But one thing stands above them all, and it doesn’t just affect the waistline, it affects our well-being on every level, it’s the big “S,” and I’m not talking about soft serve ice cream, in fact so much has been written on this that many of you reading this probably already know where I am going… Stress… The BIG “S”. Before I give you the good news, let’s just get the not so fun info out of the way.
According to the Mayo Clinic, stress that is left unchecked can contribute to chronic health issues such as high blood pressure, obesity, heart disease and diabetes (1). Much of this is due to the long-term effects of adrenaline and cortisol on the body. Since most of us live in a world with a variety of multiple stressors a day, cortisol and adrenaline stays in the blood stream consistently, and this can disrupt nearly every process in the body. This puts one at risk for a number of health-related risks such as:
• Digestive problems
• Heart disease
• Sleep problems
• Weight gain
• Memory and concentration impairment (2)
So, basically, if you’re working on getting fit, but the cortisol adrenaline levels in your bloodstream on a daily basis is consistently high because you do things like drive in traffic, attend to multiple small children, or are under tight deadlines at work, then your biology is working against you to help you reach your wellness goals.
Whew! Glad we got that out of the way… So, let’s get on to the good news… The good news is that you don’t have to totally revamp your workout routine or go on a strict diet or do anything that is unpleasant at all to get the most of your wellness routine and potentially bring your quality of overall well-being to a whole new level!
The only thing you need to do is give yourself a gift, the gift of relaxation. Know that there is no greater gift that you can give yourself as well as those who know and love you then to take an hour a week to relax even deeper than we do when we sleep at night.
The type of relaxation I am referring to is Yoga Nidra. Translated as “Yogic Sleep,” it is a systematic method to help the body slip into a profound level of relaxation and rejuvenation. The different techniques used activate different lobes of the brain in a linear way that slows the brain waves down.
When this occurs, those high level cortisol and adrenaline levels we talked about earlier balance back out. With regular weekly practice, one starts to learn on a physical and mental level how to handle stress better overall, which can help curb some of the health risks listed above.
Ready to have more energy, get better results from your workout routine, improve your digestion and overall mood? If you are, then this Mother’s Day, no matter if you are a mother or not, start by giving yourself a gift of 1 hour of deep relaxation a week and see if what you can bring into this world is the best possible YOU that you can offer. You and those close to you in your corner of the world deserve it.