boosts your mem­ory, low­ers your stroke risk, keeps you safe from de­pres­sion, keeps you slim (stress is a no­to­ri­ous cul­prit in re­duc­ing our re­sis­tance to caloric-in­fested com­fort food) and en­hances your li­bido.

Do your­self a huge fa­vor. Push the pause but­ton on your life from time to time. En­joy your fam­ily. Ex­pe­ri­ence some se­ri­ous ju­bi­la­tion. Sa­vor some se­ri­ous re­flec­tion. Watch the leaves fall or squir­rels scurry up trees. Med­i­tate. Stand on your head. Do what­ever res­tores your body and re­news your spirit.

We dis­ci­pline young chil­dren with time outs. But for adults who try to jam 36 hours into ev­ery day, time outs soothe the mind, body and soul. You’d be sur­prised how the oc­ca­sional break from the daily hel­ter-skel­ter grind recharges you.

A health­ier you then can hit the fast-for­ward but­ton on life with re­plen­ished gusto.

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