Welcome to your happy place!

shutterstock_414207901When you think of rest and relaxation, what comes to mind? According to The Healthy Wellbeing Refugee, rest and relaxation is the cessation of work, exertion, or activity which could result in peace, ease, relief from disturbances, mental and emotional tranquility, and healing. For you, is it a day of pampering – getting a massage, a manicure and a pedicure? Is it curling up by the fireplace with a cup of hot chocolate or glass of wine with that book you just can’t seem to put down? Or, is it delving wholeheartedly into your favorite thing to do, such as arts and crafts, sports or exercising, traveling, baking, volunteering and writing? What exactly takes you to your happy place? For me, it’s spending a day at the beach when all of my senses get stimulated. I’m simply mesmerized by the water and all of its vastness. It just brings me so much peace and tranquility. My other happy place is giving the gift of health and financial wellness.

In today’s fast-paced world, we strive to make a name for ourselves, stand for something, or leave behind a monumental legacy. With being on the go all the time, there is hardly any time to slow down. Some think it’s impossible to take a break or vacation for fear of the stress of returning to mounds of work and pages of email. Others gravitate toward some time off as there are health benefits associated with rest and relaxation.

Rest is necessary to rejuvenate your body and mind, regulate your mood, and reduce the risk of disease. Relaxation allows the body and mind to be free from tension and anxiety. Imagine not giving our bodies the chance to shut down, ever. Believe me, it will shut down all on its own.

Studies show that 40% of us aren’t getting adequate sleep. Lack of sleep can cause depression, aging skin, weight gain and forgetfulness, and put you at risk for other serious health problems such as:

  1. Diabetes
  2. Stroke
  3. High blood pressure
  4. Heart disease
  5. Heart attack
  6. Heart failure
  7. Irregular heartbeat

When we don’t allow ourselves to relax, we can experience several effects, including tension, headaches and migraines, chronic fatigue, gastrointestinal problems, poor immune system, and similar to lack of sleep, cardiovascular disorders. Some of the early warning signs that we might need to take a break and relax are:

  1. Constant yawning/sighing
  2. Feeling the urge to move about
  3. Feelings of stress and irritability
  4. Tiredness
  5. Lack of concentration

There is an overwhelming list of health benefits that can be derived from proper rest and relaxation, including more energy, body repair, calm thoughts, enhanced immunity, increased concentration, reduced blood pressure, decreased muscle tension, greater efficiency and eased acne. Getting the proper rest and relaxation can also keep you slim, slow breast cancer, produce less headaches and pain, and ensure smoother emotions (i.e., less anger, crying, anxiety, and frustration).

Why not take advantage of the power and benefits of rest and relaxation? According to gotquestions.org, even the Bible speaks quite highly of rest. It is a repeated theme throughout Scripture, beginning with the creation week when God created for six days, then He rested. In regards to relaxation, from the beginning when we decided that we would start making decisions, mankind has become tenser and less able to relax. If one of the definitions of “relax” is “to become less firm,” then relaxing our grip on our own lives, careers, families, etc. and giving them over to God in faith is the best way to relax.