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Relaxing blowing bubblesHere’s a list of reasons why relaxation is so important. As a psychologist and life coach, I still need to remind myself of its value. Not because I don’t inherently know it, but because although it’s something I aim to do daily, it can sometimes seem like a million-and-one other things need to get done first. You see, I’m also a mother, a step-mother, a wife, a daughter, a daughter-in-law, a friend, a conference chairperson, a volunteer, and a woman. Like many other people I can still get swept away in the busy momentum of life–and relaxation, at times can seem like it just doesn’t come often enough.

Why do we need to relax?

1. When we give ourselves some time to slow down, to do something soothing, calming, and something we really enjoy, the world can seem like a different place. Relaxation gives us the opportunity to find perspective-even when we’re not actively looking for it.

2. Relaxation can rejuvenate us and help rebuild our energy reserves. Without effort, slowing down feeds our bodies so we can do the things we do during our daily lives.

3. Relaxation can also give us some reprieve from our day-to-day problems. When I’m sitting in a hot tub overlooking the mountains, lying in a sauna feeling the heat drain away tension, or listening to some good music, I can just be in the moment.

4. Relaxation can really help us sleep. Probably most of us have at least once been kept awake by thoughts-of what we have to do the next day, of how we’re going to solve a problem, of something that’s happened in the near or distant past, or by meaningless and random thoughts that just won’t go away. When we’re really relaxed, sleep comes more easily and we’re able to get some much needed rest.

5. Relaxation is great stress management. Okay, you may be thinking-duh!! Of course it is!! Then why is it we sometimes forget one of the greatest ways to manage stress is to chill?

6. Have you ever found that when you relax, you solve problems without even thinking about them? It’s amazing that solutions can come when we’re not even thinking of them.

7. Another great bonus of relaxation is that it can help re-focus us because we rested and re-energized. Our minds can think more clearly and sharply when we’ve given it a rest.

8. One of the most important benefits of relaxation-for me at least-is that it can help me remember what’s really important to me. It gives me the opportunity to get off automatic pilot and remember why I’m doing something, it helps get me back on track, and it helps me re-connect with the people most important to me in my life.

What does relaxation mean to you? Is it…

  • Listening to music?
  • Going for a walk?
  • Watching a good movie?
  • Having a massage?
  • Laughing with others?
  • Being with your best friend?
  • Having a hot bath, perhaps with essential oils or bubble bath?
  • Meditating?
  • Exercising?
  • Playing a board game?

Relaxation comes in many forms. What helps you to rejuvenate yourself and manage your stress? I’d love to hear your comments!!

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