WELLNESS HOLIDAYS

We all feel better after a holiday, but have you ever tried a few techniques to fast track you to a calmer more relaxed place whilst on holiday?  Perhaps it could help you to get even more out of your holiday.

It seems appropriate following the sad news about #michaelmosley's death to write a post about wellness holidays. In his #DeepCalm podcasts, which offer insanely helpful advice on how to unwind, destress and relax, Dr Michael Mosley gives us 5 tools that really work…

  1. Using your breath
  2. Relaxing your body
  3. Using your imagination
  4. Using the power of nature
  5. Using music

These techniques really do work, but it takes commitment to achieve results and often we are too darn busy and exhausted with everyday life to give it a real try.  However, when we are on holiday we don’t have these distractions our routine is shaken up a bit and it can be the perfect time to start building some of these ‘deep calm’ exercises into our lives.  I highly recommend listening to the podcasts, which are less than 15 minutes each, but if you don’t have a spare 70 minutes I’ve condensed the principles of each into this short read...

 

  1. Box Breathing - can slow down your breath and calm you body and mind. Simply inhale for 4 seconds, hold for 4 seconds, exhale for 4 seconds and hold for 4 seconds and repeat. As your breathing rate lowers, so does your heart rate and blood pressure and this can sometimes be enough to get you off to sleep.
  2. Progressive Relaxation – We don’t always realize how tense we are. Start with your feet and systematically work your way up your body. Tense the muscles in your feet, hold it for 4 seconds and let go feel the relaxation for 4 seconds. Then tense your legs, buttocks, stomach, hands, arms, jaw and relax.  15 minutes of this progressive muscle technique practiced daily can lower the stress hormone cortisol and lowers anxiety.
  3. Guided Imagery – research shows imagining yourself somewhere peaceful it can activate your brain as if you are actually experiencing those things. Take a couple of deep breaths and then imagine you are outdoors on a warm day standing on the beach watching the sea lapping in and out. Listen to the gently tumbling waves, feel the sand between your toes and the light breeze and sun on your skin. Focus on the visualization for 15 minutes to boost positivity, aid relaxation, slow your heart rate and calming your mind. Tension fades away.
  4. Power of Nature – Being in nature soothes and stimulates your relaxation response. Dr Michael Mosley suggests that studies have shown 15 minutes walking in nature can lower blood pressure heart rate and levels of the stress hormone cortisol, leaving you feeling more positive, calmer and refreshed.
  5. Music – Music can stimulate you parasympathetic nervous system, a complex network of nerves connecting the brain with the rest of the body. Take a few deep breaths and focus on some relaxing music. After a stressful event 15 minutes of focusing on calming music can reduce heart rate variability, boost positivity and lower levels of anxiety and depression.

 

 

 

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